Publisher description for For the love of perfection : Richard Rorty and liberal education / Rene Vincente Arcilla.

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For the Love of Perfection examines Richard Rorty's pragmatist philosophy for thinking about the aims and processes of liberal education. Offering a radical re-interpretation of the philosopher's arguments against metaphysics, Rene; V. Arcilla demonstrates how Rorty's thinking may be re-envisioned to take greater account of today's multicultural society.

Arcilla begins by grounding his re-examination of Rorty's pragmatist arguments against metaphysics in the historical context of democratic liberal education: in the key debates between Robert M. Hutchins and John Dewey in the 1930s and 1940s; and in the writings of contemporary thinkers Stanley Cavell and Allan Bloom. Providing an arresting analysis of all of Rorty's work--close textual readings which are critical yet sympathetic--Arcilla documents how Rorty contributes to the tradition of democratic liberal education through "conversational edification," the educational and philosophical practice of developing one's selfhoodthrough conversation with others.

The latter part of For the Love of Perfection offers a controversial re-reading of the principal aims and reforms of a Rortyan education prompted by the multicultural direction of American society. Reconsidering the philosopher in light of more "radical" left thinkers, including Ernesto Laclau and Walter Benjamin, Arcilla demonstrates how Rorty's contribution to liberal education can deepen its pragmatist roots--something which Rorty considers vital--while reconciling perennial conflicts between educators on the right and left who argue that the metaphysical quest for self-knowledge and the democratic politics of multiculturalism are opposed endeavors.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Education, Humanistic.
Education, Higher -- Philosophy.