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Archive for the ‘Pragmatism’ Category

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clipped from www.telospress.com
Richard Rorty, the leading American philosopher and heir to the pragmatist tradition, passed away on Friday, June 8.
He was Professor of Comparative Literature emeritus at Stanford University. In April the American Philosophical Society awarded him the Thomas Jefferson Medal. The prize citation reads: “In recognition of his influential and distinctively American contribution to philosophy and, more widely, to humanistic studies. His work redefined knowledge ‘as a matter of conversation and of social practice, rather than as an attempt to mirror nature’ and thus redefined philosophy itself as an unending, democratically disciplined, social and cultural activity of inquiry, reflection, and exchange, rather than an activity governed and validated by the concept of objective, extramental truth.”

Richard Rorty, 1931-2007

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Richard Rorty’s contribution to American Pragmatism was important and profound. I am deeply saddened by the news of his death, Rorty had a significant influence on my own thinking, especially his distinction between normal and abnormal discourse. It will be a long time coming before another philosopher of Rorty’s stature and influence appears on the American landscape.

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It is a start in the right direction. If this truly becomes a bipartisan issue then a chance for fair and reasonable legislation may emerge. One of my hobby horses has been that we have had far too much partisanship over the past 12 years in this country. All that has served to accomplish has been to divide the nation. We cannot survive as a divided house. Representative government is not a one-way street. To work it requires a commitment to compromise. We now have two possibilities for bipartisan action in Congress, the Gonzales scandal and working to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally ill people is a real start. I anticipate the calming of America.

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prompted by the Virginia Tech massacre, a U.S. Congress reluctant to tackle gun control may pass limited legislation to help keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, lawmakers and aides said on Sunday.
“Given the horror that happened at Virginia Tech, I think there’s a real chance of passing this,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, told “Fox News Sunday.”
A Republican leadership aide agreed, telling Reuters, “If there is a consensus, and it is in lieu of knee-jerk draconian measures, (the chances are) probably really good.”
Yet after it was determined that the Virginia Tech killer had been admitted earlier to a psychiatric hospital and deemed “a danger to himself and others,” lawmakers dusted off previously rejected legislation.

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