Ph.D. at Yale, 1952–1956

in Richard Rorty

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226309903
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309910 | DOI:
Ph.D. at Yale, 1952–1956

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For his Ph.D, Richard Rorty considered three possibilities: the philosophy departments at Harvard University or Yale University or staying on at the University of Chicago and taking his degree from the Committee on Social Thought. His mentors in the philosophy department at Chicago probably told him it wouldn't be wise to take his Ph.D. from them, but one of his undergraduate teachers, classicist David Grene, encouraged him to enter the Committee and promised him a scholarship if he did. Yale had long defined itself institutionally against Harvard as a place where higher education would serve the purpose of preserving religious and cultural orthodoxies, and in the first decades of the twentieth century the Yale philosophy department embraced this mission by hiring scholars, especially from Harvard, who were free from pragmatism's relativizing, anti-traditionalist tendencies. Charles Bakewell and Wilmon Sheldon were among those brought on board under this mandate. As the influence of pragmatism gave way in the 1930s, however, to various strains of technicism, the views of Bakewell and Sheldon changed.

Keywords: Richard Rorty; Ph.D; Harvard University; Yale University; technicism; philosophy; religion; pragmatism; Charles Bakewell; Wilmon Sheldon

Chapter.  8519 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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