Traditional Paper

Naļve Hope as a Cognitive Value: Evaluating Goals for Pragmatic Inquiry[1]

1. Introduction

Most pragmatic theories of inquiry share common values, such as creativity, a sensitivity to the social, and the goal-oriented quality of inquiry. But pragmatism is split on questions of the value of inquiry and inquiry's goal. The more realist strand, which follows Charles S. Peirce,[2] holds that while we may not be able to say that we have achieved truth on any matter, truth remains the goal and is, in principle, achievable. The second, antirealist strand of pragmatism holds that inquiry is valued in itself, and not for its goal of truth, since there is no such thing as Truth (at least not in any strong or relevant sense). This view is championed by Richard Rorty, who holds that "hope" rather than "truth," is the proper goal of inquiry. In a pluralistic world, we should not expect to achieve consensus or any other version of truth. Instead the only reasonable standard of inquiry is to "keep the conversation going." And the aim of keeping the conversation going is simply to increase our level of hope. Of course, Rorty is not the first pragmatist to emphasize hope—indeed, he comes from a long line of American philosophers, beginning with Peirce, who do the same. But Rorty is the first to defend a pragmatic view, which emphasizes the importance of hope, while at the same time rejecting the traditional content of, and reasons for, our hope in inquiry. Taking Rorty's view as a point of departure, I will examine just how a pragmatist should evaluate her hopes for inquiry, given its actual functions in inquiry.

2. Rorty on Hope

Upon his examination of the history of philosophy and its history of failed projects, Rorty rejects Platonist and Enlightenment thought because both depend upon the misguidedhope of finding "final answers" which avoid all contingency (such as truth, ultimate justification, or consensus). This simply cannot be done. So, we must give up entirely this kind of hope.[3] As a next best option, Rorty offers his own model of the inquirer, called "the ironist," who invents his own vocabularies for the sake of redescription and self-fashioning rather than truth. But despite Rorty's strong critiques of the hopes of past philosophical inquiries,[4] he also states that the only proper goal of inquiry is hope itself.[5]Rorty urges us to give up truth and objectivity in the sciences, social sciences, and philosophy—and replace them with the goal of social hope:  hope for solidarity, democracy, and equality. Rorty seems to suggest that giving up knowledge as a goal is somehow equivalent to giving up the goal of absolute grounding for one's beliefs. Justification is the hope of the Enlightenment—and once we give this up, we may set our sights on different hopes—namely, imagination and creativity. His emphasis on hope as the goal is meant to embrace a pragmatic theory of inquiry and its emphasis on actors of inquiry rather than spectators, creativity and imagination over accurate representation, and social integration rather than correspondence.

Rorty makes another point about hope which is essential to our discussion. According to Rorty, hope is never a warranted interpretation, but is a chosen interpretation with tremendous pragmatic value. And hope is a choice that makes a difference. In Consequences of Pragmatism, for example, Rorty says that the difference between Foucault and Dewey is really only in their views on what we may hope for. Essentially, they agree on their major theoretical points—they just put a different spin on them:[6] so we need not choose between them when it comes to their arguments about social construction. We need only choose between them with regard to what they think we should hope for. On this point, Rorty explains his preference between them as follows: "Although Foucault and Dewey are trying to do the same thing, Dewey seems to me to have done it better, simply because his vocabulary allows room for unjustifiable hope, and an ungrounded but vital sense of human solidarity [emphasis added]."[7] Here hope is not justified, but practically important for achieving the goal of solidarity. For this reason alone, hope is worth choosing. This suggests that hope plays a motivating role in improving our condition. It is helpful in its effect on the future because, with hope, we make efforts we would otherwise not make.

But a problem emerges here. On the one hand Rorty seems to be right about the importance of hope for inquiry. Hope is something there for us to choose and there is good reason to choose such hope, namely, its instrumental value. And on this count, any talk of justification for the hope is simply irrelevant to its fundamentally pragmatic value. On the other hand, Rorty criticizes Enlightenment-like projects for being based on misguided hopes of truth in the long run and absolute grounding. But how can he hold that there is even such a thing as a misguided hope, while (at the same time) holding that hope is there for us to choose or not choose? It is simply not clear how exactly he can evaluate the traditional ideals of inquiry as hopes—indeed, criticize hopes for truth, consensus, and objectivity—while embracing other hopes (like solidarity and utopian politics). Perhaps Rorty is suggesting that the goal of inquiry should be hope or perhaps recontextualization and redescription. But in either case, it would appear he is arguing for  the kinds of goals we should hope for, given the history of inquiry.

