Guide to the Richard Rorty Papers MS.C.017

Dawn Schmitz
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine 92623-9557

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
Title: Richard Rorty papers
Creator: Rorty, Richard
Identifier/Call Number: MS.C.017
Physical Description: 24.3 Linear Feet (61 boxes and 1 oversized folder)
Date (inclusive): 1863-2003
Date (bulk): bulk
Language of Material: The collection is primarily in English, with some materials in other languages, particularly German and French.
Abstract: Richard Rorty (1931-2007) was a pragmatist philosopher, critical theorist, and public intellectual. This collection comprises manuscripts, teaching files, professional correspondence, research notes, biographical material, and ephemera. It also includes some family papers and correspondence, as well as writings dating to his youth. The collection includes digital files transferred from Rorty's computer disks and made available to researchers electronically.


The collection is open for research, with the exception of some materials relating to students in Series 5, Teaching files. Restrictions on the earliest of these student records will be lifted beginning in 2033.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Reproduction Restriction

All reproduction of materials written by Jacques Derrida must be authorized by designates of his heirs. Contact Special Collections and Archives for more information.

Preferred Citation

Richard Rorty Papers. MS-C017. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Richard Rorty, 2006.

Processing History

Processed by Dawn Schmitz, with assistance from Brian Garcia, Ali Meghdadi, and Tae Sung, 2009-2010. Modifications to arrangement of correspondence, Audra Eagle Yun, with scholars Christopher Voparil and Wojciech Malecki, 2012.

Historical Background

Richard McKay Rorty (1931-2007) is commonly described as one of the most influential thinkers of his era. A philosopher with a remarkably broad intellectual range, his work included the development of a distinctive brand of pragmatism as well as significant contributions to literary criticism, political theory, and other scholarly fields. He was also a public intellectual, writing for such publications as The Nation and The Atlantic.
Rorty was born on October 4, 1931, in New York City. The son of writers and activists James Rorty and Winifred Raushenbush Rorty (and the grandson of prominent Social Gospel theologian Walter Rauschenbusch), he later wrote in an autobiographical sketch, "At 12, I knew that the point of being human was to spend one's life fighting social injustice." His family moved to Flatbrookville, New Jersey, when he was a child.
Rorty enrolled in the University of Chicago at age 15, eventually earning his B.A. (1949) and M.A. (1952) in philosophy, studying under Rudolf Carnap, Charles Hartshorne, and Richard McKeon. After completing his Ph.D. (1956) at Yale University with the dissertation, "The Concept of Potentiality," supervised by Paul Weiss, Rorty served two years in the army before receiving his first academic appointment at Wellesley College. From 1961 to 1982 Rorty taught in the philosophy department at Princeton University before moving to the University of Virginia as Kenan Professor of the Humanities. In 1998, Rorty accepted his final academic position at Stanford University in the Department of Comparative Literature.
While Rorty gained scholarly attention with his article, "Mind-Body Identity, Privacy and Categories," (1965) and his edited anthology The Linguistic Turn (1967), his most provocative work was yet to come. By combining what he learned from analytic, continental, and pragmatist philosophers, Rorty developed an “anti-Philosophy” that emphasized the historical contingency of philosophy as one literary genre beside the sciences and arts. His version of anti-essentialism and anti-foundationalism was developed in such important works as Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979); Consequences of Pragmatism (1982); Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989); Achieving Our Country (1998); Philosophy and Social Hope (2000); and four volumes of his philosophical papers: Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (1991), Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991), Truth and Progress (1998) and Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007). The social and political consequences that emerge from this version of neopragmatism, Rorty contended, are those of a romantic liberalism that promotes justice and democracy by reducing cruelty and increasing solidarity through the redescription of our contingent vocabularies.
Richard Rorty died of pancreatic cancer June 8, 2007, in Palo Alto, California.

Historical Background


1931 Born on October 4th, in New York City
1946 Enrolls in University of Chicago just before his fifteenth birthday
1949 B.A., University of Chicago
1952 M.A., University of Chicago
1956 Ph.D., Yale University (dissertation: "The Concept of Potentiality")
1957-1958 Army of the United States
1958-1961 Instructor and Assistant Professor, Wellesley College
1961-1982 Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
1967 The Linguistic Turn (ed.) published by the University of Chicago Press
1968-1969 American Council of Learned Societies fellowship
1973 Exegesis and Argument: Studies in Greek Philosophy Presented to Gregory Vlastos (edited with Edward Lee and Alexander Mourelatos) published by VanGorcum
1973-1974 Guggenheim Fellowship
1979 Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature published by Princeton University Press
1979 President, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division
1981-1986 MacArthur Fellowship
1982 Consequences of Pragmatism published by the University of Minnesota Press
1982-1998 University Professor of the Humanities, University of Virginia (named Professor Emeritus, 1998)
1985 Philosophy in History (edited with J.B. Schneewind and Quentin Skinner) published by Cambridge University Press
1986 Northcliffe Lectures, University College, London
1987 Clark Lectures, Trinity College, Cambridge
1989 Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity published by Cambridge University Press
1990-1991 National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship
1991 Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers I published by Cambridge University Press
1991 Essays on Heidegger and Others: Philosophical Papers II published by Cambridge University Press
1992 The Linguistic Turn published in second, enlarged edition by the University of Chicago Press
1994 Hoffnung statt Erkenntnis: Einleitung in die pragmatische Philosophie (three lectures delivered in Vienna and Paris in 1993) published by Passagen Verlag
1997 Truth, Politics and 'Post-Modernism' (Spinoza lectures, University of Amsterdam) published by Van Gorcum
1997 Massey Lectures, Harvard University
1998-2007 Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University (named Professor Emeritus, 2005)
1998 Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America published by Harvard University Press
1998 Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers III published by Cambridge University Press
2000 Philosophy and Social Hope published by Penguin
2005 The Future of Religion (edited with Gianni Vattimo) published by Columbia University Press
2006 Take Care of Freedom and Truth Will Take Care of Itself, Interviews with Richard Rorty (edited and with an introduction by Eduardo Mendieta) published by Stanford University Press
2007 Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers IV published by Cambridge University Press
2007 Awarded the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences by the American Philosophical Society
2007 Dies on June 8 in Palo Alto, California, at age 75
2010 The Philosophy of Richard Rorty (edited by Randall E. Auxier and Lewis Edwin Hahn) published by Open Court

Collection Scope and Content Summary

Richard Rorty (1931-2007) was a pragmatist philosopher, critical theorist, and public intellectual. This collection comprises manuscripts, teaching files, professional correspondence, research notes, biographical material, and ephemera. It also includes some family papers and correspondence, as well as writings dating to his youth. The collection includes digital files transferred from Rorty's computer disks and made available to researchers electronically at UCIspace @ the Libraries .
Included are: manuscripts and typescripts of published writings, conference papers, invited lectures, public speeches, and other intellectual work; incoming and outgoing professional correspondence, including manuscripts sent to him by colleagues; teaching files including lecture notes, syllabi, assignments, and exams; professional activities files; research notes and other materials; and some biographical material including posters and programs for public lectures and symposia, printed materials such as reviews of Rorty's work and articles about him, and a very small number of photographs. The collection also includes a significant amount of family correspondence, dating to Rorty's childhood, as well as his earliest writings. There are also some papers relating to his parents and some members of his extended family.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged in 8 series:
  • Series 1. Early life and family papers, 1863-2000 (Bulk, 1942-1979), 2.4 linear feet
  • Series 2. Writings, 1961-2000, 3.4 linear feet
  • Series 3. Correspondence, 1955-2001 (Bulk, 1961-1995), 10.8 linear feet
  • Series 4. Notes and research materials, 1962-1999, 1.6 linear feet
  • Series 5. Teaching files, 1958-2002, 3.6 linear feet
  • Series 6. Professional activities, 1965-1999, 1.4 linear feet
  • Series 7. Biographical material, 1964-1997, 0.9 linear feet
  • Series 8. Born-digital files, 1988-2003, 0.2 linear feet and 1027 digital files

