Is Argument for Conservatives? or Where Do Sparkling New Ideas Come From?

Sharon Bailin


Rorty claims argument is inherently conservative and philosophical progress comes from "sparkling new ideas," not argument. This assumes an untenable opposition between the generation and the evaluation of ideas, with argument relegated
to evaluation. New ideas that contribute to progress arise from critical reflection on problems posed by the tradition, and constrained by the criteria governing evaluation. Thinking directed toward the criticism and evaluation of ideas or products is not algorithmic; it has a generative, creative component. An overall assessment in any complex circumstance requires constructing a new view from the questioning, weighing, rejecting, reconciling,
and integrating of numerous divergent points of view. Thus, the process of argumentation can issue in new ideas.


argument, argumentation, philosophical progress, criticism and evaluation, new ideas, Rorty

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ISSN: 0824-2577