So I am reading Richard Rorty’s Philosophy as Cultural Politics. In part I am reading because I read that Rorty said “truth is what my peer will let me get away with.” This seemed obviously false and I wanted to know what he meant.
So far I have noticed that there is huge strain of philosophy that is unknown to me and that it will take a long time to get to all of it.
However, I think I can report that there is less to my disagreement with Rorty than I first thought. So far, I have encountered the quote
For what counts as an accurate report of the truth is what a community will let you get away with.
This seems clearly true. Moreover, at least so far, in this book, Rorty seems to be concerned with what we should believe which is, in my terms separate from what is true. You may think – as I do – that we should believe things because they are true, but this is certainly not the only reason to believe something.
Moreover, if you asked me why I want to believe things that are true, my ultimate answer is simply compulsion. Truth is obviously useful in many circumstances but there are circumstances in which it would be more convenient to believe a lie.
Yet, I am compelled towards the truth and I really don’t have any further justification.