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Richard Rorty Dies 6/8/07

June 10, 2007

Richard Rorty, whose inventive work on philosophy, politics, literary theory and more made him one of the world’s most influential contemporary thinkers, died Friday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 75.

Mr. Rorty’s enormous body of work, which ranged from academic tomes to magazine and newspaper articles, provoked fervent praise, hostility and confusion. But no matter what even his severest critics thought of it, they could not ignore it.

Mr. Rorty drew on the works of Freud, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Quine and others. Although he argued that “no area of culture, and no period of history gets reality more right than any other,” he did maintain that a liberal democratic society was by far the best because it was the only one that permits competing beliefs to exist while also creating a public community.

See the NYTs Obit here.

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