Processing Note

In order to facilitate access to the collection, processing work on it was expedited. Manuscripts were filed and described by working title, professional correspondence was filed by the approximate year and the first letter of the correspondent's name, date ranges were sometimes approximated, and other steps were taken to ensure the materials could be made available for research in a timely fashion. In 2012, approximately ten modifications were made to the arrangement of the correspondence based on feedback from two Rorty scholars, who identified correspondent surnames as they researched the Rorty papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Philosophy, American -- 20th century
Critical theory -- Archives.
Rorty, Richard -- Archives
Rorty, Richard


Early life and family papers Series 1 1863-2000 bulk

Physical Description: 2.4 Linear Feet

Historical Background

Richard Rorty was the son of Winifred Raushenbush Rorty (1894-1979) and James Rorty (1890-1973), both writers and activists on the left. When Richard was born in 1931 they lived in New York City, but they moved to Flatbrookville, New Jersey, when he was a child. He was close to his parents and many of the members of his extended family, including his fathers' sisters, writers Eva Beard and Marion Bullard, both of Woodstock, New York.
At age 15, he began attending the University of Chicago, where he earned his BA (1949) and MA (1952). From there, he entered Yale where he earned his Ph.D.(1956) with the dissertation, "The Concept of Potentiality." He served in the military from 1957-1958.
He married fellow philosophy graduate student Amélie Oksenberg, the daughter of Klara and Israel Oksenberg, in 1954. Their son, James (Jay), was born in 1961, and the couple divorced in 1972. A short time later, Richard married Mary Varney, who had earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins in 1970, and the couple had two children, Patricia and Kevin. When he died of pancreatic cancer at age 75, Richard Rorty was survived by his wife and children.

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series includes writings and academic work by Richard Rorty from early childhood through his graduate work; correspondence with his parents, relatives and others; and the papers of some members of his extended family. Subseries 1.1 includes issues of the Minisink Valley News, a newsletter Rorty edited as a child; academic work including drafts and notes for his Ph.D. dissertation "The Concept of Potentiality;" and other papers and correspondence dating to the period previous to the start of his professional life as an academic. Subseries 1.2 consists of the letters to and from his parents, James Rorty and Winifred Raushenbush Rorty. Subseries 1.3 includes family papers: correspondence, records, and writings he received and collected. This subseries includes materials collected by Rorty that relate to, or were created by, members of his immediate and extended family. Included is a large amount of correspondence between Rorty and family members, but there is also a significant amount of other material created and collected by members of his family, most notably his father, James Rorty.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in 3 subseries:
  • Subseries 1. Early writings and other materials
  • Subseries 2. Correspondence with parents
  • Subseries 3. Family papers
Within each subseries, files are arranged alphabetically.

Processing Note

In order to expedite access to the collection, this series were minimally processed. Dates are approximate, folders have wide and overlapping date ranges, and materials are not arranged in any order within folders. Some undated manuscripts were included in this series under the assumption they were written before the start of Rorty's professional career.

Early writings and other materials Subseries 1.1 1939-1983 bulk

box 1, folder 1

Academic notes on various subjects undated

box 1, folder 2

Biology papers and notes 1946-1948 and undated

box 1, folder 3

"The Concept of Potentiality" and other Ph.D. work: notes and drafts circa 1953-1956

box 1, folder 4-5

"The Concept of Potentiality:" notes and chapter drafts circa 1954-1956

box 1, folder 6-7

Correspondence from various senders 1946-1983 and undated bulk

box 2, folder 1

Employment applications: correspondence 1948-1952

box 2, folder 2

Graduate study in Paris: application materials and correspondence 1951

box 2, folder 3

Graduate study and fellowships: correspondence, applications, and other materials 1949-1953 and undated

box 2, folder 4

"Is it Desirable That Every Educated Man Acquire Some Historical Knowledge of the Rise of Industrial Civilization?": paper undated

box 2, folder 5

Mathematics notes, examinations, and other materials 1949-1950

box 2, folder 6

Military service: commendations, correspondence, and other materials 1951-1958

box 2, folder 7-9

Minisink Valley News: issues and other materials 1942-1944

box 3, folder 1

Notes and drawings 1936-1946 and undated

box 3, folder 2

Passports and other personal records 1941-1993

box 3, folder 3

Philosophy and Greek (M.A. and Ph.D. study): exams, syllabi, and other materials 1949-1954 and undated

box 3, folder 4

Poems and other creative writings undated

box 3, folder 5

Primary school: writings and other materials 1939-1944 and undated

box 3, folder 6

Secondary education: yearbook, correspondence, and other materials 1945-1948

box 3, folder 7

"Truth and Its Object in Anselm, Aquinas, and Matthew of Aquasparta:" paper undated

box 3, folder 8

University of Chicago: correspondence, grade reports, and other materials 1946-1952 and undated


Correspondence with parents Subseries 1.2 1940-1979

box 3, folder 9-10

Rorty, James and Winifred (Raushenbush): letters and cards to them 1943-1979 and undated

box 4, folder 1-3

Rorty, James: letters and cards from him 1940-1962 and undated

box 4, folder 4-6

Rorty, Winifred (Raushenbush): letters and cards from her 1941-1979 and undated


Family papers Subseries 1.3 1863-2000 bulk

Processing Note

During processing, correspondence in this series was grouped according to the family member to which it pertains as the sender, recipent, or (occasionally) the subject of the letters. Correspondence between Richard Rorty and any member of his family was filed under the family member's name.
box 4, folder 7

Beard, Eva and Marion Bullard: correspondence and other materials 1941-1953 and undated

Scope and Content Summary

Includes mainly letters to Richard Rorty from his aunt, Eva Beard, and some of her writings.
box 5, folder 1

Bullard, Marion: poems, clippings, and other materials 1955-1971 and undated

box 5, folder 2

Disposition of parents' papers: correspondence 1981-1982 and undated

box 5, folder 3

Lewis, L.R. (Leo Rich): early writings and obituary 1886, 1945

Biographical Note

L.R. Lewis was a professor at Tufts University, from which James Rorty graduated in 1913.
box 5, folder 4

Marriage notices, birth announcements and congratulations: cards and telegrams 1954-1961 and undated

box 5, folder 5

Oksenberg, Klara and Israel: correspondence 1953-1976 and undated

box 5, folder 6

Poems and other writings, unsigned undated

box 5, folder 7

Richardson, Mabel L.: legal correspondence 1971-1974

box 5, folder 8

Rorty, Amélie Oksenberg: correspondence and other materials 1950-1971 and undated

box 5, folder 9-10

Rorty, James: correspondence, writings, and other materials 1913-1962 and undated

box 5, folder 11

Rorty, James: letters to L.R. (Leo Rich) Lewis 1913-1940

Scope and Contents

Includes letters written while serving in the military during World War I.
box 6, folder 1

