, for Rorty, ‘foundationalist’ philosophers like Plato, Aquinas, and Kant tried to find premises about human beings capable of being known to be true independently of our moral intuitions and capable of justifying those moral intuitions. But as we saw, from Rorty’s perspective we cannot find such moral foundations; rather, our moral community determines what is morally good, and we can’t go beyond our language and our historical conditions to find moral Truth-In-Itself. In that sense,
“the most philosophy can hope to do is to summarize our culturally influenced intuitions about the right thing to do in various situations. The summary is effected by formulating a generalization from which these intuitions can be deduced… That generalization is not supposed to ground our intuitions, but rather to summarize them.” (Philosophical Papers III, p.171).
Secondly we must keep in mind that Rorty is a pragmatist – his main concern is not with proving moral statements to be true, but about finding what works, and in this case about how best to fulfill the utopian vision sketched by the Enlightenment: