ETHICS WITHOUT UNIVERSAL OBLIGATIONS
This paper is one of the ten lectures delivered by Rorty in June 1986 at the University of Gerona (Spain). It delineates a project of ethics without the notion of absolute obligations. Such anti-kantian project is based on redefined differences between prudence and morality, morality and self-interest, a reason and an emotion. By recalling pragmatist tradition (Dewey), Hume’s theory, as well as a feminist critics of obligation (Baier), Rorty aims at demonstrating that morality of obligation is not the heart of a moral recepticity, but only one stage in its development. In fact, the moral improvement consists not in overcoming emotionality and replacing it with rational obligations, but on empathy, that should spread over a larger and larger range of beings.