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Philosophia

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The Realist Wager: Challenging Rorty on His Home Ground

  • Massimo Dell’UtriEmail author
Article

Abstract

The paper is devoted to Richard Rorty’s thought, with the aim of exploiting a certain contention of his and directing it, as it were, against Rorty himself. Here is the contention: he thinks that – when it comes to metaphysical questions such as realism and anti-realism – the only kind of argument a pragmatist has at her disposal is rhetorical. Following the lines of the well-known wager Blaise Pascal laid on the belief in the existence of God, I will try to show that the realist can avail herself of a rhetorical argument in favor of her view which is more convincing than any rhetorical argument of a Rortyan kind, while abiding by the Rortyan maxim according to which ‘What has no bearing on our practice, shouldn’t have a bearing on philosophy’. This will allow me to challenge Rorty standing on his home ground.

Keywords

Richard Rorty Rhetorical arguments Realism Pragmatic maxim Blaise Pascal Intuitions 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Mario Alai, David Brett and two referees of this journal for their very useful suggestions on a previous draft of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of SassariSassariItaly

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