I’m a fan of both Dennett and Rorty*, and I thought this touching anecdote from Dennett really captures a crucial difference between the two philosophers:
At one three-hour lunch in a fine restaurant in Buenos Aires, we [Dennett and Rorty] traded notes on what we thought philosophy ought to be, could be, shouldn’t be, and he revealed something that I might have guessed but had never thought of. I had said that it mattered greatly to me to have the respect of scientists–that it was important to me to explain philosophical issues to scientists in terms they could understand and appreciate. Rorty replied that he didn’t give a damn what scientists thought of his work; he coveted the attention and respect of poets!
Must this be an either/or situation? Why can’t the same figure have the respect of scientists and poets?
*Although if I had to choose I’d go with the pragmatist over the Quinian.