But if this is the case, then the further concern arises as to just how pragmatists should evaluate their most general hopes for inquiry. The typical philosophical stance (which Rorty sometimes takes) is to evaluate a given hope according to its justification. But Rorty's other descriptions of pragmatism's emphasis on the future suggest a more fruitful pragmatic way of evaluating hope—namely by its ability to motivate and transform the individual inquirer. And this is the stance that will be argued here, a stance, which shares the spirit of Rorty's pragmatic  project—although only up to a certain point. For my view does break with Rorty on precisely this issue; namely, that hope is a condition for inquiry rather than a goal. Of course, Rorty is  quite opposed to projects such as these, which aim at uncovering "conditions for possibilities." But, I will argue here that because hope functions as the condition for the creation of new ideas, the pragmatic value of hope is its ability to generate new ideas. In light of this role, and its strong ability to affect inquiry, we may be able to increase the number and quality of new ideas which come from inquiry by increasing our hope. The particular content of our hopes should be evaluated according to their ability to motivate rather than the reliability of the methods for their fulfillment.[8] So, essentially, I want to argue that Rorty's other goals for inquiry (in addition to hope), namely, imagination and creativity, may yet require the very "naļve hopes" he actually rejects in so many traditional philosophical projects, such as truth, consensus, and realism. 

3. The Role of Hope in Inquiry

A similar concern with Rorty's project is voiced by Frank B. Farrell (though irrespective of Rorty's take on hope): there is an inconsistency between Rorty's supposed Deweyan pragmatism and his criticisms of philosophical realism. In trying to make sense of Rorty's position on realism, Farrell writes as follows:

Like a good banker [Rorty] has examined the statements in use and has recommended that we cut off those 'investments' that are not paying their way; the realist statements fall into that category.  So the realist cannot be accused of making a general philosophical error; he must be shown to be recommending the use of lots of useless sentences.[9]

Farrell goes on to make two key critical points, each of which is relevant for our purposes.  First, Farrell says that Rorty's arguments against the realist are "philosophical" rather than "pragmatic"—but this is precisely the stance that is not available to Rorty, given his own criticisms of traditional epistemological philosophy.[10] Second, Farrell argues that everyday realist language is indeed useful. And if usefulness is the fundamental evaluative criterion of Rorty's own pragmatism, "... as a nonphilosophical pragmatist, [Rorty] ought to be a realist without qualms."[11]

Other philosophers have pointed out similar problems with Rorty's maintaining such a critical stance on traditional philosophies, while, at the same time, holding a strongly pragmatic view of inquiry.[12] Otherwise put, it would seem that there are two Rortys here. And Rorty qua skeptic can make the philosophical criticisms, but the philosophical point of view which leads to skepticism simply is not open to Rorty qua pragmatist. But Farrell's reading of Rorty's assessment of the history of philosophy raises a different and important question as to what would count as a good or bad "investment" for a pragmatist. Rorty as a pragmatist is not necessarily wrong in thinking about philosophical positions pragmatically, i.e., as good or bad investments of time and effort; but following Farrell, Rorty is wrong in thinking realism was a bad bet.

When it comes to hope, the problem with Rorty's view is that neither philosophers nor scientists investigate things merely for the sake of increasing hope. Typically it is to learn about the world for the sake of achieving some end (employing the kind of everyday realist language to which Farrell refers). So while hope as a goal for inquiry might make sense in political discourse, it does not seem to make sense in epistemological pursuits. (Of course, when Rorty says that hope should replace knowledge, he means to transform epistemology into a social and political endeavor.) But, in other passages, we see Rorty treat hope not as an end in itself, but rather as a means to an end. We are hopeful in order to achieve some goal—usually, for Rorty, a political goal—to make changes, to transform. This is, in fact, a more common sense way of looking at how hope actually functions in inquiry, and in every other human sphere. The hope for something gets us acting in that direction. Rorty is quite happy to view hope as more instrumental for political goals; but I think he misses its more instrumental role in achieving epistemic or cognitive goals. And this is because when he deals with epistemological goals he ends up being too interested in justification rather than the discovery of new ideas.