Rorty, James: letters to H.L. Mencken 1939

box 6, folder 2

Rorty, James: World War I correspondence and other materials 1918-1919

box 6, folder 3

Rorty, Jay and Patricia: writings for them by family members, and other materials 1961-1996 and undated

box 6, folder 4

Rorty, Malcolm C.: writings and other materials 1928-1934 and undated

Historical Background

Malcolm C. Rorty, the brother of James Rorty, was a statistitian and held executive positions at AT&T and ITT.
box 6, folder 5

Rorty, Mary Varney: correspondence and other materials 1974-1977 and undated

box 6, folder 6

Rorty and Rauschenbusch families: clippings, correspondence, and other materials 1863-1985

Historical Background

Winifred Rorty changed the spelling of her maiden name (which she used professionally) from Rauschenbusch to Raushenbush.
box 6, folder 7

Rorty, Winifred (Raushenbush): writings, clippings, correspondence, and other materials 1918-1979

box 6, folder 8

Rorty, Winifred (Raushenbush): biography of her and related correspondence 2000


Writings Series 2 1961-2000 and undated

Physical Description: 3.4 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series primarily includes drafts (manuscripts, typescripts, computer print-outs, and proofs) of writings: scholarly and magazine articles, book chapters, papers, book reviews, contributions to reference volumes, speeches, and invited talks. Included are some of Rorty's writings in translation and his prefaces and introductions to volumes of such writings. In some cases drafts are accompanied by related notes or correspondence. Some proofs include corrections. Also included in this series are some writings in their final printed form: offprints, clippings, journal issues, newspaper and magazine issues. This series also includes one audio recording of an invited talk.


This series is arranged in 2 subseries:
  • Subseries 2.1. Manuscripts
  • Subseries 2.2. Printed material and audio recording

Manuscripts Subseries 2.1 1961-2000 and undated

Subseries Arrangement

This subseries is arranged in the following order:
  • 1. Articles, book chapters, and other writings: arranged alphabetically by the title of the work.
  • 2. Book reviews: arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author reviewed.
  • 3. Conference papers and public lectures: arranged alphabetically, primarily by the name of the conference or sponsoring institution.

Processing Information

During processing, manuscripts were generally filed by working title, so different versions of the same finished work may be filed in separate folders. In general, titled manuscripts were filed under "Articles, book chapters, and other writings." Untitled conference papers and papers found among other conference materials, along with public speeches and remarks, were filed under "Conference papers and other public lectures." These were filed according to the relevant conference, event, or sponsoring institution.

Articles, book chapters, and other writings

box 7, folder 1

"An Anti-Representationalist View: Comments on Miller, Van Fraassen, and Churchland:" draft 1990

box 7, folder 2

"Aristotle," article for the American People's Encyclopedia: drafts and correspondence 1964

box 7, folder 3

"Cartesian Epistemology and Changes in Ontology:" draft undated

box 11, folder 12

"Changing World-Views and Scholastic Quibbles: An Answer to the Question 'What is Philosophy?:'" typed draft circa 1997

box 7, folder 4

"Consciousness, Intentionality, and Pragmatism:" draft and correspondence 1990

box 7, folder 5

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, preface to the Russian translation: draft and correspondence 1995

box 7, folder 6

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, preface to the Serbian translation: draft and other materials circa 1993-1995

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence and publications related to the Belgrade Circle.
box 7, folder 7

"The Contingency of Our Language:" draft undated

box 7, folder 8

"The Continuity Between the Enlightenment and 'Postmodernism'" and German translation: drafts and notes undated

box 7, folder 9

"The Current State of Philosophy in the U.S.:" draft 1994

box 7, folder 10

"Davidson's Mental-Physical Distinction:" proof with notes circa 1999

box 7, folder 11

"Deconstruction," article for the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: edited proof and correspondence 1994

box 7, folder 12

"Derrida on Language, Being, and Abnormal Philosophy:" draft and correspondence 1977

box 7, folder 13

"Does Academic Freedom Have Philosophical Presuppositions?" German translation: proof and correspondence 1994

box 7, folder 14

"Duties to Self and Others: Comments on Nehamas:" drafts and other materials 1995 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes "Response to Nehamas," draft, and Alexander Nehamas's paper, "What Should We Expect From Reading? (There are Only Aesthetic Values)" draft.
box 7, folder 15

"Education, Socialization, and Individuation: Replies to Commentators:" draft and correspondence 1989

Scope and Contents

"Education, Socialization, and Individuation" is a reprint of "Education Without Dogma."
box 7, folder 16

"Empiricism, Extensionalism, and Reductionism:" drafts, notes, and reviewers' copies circa 1963

box 7, folder 17

"Existential Necessity and Kantian Unconditionality: A Response to Harald Kohl:" draft 2000

box 7, folder 18

"Failed Prophecies, Glorious Hopes:" proof with corrections 1999

box 7, folder 19

"Fraternity:" draft and correspondence 1996

box 8, folder 1

"Freedom as Higher Than Being:" draft undated

box 8, folder 2

"Half a Million Blue Helmets?" draft, offprint, and correspondence 1995-1996

box 8, folder 3

"Heidegger Against the Pragmatists:" draft undated

box 8, folder 4

"Heidegger's Litany:" draft undated

Scope and Contents

Published as chapter 5 of Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.
box 8, folder 5

"Hoffnung statt Erkenntnis:" drafts and correspondence 1994

Scope and Contents

Consists of three lectures delivered in Vienna and Paris. Later published in English as chapters 2-4 of Philosophy and Social Hope.
box 8, folder 6

"Holism, Intentionality, and the Ambition of Transcendence:" drafts, notes, and reviewers' copies circa 1992-1993

box 8, folder 7

"How Relevant is 'Postmodern' Philosophy to Politics?" draft 1998

box 8, folder 8

"The Incommunicability of 'Felt Qualities':" drafts undated

box 8, folder 9

"In Defense of Eliminative Materialism:" draft and correspondence 1969

box 8, folder 10

"The Inspirational Value of Great Works of Literature:" drafts and correspondence 1996

box 8, folder 11

"Intellectual Historians and Pragmatist Philosophy:" corrected draft and correspondence 2000

box 8, folder 12

"The Intellectuals and the Poor:" draft 1996

box 8, folder 13

"Intuition:" drafts and notes undated

box 8, folder 14

"Is 'Cultural Recognition' a Useful Concept for Leftist Politics?" draft 1999

box 8, folder 15

"Is Derrida a Transcendental Philosopher?" draft 1989

box 8, folder 16

"Justice as a Larger Loyalty" and French translation: drafts, correspondence, and photocopy 1995-1997

box 8, folder 17

"Kant as a Critical Philosopher:" partial draft undated

box 8, folder 18

"Kripke on Mind-Body Identity:" draft and correspondence 1973 and undated

box 8, folder 19

"Kuhn, Thomas S.," contribution to A Companion to the Philosophy of Science: draft and correspondence 1993-1994

box 9, folder 1

"The Limits of Reductionism:" drafts undated

box 9, folder 2

"Locke, Global Historicity and Linguistic Idealism" and German translation: drafts undated

