An American philosopher
in the tradition of
. Follows Charles Pierce
, William James
, and John Dewey
, though his efforts lean towards postmodernism
Rorty was a very conventional philosopher until he published Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature in 1979, in which he claimed that the three greatest philosophers of the twentieth century are Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Dewey, all of whom eschewed the model of philosophy as a foundational kind of knowledge, one that achieved a true representation of the universe and our place in it. Instead, the philosophers he cites tried to recognize that philosophy is an activity specific to one's time and place, that it is a therapeutic activity aimed at consoling oneself, and helping us deal with our circumstances in a more reflective way.
Since then, Rorty has published continually, calling philosophy a genre of literature, and suggesting that our ethnocentrism is a virtue, since ethnocentrism is unavoidable (even philosophically), and ours is liberal, and specifically distrustful of itself and ethnocentrism in general.