chapter  7
22 Pages

Truth or Consequences: Pragmatism, Relativism, and Ethics

One cannot discuss the impact of Richard Rorty’s work on the theory and practice of rhetoric without addressing the issue of relativism as it pertains to ethical questions. The topic has existed since Plato first denounced Gorgian rhetoric as mere cookery, compared with the noble aims of philosophy and science, and as a cosmetic rendering of appearance rather than a true philosophical search for reality. Furthermore, to argue with Rorty and the deconstructionists that we would be better off to accept the death of the correspondence theory of language is to propose removing our traditional source of judgment and validation of both the true and the good.