Scope and Contents

Published as chapter 14 of Truth and Progress.
box 9, folder 3

"Matter and Event:" drafts, notes, offprint, and correspondence 1963, 1976 and undated

box 9, folder 4

"Metaphilosophy:" draft 1974

box 9, folder 5

"Mind-Body Identity and Irreducible Properties:" drafts, comments, and correspondence 1964 and undated

box 9, folder 6-7

"Mind-Body Identity, Privacy, and Categories:" drafts and notes circa 1965

box 10, folder 1

L'Espoir au Lieu du Savoir. Hope in Place of Knowledge (Philosophy and Social Hope). Draft of French translation from German: draft, correspondence, and contracts 1994

box 10, folder 2

"The Overphilosophication of Politics:" proof and correspondence 1999

box 10, folder 3

Pale Fire, Introduction: proof and research materials 1991

box 10, folder 4

"The Paradox of Definitism:" drafts and notes undated

box 10, folder 5

"The Philosopher as Expert:" drafts and correspondence 1963 and undated

box 10, folder 6

Philosophy and Social Hope, Part 2: drafts, proofs, and other materials 1994

Scope and Contents

Includes "Truth Without Correspondence to Reality," "A World Without Substances or Essences," and "Ethics Without Principles."
box 10, folder 7

"Philosophy and the Dangers of the Twenty-First Century:" draft and correspondence 1994

box 10, folder 8

"Philosophy and the Future:" draft and correspondence 2000

Scope and Contents

This essay serves as the introduction to the collection of German translations, Philosophie und die Zukunft.
box 10, folder 9

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature: notes and partial draft undated

box 10, folder 10

"Pragmatism," contribution to the International Journal of Psychoanalysis 2000

box 10, folder 11

"Pragmatism," contribution to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: draft, correspondence, and agreements 1993-1995 and undated

box 10, folder 12

"Pragmatism and Religion:" draft circa 1996

Scope and Contents

This was the first lecture given as visiting faculty at the University of Girona, Spain.
box 11, folder 1

"Pragmatism, Categories, and Language:" drafts undated

box 11, folder 2

"Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth," section I: drafts and correspondence 1985

Scope and Contents

Published as chapter 5 of Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth.
box 11, folder 3

"Pragmatism, Pluralism and Postmodernism:" draft 1998

box 11, folder 4

"Pragmatism Without Method:" draft undated

box 11, folder 5

"Pragmatisme, Moralité, et Imagination:" draft and notes undated

box 11, folder 6

"A Pragmatist View of Contemporary Analytic Philosophy:" draft 1999

box 11, folder 7

"Putnam on Truth:" draft 1989

box 11, folder 8

"Rational Beauty, Non-discursive Sublimity, and the Community of Philosophers:" drafts 1988 and undated

box 11, folder 9

"Realism, Categories, and the 'Linguistic Turn':" drafts, correspondence, and notes 1961-1962 and undated

box 11, folder 10

"Realism, Anti-Realism, and Pragmatism: Comments on Alston, Chisholm, Davidson, Harman, and Searle:" draft 1991

box 11, folder 11

"Recent Metaphilosophy:" draft and notes 1961

box 11, folder 12

"Redemption from Egotism:" James and Proust as Spiritual Exercise:" draft 2000

box 12, folder 1

"Reductionism" and related writings: drafts and notes undated

box 12, folder 2

"Relations, Internal and External:" draft and correspondence 1965

box 12, folder 3

"Religious Faith, Intellectual Responsibility, and Romance" and French translation: draft and proof undated

box 12, folder 4

"A Reply to Six Critics:" proof circa 1984

box 12, folder 5

"Solidarity or Objectivity:" draft undated

box 12, folder 6

"The Subjectivist Principle and the Linguistic Turn:" notes undated

box 12, folder 7

"Texts and Lumps:" draft undated

box 12, folder 8

"Trapped Between Kant and Dewey: The Current Situation of Moral Philosophy:" draft 2000

box 12, folder 9

"Universality and Truth:" draft with notes 1993

box 12, folder 10

"Verification and Transcendental Arguments" and "Criteria and Necessity," German translations: drafts 1976-1977

box 12, folder 11

"What is Dead in Plato:" draft undated


Book reviews

box 12, folder 12

Aron, Raymond: Introduction to the Philosophy of History, review: draft circa 1961

box 12, folder 13

Bernstein, Richard: The New Constellation, review: draft and correspondence 1994

box 12, folder 14

Blanchard, Brand: Reason and Analysis, review: draft 1963

box 12, folder 15

Bloom, Harold: The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry, review: draft with notes 1973

box 12, folder 16

Blumberg, Hans: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, review: draft with notes circa 1983

box 12, folder 17

Boler, John F.: Charles Peirce and Scholastic Realism, review: draft and correspondence 1963

box 12, folder 18

Corman, James W.: Metaphysics, Reference, and Language, review: drafts, 1967

box 12, folder 19

Feyeraband, Paul: Killing Time (autobiography), review: draft 1995

box 12, folder 20

Goodman, Paul: Utopian Essays and Practical Proposals, review: draft circa 1963

box 13, folder 1

Grene, Marjorie: A Portrait of Aristotle, review: notes undated

box 13, folder 2

Jencks, Christopher and David Reisman: The Academic Revolution, review: draft undated

box 13, folder 3

Lamont, W.D.: The Value Judgement, review: draft undated

box 13, folder 4

Levi, Albert William: Philosophy as Social Expression, critical review: report and correspondence 1971

box 13, folder 5

Lewis, H.D. (ed.): Clarity is Not Enough, review: draft, offprint, and correspondence 1963-1964

box 13, folder 6

Moore, Edward C.: American Pragmatism, review: draft 1962

box 13, folder 7

Rosen, Stanley: Nihilism, review: proof undated

box 13, folder 8

Schacht, Richard: Nietzsche; and Gilles Deleuze: Nietzsche and Philosophy, review essay: draft and correspondence 1983


Conference papers and public lectures

box 13, folder 9

American Philosophical Association conference (San Francisco), session on Robert Brandom: paper 1995

box 13, folder 10

American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, conference: paper and other materials 1965

Scope and Contents

Includes comments on Keith Gunderson's "Cybernetics and Mind-Body Problems" and Gunderson's paper.
box 13, folder 11

American Philosophical Association, Western Division, conference (Seattle): paper 1996

Scope and Contents

The paper comments on Marjorie Grene's A Philosophical Testament.
box 13, folder 12

American Philosophical Association conference: paper 1980

Scope and Contents

Paper is a reply to scholars Ian Hacking and Jaegwon Kim.
box 13, folder 25

Clark Lectures and Northcliffe Lectures: notes circa 1986

box 13, folder 13

Cognitive Psychology and the New Epistemology symposium (Loyola University): paper drafts, correspondence, and program 1981-1982

Scope and Contents

The paper replies to Alvin Goldman's and Jerry Fodor's papers, which are included.
box 13, folder 14

Comments on papers by other scholars: drafts undated

Scope and Contents

Includes papers commenting on work by Ammerman, Armstrong, Gunderson, Hartshorne, Held, MacIntyre, Marcovic, and Ricoeur.
box 13, folder 15

Globalization and Cultural Identity conference: draft of remarks undated

box 13, folder 16

Husserl symposium (Vienna): radio program transcript 1985

Language of Material: The transcript is in German.
box 13, folder 17

International Center for Semiotic and Cognitive Studies workshop (University of San Marino, 1993): notes and other materials 1990-1993 and undated

box 13, folder 18

Labor Teach-in (Columbia University): speech and other materials 1996

box 13, folder 19

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) symposium, 2000 Things in the Making: Contemporary Architecture and the Pragmatist Imagination: remarks 2000

box 13, folder 20

Philosophy's Relation to the Humanities conference: paper outline 1998

box 13, folder 21

The Tradition of Western Philosophy and Pragmatism seminar (Otani University): introductory remarks 1999

box 13, folder 22

William Alanson White Institute: panel remarks 1995

box 13, folder 23

"Wittgenstein and Heidegger," lecture (Frankfurt): notes undated

box 13, folder 24

World Congress of Philosophy (Moscow): paper and other materials 1993

Scope and Contents

Paper is titled "Philosophy and the Future."