On this count, a valuable corrective to Rorty can be found in Peirce's view of the long run. Needless to say, Rorty flatly rejects the long run view of inquiry and truth. He thinks of it as far too optimistic, and, on the whole, pretty "fishy" (the very idea that we would all end up in the infinite future with perfect verification of all reality). And, indeed, there certainly are some problems with the long run. Yet, despite his criticisms, Rorty has something to learn from his predecessor. Aside from Peirce's attempt to ground truth in the long run by appeal to the logic of present inquiry, Peirce saw the need for the individual to make certain efforts to achieve successful inquiry. And Peirce saw that this effort required hope.  In fact, in several passages Peirce suggested that it is indispensable for inquiry. For without it, we will not make good "abductions" (i.e., guesses), upon which, for Peirce, ultimately all thought depends.[13] Indeed, according to Peirce, all new knowledge comes through this mode of reasoning. And there are certain hopes that must be in place for there to be inquiry at all.

In addition to this indispensable role of hope for inquiry, pragmatism also urges us to consider that different hopes also play practical and instrumental roles in particular inquiries. Different hopes lead to different questions, inquiries, and discoveries. Hope for a cure for cancer, hope for truth, hope for interpretation and understanding, hope for consensus—all of these affect inquiry. The hopes held by the inquirer enable us to ask questions without which we would not discover new knowledge, because we would not take inquiry in those directions. To be sure, many of these hopes fail—and this is Rorty's point. But what Rorty misses is that when the inquirer is motivated by these hopes, she can discover other forms of new knowledge.

4. Assessing Our Hopes Philosophically or Pragmatically

Even if we take this more Peircean view of hope as a condition of inquiry, and consider the contents of hopes in terms of instrumental value, still we must also address the issue of how to direct our hopes. Now the traditional philosophical way of handling this question has been to examine the methods for its fulfillment. And this is where the debate over the philosophy of hope has largely remained. The key assumption has been that philosophical reflection can condition or affect our beliefs about the proper hopes for inquiry. This way of handling levels of confidence depends upon there being a direct relationship between a recognition of the reliability of one's rational habits, and one's warranted confidence or hope.[14] But there is also the possibility of a gap between our philosophical reflections on our methods and our other habits. The disparity between one's rational evaluation, and one's habits is just the problem Christopher Hookway, Hilary Putnam, Rorty and so many other pragmatists have tried to handle. Philosophical arguments can be successful without being motivating, in part, because they are, in a sense, underdetermined. And when there is a gap in evidence or argument, the dogmatist will find a way to believe, and the skeptic will find a way to doubt. Recently Hookway has argued that pragmatism should reject the Cartesian view that we can and should make the epistemic norms we endorse, and the norms we actually use, coincide through philosophical reflection. For Hookway, pragmatists hold that if these do conflict, then there is a defeasible presumption in favor of the norms implicit in our practice.[15] Now when it comes to arguments for, or against, a particular hope, we can see that while the arguments may work on a philosophical level, they may fail to motivate the individual to adopt (or abandon) the hope. And this means the arguments may fail to influence inquiry. So, if we are interested in moving inquiry in a positive way, we must look to the other aspect of hope, namely hope as a habit of an individual.

But the issue of just what practical difference philosophical discussions make is a point of much concern for Rorty,[16] and it becomes a problem with regard to the relevance of Rorty's own criticisms of robust realist hope. If philosophy does not direct "real" inquiry, then Rorty's own efforts to revise our beliefs about what we should hope when we inquire—this is where the "inquirer vs. the ironist" debate comes into play—may not affect our actual hopes. It seems that when we examine hope's role in actual inquiry we see that a certain kind of hope is essential even for the motivation of inquiry. While Rorty replaces the traditional inquirer interested in truth with the ironist, who has given up such goals, he has not yet answered the question of what can motivate the ironist to seek new and imaginative vocabularies. Alan Malachowski raises this question of what might motivate us to come up with new descriptions.[17] My own view is that while traditional goals of philosophy might not have been fulfilled, still many new and fruitful ideas have been, and continue to be, generated from such "naive hopes." Perhaps more robust hopes, even if impossible to fulfill, are essential to the generation of new ideas. In other words, the possibility of the fulfillment of one's hopes may not be as relevant as their ability to motivate the inquirer to pursue different and creative avenues of inquiry.

