Revisiting truth and freedom in Orwell and Rorty

Marcus Morgan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses differing interpretations of a thread of narrative taken from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as a springboard to exploring the connection between philosophical truth and political liberalism. It argues that while no positive connection exists between realist truth and political liberalism, minimal negative connections do exist between Rorty’s humanistic account of truth and a basic commitment to democratic and liberal frameworks. It sees these minimal connections as limiting in their failure to provide a politics that moves beyond an exclusive concern with liberty and democracy to more substantive political issues of equality and justice. However, it also sees them as reassuring in showing how acceptance of Rorty’s humanistic account of truth in no way necessitates adopting his own ethnocentric political stance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-865
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophy and Social Criticism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2015


  • Bernard Williams
  • epistemology
  • freedom
  • George Orwell
  • humanism
  • pragmatism
  • Richard Rorty
  • truth


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