Printed material and audio recording Subseries 2.2 1963-2000 and undated

Subseries Arrangement

This subseries is arranged with printed material first, in chronological order, followed by the audio recording.
box 14, folder 1-6

Printed material 1963-1999

box 15, folder 1-2

Printed material 2000 and undated


"Cultural Politics and the Question of the Existence of God": audio recording 2002 July 17

Scope and Content Summary

Recording of lecture at Calvin College.
box DM 002, item MS-C017-CD-001-U

Use copy 2002

Physical Description

Compact disk.
box DM 001, item MS-C017-CD-001-A

Archival preservation compact disk 2002

Physical description

Archival gold compact disk.


Access to the preservation copy of the compact disk is restricted.
box 61

Archival original cassette 2002


This cassette is being preserved in order to make a high-quality recording for inclusion in digital repository.

Physical description

Audio cassette tape.


Access to the original audio cassette is restricted. For access, users may request use copy.

Correspondence Series 3 1955-2001 bulk

Physical Description: 10.8 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

Correspondence includes letters and cards received and duplicates of letters sent. Other received materials include manuscripts and offprints signed by the author. The bulk of the correspondence is from scholars and colleagues, but also includes letters from publishers and other institutional correspondents. Among the hundreds of philosophers and other scholars represented are Barry Allen, Annette Baier, Richard Bernstein, Robert Brandom, Hubert Dreyfus, Milton Fisk, Raymond Geuss, Katherine Kearns, Bruce Kuklick, Juergen Habermas, Ian Hacking, Maurice Mandelbaum, Gerald J. Massey, Alexander Nehamas, Jacques Poulain, J.B. Schneewind, Quentin Skinner, and Gregory Vlastos. Also represented are public figures such as judge and legal scholar Richard Posner and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.

Series Arrangement

Correspondence is first filed alphabetically, then chronologically within that alphabetical arrangement.

Processing Information

When they arrived in the Department of Special Collections and Archives, Rorty's papers contained a large amount of unfiled correspondence, as well as correspondence filed only by year or year range, scattered throughout the collection. In keeping with the order in which Rorty kept a significant portion of his filed correspondence, the bulk of this unfiled material was filed during processing either by 1.) the first letter of the last name of the sender/recipient, manuscript author, or subject of the letter; or 2.) by the organization, institution, publisher, or publication title with which the correspondent was affiliated; or 3.) by topic. Secondary to this alphabetical structure, correspondence is filed roughly chronologically. Following is a more detailed explanation of the two aspects of this filing system:
Alphabetical filing
In cases when letters were filed under the name of a university or a university press, these were filed under the name of the specific university (not under "U"), and in some cases the specific campus. In a few cases, Rorty kept individual folders for particular correspondents or subjects, and this practice was maintained during processing, with these folders filed after the single-letter labeled folders. However, he also filed letters for these named correspondents in the first-letter files, so researchers should not assume all letters to or from these individually-name correspondents are in their named file. For the unfiled letters that did not provide the last name of the correspondent, a minimal attempt was made to identify them and file under the last name. When this failed, the letter was filed by the first name. (Researchers who are able to identify these correspondents or who find misfiled correspondence should bring this to the attention of Special Collections and Archives staff).
Chronological filing
Within their alphabetical groupings, correspondence is grouped by year or range of years. These dates are approximate, however; particularly in cases where correspondence on the same subject was exchanged over a period of time and Rorty kept these letters together, these letters filed together in an attempt to maintain context wherever possible. Dates of folders overlap due to the method of organizing unfiled correspondence and integrating it into filed correspondence. Undated correspondence is filed at the end of the range for that letter of the alphabet. Within folders, letters are not arranged in any order.
box 15, folder 3-6

A 1963-1981

box 16, folder 1-4

A 1982-1995 and undated

box 16, folder 5-6

B 1960-1971

box 17, folder 1-6

B 1971-1983

box 18, folder 1-5

B 1982-1998 and undated

box 19, folder 1

Baier, Annette 1980-1990 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscripts, offprints, and other materials
box 19, folder 2

Bradley, Bill (U.S. Senator) 1987-1995

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes texts of some of Bradley's speeches, newsletters, and other materials.
box 19, folder 3-6

C 1964-1977

box 20, folder 1-8

C 1978-1998 and undated

box 21, folder 1

Cambridge University Press and other publishers 1968-1994

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes contracts and other materials.
box 21, folder 2

Chicago (University of) Press 1964-1969

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes contracts and reviews of The Linguistic Turn.
box 21, folder 3-9

D 1961-1993

box 22, folder 1

D undated

box 22, folder 10

Derrida, Jacques 1978, 1982, and 1983

Language of Material: Materials are in French.

Reproduction Restriction

All reproduction of materials written by Jacques Derrida must be authorized by designates of his heirs. Contact Special Collections and Archives for more information.

Scope and Content Summary

Folder consists of three letters addressed to Rorty from Jacques Derrida.
box 22, folder 2

Dreyfus, Hubert 1979-1985

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence includes manuscripts and comments.
box 22, folder 3-8

E 1961-1999 and undated

box 22, folder 9

F 1962-1972

box 23, folder 1-6

F 1974-1993 and undated

box 23, folder 7-8

Fisk, Milton 1965-1989

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes manuscripts and fellowship application.
box 24, folder 1-5

G 1961-1983

box 25, folder 1-3

G 1984-2001 and undated

box 25, folder 4-6

H 1955-1979

box 26, folder 1-6

H 1975-1989

box 27, folder 1-3

H 1986-2001 and undated

box 27, folder 4

Habermas, Juergen 1970-1995

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes writings by Habermas (drafts and print)
box 27, folder 5-6

I 1963-1997 and undated

box 27, folder 7-8

J 1961-1976

box 28, folder 1-2

J 1977-1994 and undated

box 28, folder 3-7

K 1962-1981

box 29, folder 1-3

K 1982-1995 and undated

box 30, folder 1-5

L 1974-1996 and undated

box 30, folder 6

Linguistic Turn: letters to authors concerning permission to republish essays 1965-1966

box 31, folder 1-8

M 1961-1981

box 32, folder 1-7

M 1980-1995 and undated

box 33, folder 1-6

N 1959-1996 and undated

box 33, folder 7

Nehamas, Alexander after 1990

Scope and Contents

Includes drafts, offprints, and note.
box 33, folder 8-9

O 1961-1979

box 34, folder 1-2

O 1979-1994 and undated

box 34, folder 3-8

P 1962-1983

box 35, folder 1-2

P 1984-2000 and undated

box 35, folder 3

Princeton University Press 1977-1981

box 35, folder 4

Publishing royalties 1991-1995

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes royalties statements.
box 35, folder 5

Q 1965-1991

box 35, folder 6-8

R 1959-1979

box 36, folder 1-5

R 1975-1994 and undated

box 36, folder 6

S 1960-1965

box 37, folder 1-5

S 1965-1984

box 38, folder 1-5

S 1980-1995 and undated

box 38, folder 6

Shoemaker, Sydney undated

Scope and Contents

Includes drafts with notes.
box 38, folder 7-8

Speaking engagements 1970-1973

box 39, folder 1-6

Speaking engagements 1973-1981

box 39, folder 7-9

T 1960-1980

box 40, folder 1-4

T 1980-1994 and undated

box 40, folder 5

Translations of writings 1985-1996

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence concerning translations of Rorty's writings, includes contracts.
box 40, folder 6

U 1963-1991 and undated

box 40, folder 7-9

V 1964-1990 and undated

box 40, folder 10

Vajda, Mihály 1993-1994

Scope and Contents

In addition to correspondence, includes manuscripts.
box 40, folder 11

Virgina, University of, and Princeton University 1981-1987

box 40, folder 12

W 1961-1969

box 41, folder 1-6

W 1971-2000 and undated

box 41, folder 7

X 1981-1982

box 42, folder 1

Y 1962-1988

box 42, folder 2

Z 1968-1989 and undated

box 42, folder 3

Unidentified senders 1968-1991 and undated

Processing Note

The signatures on these letters are absent or illegible.