But not only may it be the case that Rorty's efforts to change our hopes will not work, but also that the very hopes Rorty wants us to give up are those same hopes that are (pragmatically, though not necessarily philosophically) required to attain what Rorty thinks are the proper goals of inquiry, namely, more imaginative inquiry. In other words, if we give up the supposed "naļve hopes" of truth or consensus, then we may also give up new and interesting lines of inquiry which generate interesting ideas. This is not to say that creativity for its own sake, imaginative inquiry, and keeping the conversation going, will not motivate and generate new and interesting avenues of inquiry. But I think truth, consensus, and the so-called naļve hopes may work to motivate creative and imaginative inquiry just as much or more. And if this is the case, then these traditional hopes of the more classical pragmatists have pragmatic value, and for this reason alone should not be rejected (regardless of whether they can be justified philosophically).

Indeed, at the level of individual thought, robust hope and hope in greater possibilities are essential to creativity. For if the mind runs on ampliative inference (particularly abduction), then more hope, more robust, wider, even if mistaken, hope, would lead to more creativity through the mind's willingness to ask and entertain ideas and make more warrantless leaps (leaps which would later become warranted when checked with experience). More hope may generate more ideas. Here I do not want to reduce the importance of free play and Peircean musement[18] and goal-less creativity, which are certainly responsible for many great ideas. But here we need only admit that many new and significant ideas are generated in part from robust (even if naļve) hope, in order to see the downside to Rorty's recommendations to give up such naļve hopes. And Rorty has already given us reason to reject his own criticisms of Enlightenment hopes since he also claims that hope is a choice which has a pragmatic value. Consequently, the hope for truth, consensus, knowledge, etc, must be ours for the choosing. Of course, Rorty resists such conclusions because for some reason he allows utopianism only in politics, but not in epistemic pursuits. But as we are arguing here, hope's pragmatic value to motivate and transform the individual extends to our cognitive pursuits. And we do have cognitive pursuits.[19]

5. A Contrast with James's Will to Believe

This view of the practical value of hope differs from William James's "will to believe." According to James, the will to believe in something may create or help us to discover new truths about something, i.e., something in which one has the will to believe. But here, in contrast to James, we are saying that naive hopes have pragmatic value because they motivate the individual to ask riskier questions, to inquire into an unknown area, without knowing if she will discover whatever she may happen to will to believe. As an aside on this point, this is not to say that there is no fundamental role for the will in my account ... certainly there is. But the essential point here is this: the pragmatic value of hope in particular (as opposed to any belief in general, or James's religious belief) is in its affecting the kinds of questions asked, thereby driving inquiry toward goals the individual may have never had in mind. Creativity begins with one goal, but its fruit may lie in another. And naļve hope functions as a vehicle within this process of creativity.

For Peirce, and for many pragmatists, inquiry is always goal-directed, always purposeful. Yet, we begin with, and depend upon, our questions. The goal directs the inquiry only because the inquirer has initiated inquiry through his question, which arises out of a hope. And, for this reason, the warrant of the goal may not be as important as the motivation for creative abductions in the inquirer. Indeed, this may be the best way to judge a hope to be good or bad—namely, by its ability to motivate creative avenues of inquiry. Oftentimes an inquiry, which sets out for one goal, does, in fact, arrive at a very different (but quite significant) hypothesis. We cannot direct inquiry toward a particular endpoint, but we can increase the level of novelty, so essential for inquiry (regardless of what goal one thinks inquiry ought to have). And it may be the case that robust, naļve hopes help to achieve this end.

