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Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher

ISBN: 145960623X;

On his death in 2007, Richard Rorty was heralded by the New York Times as ''one of the world's most influential contemporary thinkers.'' Controversial on the left and the right for his critiques of objectivity and political radicalism, Rorty experienced a renown denied to all but a handful of living philosophers. In this masterly biography, Neil Gross explores the path of Rorty's thought over the decades in order to trace the intellectual and professional journey that led him to that prominence. The child of a pair of leftist writers who worried that their precocious son ''wasn't rebellious enough,'' Rorty enrolled at the University of Chicago at the age of fifteen. There he came under the tutelage of polymath Richard McKeon, whose catholic approach to philosophical systems would profoundly influence Rorty's own thought. Doctoral work at Yale led to Rorty's landing a job at Princeton, where his colleagues were primarily analytic philosophers. With a series of publications in the...

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Richard Rorty – The Making of An American Philosopher