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Reflections On How We Live$
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Annette Baier

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199570362.001.0001

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Can Philosophers Be Patriots?

Can Philosophers Be Patriots?

(p.67) 4 Can Philosophers Be Patriots?
Reflections On How We Live

Annette C. Baier

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Richard Rorty's arguments that challenge the profession of philosophy and examines activities that clarify what philosophers do. Rorty claims that philosophers are neither scientists of the mind nor discerners of eternal moral truths. However, philosophers may help in addressing two unconnected grave dangers facing humanity: climate change and terrorism. To respond to the dangers, philosophers put aside blinkered thinking and exercise moral imagination. Philosophers may not be useful in physical challenges, but they are vital for intractable problems, such as prevention of suicidal massacres or resentments towards inequality.

Keywords:   Richard Rorty, philosophy, eternal moral truths, climate change, terrorism, blinkered thinking, moral imagination, philosophers

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