Notes and research materials Series 4 1962-1999 and undated

Physical Description: 1.6 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series includes primarily typed or handwritten notes on various topics. Many of these notes may have been written for teaching; however, they were not found in files that would indicate for which course or seminar. Other notes may have been made in preparation for writing. Also included are some writings by Rorty's contemporaries that comment on his work. There is a small amount of printed material on various topics, mostly photocopies of journal articles and book chapters, that contains Rorty's marginalia.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in 2 series:
  • Subseries 4.1. Notes, topical
  • Subseries 4.2. Writings by contemporaries and other research materials

Appraisal Note

A very small amount (approximately .2 linear feet) of research material was discarded. This included photocopies of articles with no annotations or marginalia and offprints of articles that were not inscribed by their authors.

Processing Information

Notes were sorted by topic and filed in this series if there was no indication to which course, seminar, or writing they pertained.

Notes, topical Subseries 4.1 1962-1999

Subseries Arrangement

This subseries is arranged alphabetically by the topic of the notes.
box 42, folder 4

Adler, Mortimer, J.: notes undated

box 42, folder 5

Analytical philosophy: notes undated

box 42, folder 6

Aristotle: notes and articles undated

box 42, folder 7

Arnold, Matthew: article 1988

box 42, folder 8

Ayer, James, and Royce: notes undated

box 42, folder 9

Bibliographic research: printouts and photocopies 1993 and undated

box 42, folder 10

Bloom, Harold: notes undated

box 42, folder 11

Brandom, Robert: notes undated

box 42, folder 12

Bubner: notes undated

box 42, folder 13

Culler, Jonathan: notes and article 1983 and undated

box 42, folder 14

Davidson, Donald and Paul de Man: notes undated

box 42, folder 15

Derrida, Jacques: notes undated

box 42, folder 16

Dewey and Peirce: notes undated

box 42, folder 17

Dreyfus, Hubert: notes undated

box 42, folder 18

"The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking:" lecture notes undated

box 42, folder 19

Epistemology: notes undated

box 42, folder 20

Ethnocentrism: notes undated

box 42, folder 21

Fichte: notes undated

box 42, folder 22

Fish, Stanley: notes undated

box 42, folder 23

Føllesdal: notes undated

box 43, folder 1

Grunbaum, Freud, and others: notes undated

box 43, folder 2

Heidegger, Martin: articles with notations 1979-1988 and undated

box 43, folder 3-4

Heidegger: notes undated

box 43, folder 5

Heidegger, Gadamer, and Derrida: notes undated

box 43, folder 6

Heidegger, Husserl, and Sartre: notes undated

box 43, folder 7

Heidegger: lecture notes by Hubert Dreyfus undated

box 43, folder 8

Heideggerian terms: glossaries undated

box 43, folder 9

Hesse: notes undated

box 43, folder 10

Historicism: notes undated

box 43, folder 11

Hume: notes and annotated book chapter undated

box 43, folder 12

Ideas for papers: typescripts undated

box 43, folder 13

Jaspers: notes undated

box 43, folder 14

Kant and Descartes: notes undated

box 43, folder 15

Kuhn, Feyerabend, Davidson, Habermas, Foucault, Gadamer, and Heidegger: notes undated

box 43, folder 16

Leibniz: notes on lectures by Hampshire undated

box 43, folder 17

Kant and Hegel: notes undated

box 43, folder 18

Kierkegaard: notes undated

box 44, folder 1

Lacan: notes undated

box 44, folder 2

Locke: notes undated

box 44, folder 3

Mill: notes undated

box 44, folder 4

Morality, moral relativism, and ethical relativism: notes and article 1999 and undated

box 44, folder 5

Nabokov, Vladimir: photocopies 1962

box 44, folder 6

Nietzsche: notes undated

box 44, folder 7

"Omniscience and Freedom:" lecture notes undated

box 44, folder 8

Peirce, Benjamin: notes undated

box 44, folder 9

Phenomenology and existentialism: notes and bibliography undated

box 44, folder 10

"Philosophy Among the Humanities:" brief note undated

box 44, folder 11

Plato: notes and articles 1982-1986 and undated

box 44, folder 12

"Popular Lectures:" notes (from folder so labeled) undated

box 44, folder 13

Public intellectuals: notes undated

box 44, folder 14

Royce: notes undated

box 44, folder 15

Searle: notes undated

box 44, folder 16

Tillich: notes undated

box 44, folder 17

"Time and the World Order:" notes undated

box 44, folder 18-19

Various topics: lecture notes undated

box 45, folder 1-3

Various topics: notes and note cards undated

box 45, folder 4

Wiggins: notes undated


Writings by contemporaries and other research materials Subseries 4.2 1974-1993

Subseries Arrangement

This subseries is arranged alphabetically.
box 45, folder 5

Articles and papers responding to Rorty's work: drafts 1982-1992 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscripts by Nehamas, Rumana, and other scholars.
box 45, folder 6

Articles and papers responding to Rorty's work: drafts 1980 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscripts by Fancher, Laclau, Leist, Levi, MacIntyre, and McCarthy.
box 46, folder 1

Articles and papers responding to Rorty's work: drafts and photocopies 1980 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscripts and published work by Bernstein, Brunkhorst, Chappell, Derrida, and Donovan.
box 46, folder 2

Articles and papers responding to Rorty's work: drafts, print-outs and correspondence 1982-1993 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscripts and published work by Melvil, Peden, Pettit, Posner, and unidentified writer.
box 46, folder 3

Articles responding to Rorty's work: offprints, photocopies, and journal issues 1982-1995 and undated

box 46, folder 4

Brandom, Robert: book review draft and several articles (print) 1976-1988 and undated

box 46, folder 5

"Contemporary Philosophy of Mind:" photocopy with notes 1982

Scope and Contents

Highly annotated copy of Rorty's own article.
box 46, folder 6

Field, Hartry offprints and photocopies 1974, 1978

box 46, folder 7

Graff, Gerald: articles (photocopies) 1980-1986 and undated

box 46, folder 8

Kripke, Saul. "Identity and Necessity:" offprint undated

box 46, folder 9

La Modernité en Question chez J. Habermas et R. Rorty conference (Centre Culturel International de Cerisy, Paris): conference programs, paper abstracts, and other materials 1993

Language of Material: The materials are in French.

Scope and Content Summary

"Universalism and Pragmatism," the paper which is listed as Rorty's contribution to this conference, was not found during processing and is not included here. Included are abstracts of papers by Juergen Habermas and Alan Montifiore. The latter has a very small amount of notes by Rorty.
box 46, folder 10

"Putnam and the Relativist Menace" and response: offprint and draft 1992-1993

Scope and Contents

Includes offprint of Rorty's article and draft of response from unidentified critic.

