A Review of Agency and Structure: Where does Rorty’s Ironist Stand?

  • Reza Arab University of Warsaw, Poland


This paper intends to reread what Richard Rorty introduced as ironist in the context of one of the most contested topics in the realm of social sciences; i.e. agency and structure. Rorty maintains that ironist is the potential citizen of utopian liberal democracy. An ironist, in his words, is a person who a) has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, b) realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve possible doubts, and c) she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others. The main question of this study is where this conscious subject stands within the context of agency-structure dispute. First, relevant literature on the dichotomy is going to be examined, and then, while discussing other relevant terms in his philosophy, this paper will show how Rorty solves the agentic problem of his ironist with his introducing of the public-private distinction.


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How to Cite
Arab, R. (2016). A Review of Agency and Structure: Where does Rorty’s Ironist Stand?. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 12(8), 36. https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2016.v12n8p36