Recovering Richard Rorty's Sense of Experience
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In this dissertation I critically examine Richard Rortys dismissal of the concept of experience following the linguistic turn. I challenge Rortys belief that all appeals to experience imply foundationalism and that we should focus only on language. In developing a non-foundational account of experience I emphasize the qualities of action and meliorism that we find in Classical Pragmatist notions of experience. I exploit Rortys concession that nonlinguistic experiences exist and refute Rortys claim that these nonlinguistic experiences remain in the private sphere of life and have no relevance to politics. Then, examining Rortys romanticism I observe how Rorty does not address the role that experience plays in our ability to develop new linguistic schemes.