Richard Rorty has died
Richard Rorty, philosopher, dies at 75.
I've read enough of the analytic philosophers castigating Rorty -- and taken bits of classes from a few of them -- that I feel I just have to love the man.
I remember managing to see him speak twice. Once was on philosophy of mind at the good ol' Sym Sys Forum. (Video!) ("He is wrong, but wrong in such an interesting way!" I remember one comment.)
Most fascinating was when he gamely participated in a discussion at this very odd Christian thought conference some groups on campus put together. (The Veritas Forum, here's a link.) He was standing there, arguing with the Christian conservatives about the nature and legitimacy of authority, but humorously ceding ground where appropriate... "Look, it's not that all children will be active critical thinkers and discover everything for themselves. Getting a kid a secular liberal education isn't that much different than any other education -- you have to beat it in to them." (That is a paraphrase, not a quote. But I'm pretty sure he referred to "secular liberal education" having to be "beaten into them".) I think this is a really important point, but I just like the tongue-in-cheekness.
I confess I have never read any of his books. Perhaps I should.
Here's an interesting review he wrote of Marc Hauser's Moral Minds.
Here is the SEP entry on him.