So, what exactly makes naive hope different from a goal, in general? If the product of inquiry does not necessarily resemble the original goal, doesn't that also mean that it may not resemble the question being asked? In other words, if the ideas which are generated by inquiry—while interesting and significant—do not resemble the question, then in what sense does my robustly hopeful question condition the interesting, but unrelated answer ... any more than a goal does? Well, at the very least, the question allows one to entertain ideas that the skeptic would not entertain. For we cannot have a goal, a purpose driven inquiry, without the question asked. Hope  leads the mind to entertain questions. This is not to say that hope as a condition for entertaining certain questions is the only condition for new and interesting inquiry. But it is to say that without a robust hope, some questions would not even be entertained. A question is a necessary condition for inquiry and for having a goal, since without asking a question, inquiry simply cannot begin. We cannot get our new ideas without questions, and thus we cannot get new ideas without hope. So, when we shut out certain kinds of hopes, we shut out certain kinds of questions and goals—and, as a consequence, we thereby shut out many avenues for fruitful entertainment of new ideas. In the words of Peirce, we "block the road of inquiry."

The problem with Rorty's view is that sometimes he evaluates hope by its ability to be fulfilled, its warrant as a belief about the future. But other times he recognizes the pragmatic value of hope and insists on our choosing hope because the future is (somewhat) open, and the realities of the future depend upon our having hope. Rorty's point that philosophers do not effect real social or scientific inquiry, but are instead the products of their movements, is relevant here. In Philosophy and Social Hope Rorty claims that philosophy is responsive to changes in the amount of political hope, rather than conversely.[20] So, it would seem that, if we should look for hope, or, for increasing hope, then we should look to social rather than philosophical notions. Of course, on the other hand, a philosophical examination may yet be useful, if for no other reason than that it may help us in knowing our limits and our avenues of future inquiry, or, for understanding hope as a "choice" (as Rorty himself has said). Indeed, on this count it would seem that Rorty has left the kind of room we need to argue for the importance of the distinctly social aspect of hope. In fact, this may be where Rorty's greatest sympathies lie: his philosophical arguments against naive hopes toward "true" or better ones are directed at philosophers who fail to see the social aspects of inquiry.

6. The Pursuit of Naļve Hope: Umberto Eco on Leonardo Da Vinci

But considering hope for its pragmatic value leads to a stranger view than it seems at first glance. While some (pragmatist) commentators will remind Rorty that it does not make good pragmatic sense to give up or even doubt our most basic, useful, and natural beliefs,[21] it may further be the case that we should seek to acquire robust, naļve hopes for inquiry, even if they are not natural. If we take the pragmatist model of inquiry, the question for us is whether we can ever say, "Although I do not presently have hope for knowledge in the long run, I may not believe that such a hope is justified, and it may not even be a natural hope, should I nonetheless pursue acquiring such a hope, because of its pragmatic value?" And here the pragmatic value of such a hope would be in its ability to attain epistemic ends. I think our answer to this has to be "yes." And on this point, I recognize that our discussion must ultimately point to the history of great thinkers and great discoverers—in order to check this view of naļve hope and grand discovery against what has actually been the case. For great men like Galileo and Darwin, Einstein and Plato—certainly a full-blown analysis of the role hope in their methodologies is wanting. And while the present discussion can hardly embark on such an analysis here, we may note one genius, in particular, who is the topic in an exchange between Rorty and the well-known Peircean philosopher Umberto Eco, in their book, Interpretation and Overinterpretation. In responding to Rorty (and his somewhat anti-Peircean views on semiotics), Eco draws on the great Renaissance thinker Leonardo da Vinci, in order to demonstrate the importance of naļve assumptions for scientific discovery. Indeed, Eco's analysis here is all the more important considering that it is made in the context of Peircean semiotics and abduction. Eco writes,

I think that the cultural community was—if not right, at least reasonable—in telling Leonardo da Vinci it was preposterous to jump from the top of a hill with a pair of flapping wings, because this hypothesis had already been tested by Icarus and proved to be doomed to failure. Perhaps without Leonardo's utopia the posterity would not have been able to keep dreaming of human flight, but human flight became possible only when Leonardo's idea of an aerial screw merged with Huygens' idea of a propeller and with the idea of a rigid wing supported by an aerodynamic force known as 'drag.' That is the reason why the community now recognizes that Leonardo was a great visionary, that is, that he was thinking (unrealistically for his own time, and on the grounds of false assumptions) of future realistic endeavor. But to define him as a utopian genius means exactly that the community recognizes that he was in some way right but in some other way madly wrong.[22]

Leonardo was a genius, a true visionary, and incredibly creative, according to Eco, not because he was particularly adept at redescription in Rorty's sense of the ironist, and not because he was uniquely gifted in being able to play with the present day vocabularies. Rather, da Vinci was a genius because he was thinking outside of his own time, thinking entirely differently. In a word, Eco's word, da Vinci was a great genius precisely because he was working with "false assumptions." Or, as I would prefer to put it here—though entirely within the very Peircean spirit of Eco's analysis—da Vinci was a creative genius because he was operating on the assumption of extremely naļve hopes. In fact, perhaps he was operating on "mad hopes."

