"One of the most provocative figures in recent philosophical and wider literary and cultural debate, Richard Rorty brings together in this collection a wide range of philosophical, political and cultural writings, many published in book form for the first time. He explains how he began to move away from Plato towards James and Dewey, culminating in his own version of pragmatism. What matters, he suggests, is not whether our ideas correspond to some fundamental reality but whether they help us carry out practical tasks and create a fairer and more democratic society. In an introduction called 'Relativism' and a (previously unpublished) afterword on the unfortunate popularity of the term 'postmodern', Rorty responds to charges that he is a 'postmodern relativist'."--BOOK JACKET.