As I fly to my new employer’s location to do some training and pitch some ideas about how to implement and craft this Master’s degree I’m the instructional designer for, I’m spending my time reading Pragmatism: An Introduction. In his chapter on Rorty, Bacon includes this juicy quote concerning the anti-authoritatian nature of Rorty’s pragmatism:
We treat a claim as addressed to us, in our capacity as members of a social practice governed by shared norms.
- Scientists [plural] are required to test their claims through experiments and are expected to give up a hypothesis in the face of conflicting evidence;
- judges decide cases based on case law and precedent;
- poker players take the pot depending on who has the best hand
In all cases, the decisions of communities of inquiry constitute the last word. “Empiricism’s appeal to experience is as inefficacious as appeals to the Word of God unless backed up with a predisposition on the part of a community to take such appeals seriously.” (Rorty, 2007:11)
- Bacon, Pragmatism: An Introduction loc. 2132