7. Evaluating Hopes

It is difficult to evaluate hope, or, at least, some kinds of hopes—and for this reason its pragmatic value sometimes has little to do with its warrant (unlike many of our other beliefs).  So, of course, there is a certain danger in discussing hope as if it were "wishful thinking" because, there is always the danger of having too much hope.   The problem is that, on the one hand, almost no one would call "naļve" the hope that scientists have for gaining knowledge about the human brain, even though we are many generations away from it. Yet, on the other hand, we do call "naļve" those hopes for actually finding the Fountain of Youth. And, if asked why one hope is more naļve than the other, it is appropriate that we appeal to warrant and to our past success rate at achieving similar ideals. But the hopes mentioned here have more to do with our ability to assess a situation and view it as similar or dissimilar to past experiences. In contrast, for example, take a very general hope for economic justice, or universal human rights, or world peace. We may judge these as rational hopes, even though they have never been achieved in the past.  In this same sense, our general hopes for inquiry, such as truth, consensus, or justice, really function more like moral principles which guide one's behavior. If these regulative goals or hopes were evaluated by past successes, then they may very well lead to the skepticism we sometimes see in Rorty. But if we judge these hopes by their pragmatic value, then they may yield positive action (even if never actually fulfilling the hope). For there may never be any absolutely convincing justification for hope—and yet most of us are not pessimists. In fact, we may be more utopian than we realize. And more strangely (and this is Hookway's point), we do not abandon our hopes, even when arguments suggest we should.  And this common phenomenon forces us to see hope as a social habit.

8. Conclusion

Perhaps it is even the case that our most general hopes for the future remain beyond the scope of normal judgments about the future. Our most general (and noble) hopes are not only not justified in the way other beliefs are—they are not justifiable because they are not even comparable to other claims we make about the future and other deliberations about what to hope for.  But this is okay even, for someone like Rorty. For Rorty admits his political views are "frankly utopian" and he has argued, too, for the pragmatic value of hope.  The point here is only that, if Rorty sees pragmatic value in holding utopian hopes, then there is no reason why we can't extend these utopian hopes to our cognitive pursuits. Rorty is certainly right that Cartesian dreams of ultimate justification cannot be fulfilled, but they are not fruitful either. Yet, hopes for truth in the long run (Peirce), consensus (Habermas), knowledge regarding the real world (Haack) or objectivity (Putnam)—robust hopes for the future of inquiry, for which we may lack justification, have pragmatic value. For this reason, they should guide inquiry.  And Rorty's pragmatism should allow him to see hope in this way. 


[1] I would like to thank Jerold J. Abrams for reading and commenting on an earlier draft of this paper. I would also like to thank the Graduate School at Creighton University for the Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, which supported the research of this paper. 

[2] Peirce's texts will be cited as follows. EP2 refers to Peirce, The Essential Peirce, Volume II, edited by The Peirce Edition Project, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); and EP1 refers to Peirce, The Essential Peirce, edited by Nathan Houser and Christian Kloesel, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992).

[3] Rorty, Consequences of Pragmatism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982, 1996), p. 166.

[4] This point emerges in so many passages in Rorty, especially Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979), and Consequences of Pragmatism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979).

[5] Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope (New York: Penguin, 1999), pp. 33-34, and p. 209.

[6] Rorty, Consequences, pp. 204-5.

[7] Rorty, Consequences, p. 208.

[8] Alan Malachowski raises this question of what might motivate the ironist to come up with new descriptions (see Malachowski, Richard Rorty [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002], p. 63).

[9] Frank B. Farrell, "Rorty and Anti-Realism," in Rorty and Pragmatism: The Philosopher Responds to His Critics, edited by Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1995), p. 163.