Teaching files Series 5 1958-2002

Physical Description: 3.6 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series includes syllabi, lecture notes, exams, student evaluations of teaching, background research materials, lists of books ordered, correspondence, student files, and other materials related to courses taught by Rorty at Wellesley College, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and institutions where he was on the visiting faculty.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in 2 subseries:
  • Subseries 5.1. Course materials
  • Subseries 5.2. Student files

Course materials Subseries 5.1 1958-2001

Subseries Arrangement

This subseries is arranged alphabetically, primarily by the title of the course.
box 46, folder 11

Comparative Literature courses, Stanford University: syllabus and exam 2001

box 46, folder 12

Crisis and the Imagination (European Cultural Studies 320), Princeton University: notes, course evaluations, syllabi, and other materials 1975-1976

box 47, folder 1

Deconstruction (Studies in Criticism and Theory 863), University of Virginia: notes, reading list, and other materials 1988

box 47, folder 2-5

Early Modern Philosophy (Philosophy 332), Princeton University: syllabi, notes, assignments, and other materials 1979-1981

box 47, folder 6

Epistemology (Philosophy 313): lecture notes undated

box 47, folder 7

Freud and Philosophy (Humanistic Studies 954): syllabus, correspondence, and other materials 1984

box 47, folder 8

Hegel, Nietzsche, and Existentialism (Philosophy 306), Princeton University: syllabus and notes 1964

box 47, folder 9

Hegel to Derrida (Philosophy 318/518), University of Virginia: notes, exams, and reading list 1987

box 47, folder 10

Heidegger courses, University of Virginia: syllabi and notes 1985, 1989

box 48, folder 1

Hirsch, E.D.: lecture notes for his course 1985-1992

box 48, folder 2

Holism, Positivism and Hermeneutics, seminar at Johns Hopkins University: lecture notes 1985

box 48, folder 3-4

Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy (Philosophy 203), Princeton University: notes, reading lists, course evaluations, and other materials 1967-1968

box 48, folder 5

Introduction to Contemporary Metaphysics (Philosophy 203), Princeton University circa 1976-1979

box 48, folder 6

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Frankfurt, Germany): course catalog and seminar descriptions circa 1977

Language of Material: Materials are in German.
box 48, folder 7

Kant (Philosophy 304), Princeton University: notes, syllabi, course evaluations, and other materials 1970-1979

box 49, folder 1-3

Meaning of a Text (Philosophy 806): notes and research materials 1974-1989 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscripts and published writings by Donald Davidson.
box 49, folder 4

The Mind-Body Problem seminar: syllabus and notes undated

box 49, folder 5

Naturalization of Semantics seminar: notes 1989

box 49, folder 6

The Nature of the University (Humanistic Studies 205): syllabi, exams, manuscripts, and other materials 1972-1973

Scope and Contents

Includes manuscript by Milton Fisk.
box 49, folder 7

Nietzsche-Heidegger seminar: notes undated

box 49, folder 8

Phenomenology and Existentialism: Continental and Analytical Perspectives on Intentionality (Berkeley Summer Institute): syllabus, lecture notes, correspondence, and other materials 1980

box 50, folder 1

Philosophy 101, Wellesley College: notes, syllabi, and exams 1958

box 50, folder 2

Philosophy 105C, Wellesley College: assignments, exams, and notes 1960

box 50, folder 3

Philosophy 214, Wellesley College: notes, syllabi, exams, and other materials 1960

box 50, folder 4

Philosophy 261: notes, undated

box 50, folder 5

Philosophy 305, Princeton University: reading lists 1964

box 50, folder 6

Philosophy 309, Princeton University: notes and reading lists 1963

box 50, folder 7

Philosophy 364: notes undated

box 50, folder 8

The Philosophy of Aristotle (Philosophy 501), Princeton University: syllabi and notes 1961-1963

box 50, folder 9, box 51, folder 1-2

Philosophy from Kant to 1900 (Philosophy 333), Princeton University: notes, course evaluations, handouts, and other materials 1979-1982 and undated

box 51, folder 3-5

Philosophy of Mind (Philosophy 315), Princeton University: lecture notes, course evaluations, and reading lists 1969-1972

box 51, folder 6

Philosophy of Mind (Philosophy 322), Wellesley College: syllabus 1958

box 51, folder 7

Plato, Philosophy of Religion, and other topics (various courses): notes, exams, and other materials undated and 1961

box 52, folder 1

Putnam and Davidson (Philosophy 805), University of Virginia: course reader 1994

box 52, folder 2

Rationality and Relativism: syllabus and notes undated

box 52, folder 3-4

Recent Philosophical Systems (Philosophy 203), Princeton University: notes, syllabus, course evaluations, and other materials 1962 and undated

box 52, folder 5

Rise and Decline of the American Left seminar: correspondence, research and other materials 1996

box 52, folder 6

Sellars, Wilfrid (courses on), Princeton University: reading lists, notes, and other materials 1967-1976 and undated

box 52, folder 7

Subject-Object seminar: notes undated

box 52, folder 8

The Sublime and the Beautiful (Studies in Criticism and Theory 982), University of Virginia: course reader 1998

box 53, folder 1

Syllabi and course reader (various courses) 1961-1994 and undated

box 53, folder 2

Theories of Interpretation (Studies in Criticism and Theory): syllabus, lectures notes, readings, and research material 1985-1988

box 59-60

Student files Subseries 5.2 1958-2002

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries includes letters to and from students, papers, exams, comments on papers and exams (with grades), grade rosters, and other materials related to the graduate and undergraduate students in Rorty's courses.


The materials in this subseries are covered under FERPA and are not available for research. Restrictions on these records will begin to be lifted in 2033.

Professional activities Series 6 1965-1999

Physical Description: 1.4 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series includes materials related to Rorty's professional service activities in professional societies, academic departments, and other organizations. Many materials relate to Rorty's activities in the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, including his term as president in 1979. Also included are materials related to fellowships and grants Rorty sought and received. Materials include correspondence, committee meeting minutes and notes, applications (sent and received), and reports.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically.
box 53, folder 3

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship application 1968-1969

box 53, folder 4

American Philosophical Association: bulletins 1971-1973

box 53, folder 5

American Philosophical Association: correspondence, meeting minutes, agendas, and other materials 1979-1981

box 53, folder 6

American Philosophical Association: correspondence and other materials 1980

box 53, folder 7

American Philosophical Association: correspondence, agendas, meeting minutes 1979-1980

box 53, folder 8

American Philosophical Association: correspondence with Maurice Mandelbaum and others 1970-1974

box 54, folder 1-2

American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division nominating committee: correspondence, bylaws, reports and other materials 1980

box 54, folder 3

Calendars and appointment books 1985-1999

box 54, folder 4

Carnegie Summer Institute in Philosophy (University of Notre Dame): correspondence and other materials 1968

box 54, folder 5-6

Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences: list of fellows, correspondence, and related materials 1981-1982

box 54, folder 7-8

Chinese and Japanese scholars: notes, correspondence, and other materials 1982-1987 and undated

box 54, folder 9

Dartmouth College School of Criticism and Theory: participants' statements of purpose and photographs 1992

box 54, folder 10

Guggenheim (John Simon) Memorial Foundation: application, correspondence, and other materials 1969-1975

box 55, folder 1

Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik: correspondence and other materials 1980-1981

box 55, folder 2

John Dewey Foundation: correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records 1978-1996 and undated

