Richard Rorty has adopted Davidson's argument against the third dogma and employed it in a ruthless critique of lingering empiricist biases in the work of classical pragmatist John Dewey, particularly the latter's Experience and Nature. Rorty, mostly following Davidson, argues against the utility of the very concept of experience, which Dewey assumes as fundamental to a philosophical pragmatism in books such as Experience and Nature. (It is also worth noting the centrality of experience for another pragmatist, William James, who in his Essays in Radical Empiricism, attempts to postulate something resembling a metaphysics of pure experience--pure here simply meaning something like unmediated, present, and direct.) Following Davidson, Rorty ferrets out any lingering dogmas in the works of his pragmatist eidola.

While at one time I found Rorty's and Davidson's arguments particularly compelling, I now think they are firmly rooted in some fairly pervasive biases of the philosophy of language. Having gradually weened myself off of these biases, I now find the argument against the third dogma mostly superfluous.

The basic assumption which Davidson's argument seeks to displace is this: language stands in a justificatory relationship to experience. Having upset this assumption, Davidson and Rorty fairly well rid themselves of any need of the concept of experience.

But one can just as well take a different view of language. Language, we can agree with Davidson and Rorty, does not interpret or stand in need of experiential justification. But rather than subsuming experience within the totality of language, or propositional belief, as Rorty and Davidson do, we can assert that language itself is a direct form of experience, a form of 'pure experience' if we will, following Wm. James. Our language does not interpret experience, and thus stands in no need of experiential mediation (which mediation Davidson's argument against the third dogma neatly refutes), but rather is one among many ways of directly having experience in the world. In the present, language simply is one way of experiencing, of interacting with an environment. And, when we come to use language in reference to former experiences, we can view this language not as representational (which concept Rorty nicely displaces in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature), but rather, following James in his Essays in Radical Empiricism as additive to former experience. Language regarding prior experience does not represent this experience, rather it adds to it, and reworks it--problems of represenational adequation and experiential justification simply need make no appearance.

Thus, we can leave ourselves with a philosophy in which both language and experience are firmly intact. The relationship between the two need no longer worry us as it did the analytic philosophers of language which Rorty and Davidson were writing in the tradition of, because we simply admit language as one form of being in direct contact with the world we live in.