[10] Farrell writes, "There is the general Kantian problem here of holding that we can never achieve a stance from which we can talk about the relation between language and reality, while holding (in claiming that objectivity is merely phenomenal or merely pragmatic, in contrast to a more full-bodied realism) that we can present a version of that relation showing our opponents to be wrong about it" (p. 164)

[11] Ibid., p. 164.

[12] For example, Akeel Bilgrami in "Is Truth a Goal of Inquiry?: Rorty and Davidson on Truth" (in Rorty and His Critics), "reminds" Rorty of what his own pragmatic stance requires of him. Bilgrami says that both Rorty and Davidson has the view of truth as cautionary.  But he argues, "... once Rorty has brought in the inquirer and raised the question of the nature and role of truth in the context of inquiry, then what comes onto center-stage is the point of view of the inquirer.  From this point of view, which in inquiry will be the first-person point of view, to believe without doubt (that is, not in the sense say of an hypothesis, but in the sense that constitutes one's world view) is to believe true.  So if Davidson challenges us to say which of our beliefs is true (something he thinks we can never say), the answer is quite unproblematically that (from the first-person point of view) these are true. It's only from the third-person point of view that someone may wonder whether some of a person's beliefs are true. But for a third person to wonder this cannot, even if communicated tot he inquirer concerned, amount to cautioning the inquirer in anything but an illocutionary sense" (p. 252). Jürgen Habermas (in the same volume) urges Rorty away from his criticisms of objectivity and realism, arguing that everyday practices of communication and understanding require reference to a single objective world (Rorty and His Critics, p. 41).  Pragmatism, for Habermas, requires us to see language as connected to action.  And "as interacting and intervening subjections, we are always already in contact with things about which we can make statements" (p. 41).

[13] Peirce, EP1, pp. 81-82; and EP2, pp. 106-7.

[14] As Hookway articulates it, a basic hope in our methods is required for any kind of inquiry, but sometimes we are lead to question these methods. When it comes to evaluating the reliability of these patterns, philosophical reflection is the appropriate method.  Hookway argues for the importance of established patters of evaluation in conditioning inquiry. He also argues for a key role for genuine "felt" doubt, as opposed to Cartesian doubt. But there is an important role for philosophical reflection in evaluating what we should have confidence in. Hookway says, "It does not follow from this that Cartesian worries are not of philosophical significance. I am not arguing that these observations refute scepticism. It is conceivable that the habitual patterns of evaluation we have been discussing are impediments rather than aids to the responsible search for truth. A weaker conclusion does follow, however: rationality requires a defeasible confidence or trust in our habits of inquiry and evaluation. When philosophical models of rationality cast doubt upon our habits of reasoning and inquiry, our confidence in our habits can warrant us in (at least) hoping that this is to be explained through inadequacies in our philosophical models" (Hookway, Truth, Rationality, and Pragmatism: Themes from Peirce [New York: Oxford University Press, 2000], p. 264, emphasis added).

[15] Hookway, "Doubt: Affective States and the Regulation of Inquiry," in "Pragmatism," Supplementary Volume 24 of Canadian Journal of Philosophy, edited by Cheryl Misak, (Alberta, Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1998, 1999), p. 215.

[16] As Bilgrami points out, Rorty goes back and forth between third person and first person points of view, but only the first person stance is open to the pragmatist who looks at epistemological question from the view point of actual inquiry (and the actual inquirer) ("Is Truth a Goal of Inquiry?: Rorty and Davidson on Truth").

[17] See Malachowski (2002) p. 63.

[18] Peirce, EP2, p. 437.

[19] Bilgrami reminds Rorty that as pragmatists we can and do have goals of inquiry which are fully cognitive and we do not just make inquiry subservient to practical ends (pp. 258-59).

[20] Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope, p. 229.

[21] For example, Farrell argues that everyday realist language is indeed useful. And if usefulness is the criterion as Rorty has articulated his pragmatism then "as a nonphilosophical pragmatist, [Rorty] ought to be a realist without qualms" (Frank B. Farrell, "Philosophy and the Future," in Rorty and Pragmatism: the Philosopher Responds to His Critics, 1995, p. 164); see also Susan Haack, Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 31-46.

[22] Umberto Eco, with Richard Rorty, Jonathan Culler, and Christine Brooke-Rose, Interpretation and Overinterpretation, edited by Stefan Collini, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, 1994), pp. 144-5.