box 55, folder 3

Library of America: correspondence and publications 1992-1993

box 55, folder 4

MacArthur Foundation: press release, fellowship recipient list, and clippings 1981

box 55, folder 5

McCosh Faculty Fellowship application 1968

box 55, folder 6

Metaphysical Society of America: meeting program committee correspondence and proposed program 1972

box 55, folder 7

Modern Studies and Literature (M.A. program), University of Virginia: correspondence, reading list and other materials 1994

box 55, folder 8

Monist board: conference letters, response sheets, and other materials 1969

box 55, folder 9

Nanzan University (Japan) workshop/lecture program on American culture: correspondence and related materials 1983

box 55, folder 10-12

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): correspondence, financial statements, proposed course materials, and other materials 1978-1979

box 55, folder 13

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): fellowship applications, draft proposals, and other materials 1965-1967 and undated

box 55, folder 14

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): fellowship application 1991

box 56, folder 1-3

New School for Social Research, Enabling Committee for Hirings: correspondence, CVs, and other materials 1981-1982

box 56, folder 4

Peirce (Charles S.) historic site: correspondence, exhibit design notes, scholarly papers and other materials 1974-1978

box 56, folder 5

Philosophy (Department of), Princeton University: correspondence 1967-1980

box 56, folder 6

Philosophy (Department of), University of Virginia: course descriptions and other materials 1986-1988

box 56, folder 7

Princeton University academic programs: reports and other materials 1974-1978

box 56, folder 8

Research project proposals received 1981-1991 and undated

box 56, folder 9

Theory Seminar, University of Virginia: planning committee correspondence and other materials 1995


Biographical material Series 7 1964-2003

Physical Description: 0.9 Linear Feet
Language of Material: Book reviews and articles about Rorty are in many languages in addition to English.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in 2 subseries:
  • Subseries 7.1. Book reviews
  • Subseries 7.2. Interviews, profiles, ephemera, and other materials
Within each subseries, materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series includes reviews, in the form of clippings and other printed material, of Rorty's books. Also included are articles about Rorty, in printed form, such as profiles and interviews. Ephemera such as posters and programs for conferences, lectures, and other events are also in this series, as are a few photographs.

Book reviews Subseries 7.1 1968-1994

box 57, folder 1

Collections in translation, reviews: clippings and photocopies 1991-1994

box 57, folder 2

Consequences of Pragmatism, reviews: clippings, photocopies, typescript 1983-1989

box 57, folder 3

Consequences of Pragmatism and Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, review essays: print and photocopy 1983-1984

box 57, folder 4

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, reviews: photocopies 1991-1992

box 57, folder 5

"Freud and Moral Reflection" in Pragmatism's Freud (eds. Smith and Kerrigan), review: photocopy 1986

box 57, folder 6

Philosophical Papers, volumes I and II, reviews: clippings and photocopies 1991 and undated

box 57, folder 7-9

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, reviews: clippings, photocopies, offprints, and typescripts 1981-1984

box 58, folder 1

Linguistic Turn, reviews: clippings and photocopies 1968-1972

box 58, folder 2

Philosophy in History, reviews: clippings and photocopies 1985-1986


Interviews, profiles, ephemera, and other material Subseries 7.2 1964-2003

box 58, folder 3

Conference and lecture programs 1967-1995

box FB 070, folder 4

Conference posters 1980-1996

box 58, folder 4

Curricula vitae and bibliography circa 1964-2003

box 58, folder 5

Honors bestowed: event programs 1992, 1997

box 58, folder 6-7

Interviews, profiles, and other articles: print and photocopies 1981-1997 and undated

box 58, folder 8-9

Photographs undated


Born digital files Series 8 1988-2003

Physical Description: 0.2 Linear Feet(1 box and 1027 digital files)

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series comprises Richard Rorty's electronic word-processing files. Included are letters, many drafts of writings, lecture notes, syllabi, and exams. Also included are bibliographies of his work, a few administrative files, and a couple of documents relating to his children. This series also contains drafts of writings done by his peers and colleagues. Researchers will notice some data loss and corruption has occurred in some of the earliest files.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in 8 subseries:
  • Subseries 8.1. Born digital administrative and professional files
  • Subseries 8.2. Bord digital biographical files
  • Subseries 8.3. Born digital correspondence
  • Subseries 8.4. Born digital family files
  • Subseries 8.5. Born digital research files
  • Subseries 8.6. Born digital teaching files
  • Subseries 8.7. Born digital writings
  • Subseries 8.8. Floppy disks

Processing information

Digital files were retrieved from Richard Rorty's 3.5 inch floppy disks during processing and converted to pdf format in order to facilitate preservation and access.

Other Finding Aid

These files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital administrative and professional files Subseries 8.1 1989-1999

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries includes a few files Rorty maintained for keeping track of his publications and royalties, books in his personal library, things to do, and other topics.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital administrative and professional files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital biographical files Subseries 8.2 1992-2001

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries includes primarily bibliographies of: Rorty's writings, reviews of his books, and articles about him.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital biographical files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital correspondence Subseries 8.3 1992-2000

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries consists of outgoing correspondence, predominantly letters that were faxed or sent by postal mail. (No emails are included in this collection). Included are letters sent to colleagues, editors, and other professional correspondents.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital correspondence files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital family files Subseries 8.4 1998-2001

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries includes two files relating to the education of his children Kevin and Patricia.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital family files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital research files Subseries 8.5 1992-2002

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries includes mainly drafts of writings authored by other scholars.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital research files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital teaching files Subseries 8.6 1988-2002

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries comprises course materials created by Rorty for courses and seminars he taught at the University of Virginia and Stanford University. Included are primarily drafts of syllabi and reading lists, lecture and seminar notes, exams, and assignments.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital teaching files can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

Born digital writings Subseries 8.7 1988-2003

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries is comprised of drafts of Rorty's writings. Included are: essays and articles for scholarly journals and magazines; book chapters; book reviews; conference papers; lectures, speeches and remarks. Some files contain related correspondence. Notes taken in preparation for writing are also included in this series.
Included are drafts of chapters in Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (1998), which are adaptations of the William E. Massey, Sr., Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University (1997). Also included are drafts of lectures given as visiting professor at various universities, such as those delivered at the University of Girona, Catalonia, Spain (1996) under the overall title, "Anti-Authoritarianism in Epistemology and Ethics;" and the Spinoza lectures, delivered at the University of Amsterdam (1997). Many of these lectures as visiting professor were eventually published as well.
Drafts of a few of the papers that were eventually published in Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers IV (2007) are included, as are many drafts of writings that were published as chapters in anthologies. Among these are responses to interlocutors in Rorty and His Critics (ed. Robert C. Brandom, 2000).
Included also are drafts of papers delivered at conferences and symposia in Philosophy and other disciplines, as well as invited talks, lectures and speeches delivered at universities and other institutions around the world. There are drafts of many articles that were published in magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. A few translated writings are included, as well as drafts of prefaces and introductions to volumes of writings in translation.

Other Finding Aid

These born digital writings can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .
box 61

Computer disks Subseries 8.8 1988-2003

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Floppy disks containing word processing files.


Floppy disks are not for user access. The word processing files on these disks have been made available to researchers in UCIspace @ the Libraries . Exceptions to this access include the restricted student files (which were printed out and placed in Series 4. Teaching files, Subseries 4.2, Student files) and some files not created by Rorty.

Physical Description

3.5 inch computer floppy disks.