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The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism #2020

The American Evasion of Philosophy A Genealogy of Pragmatism Taking Emerson as his starting point West s basic task in this enterprise is to chart the emergence development decline recent resurgence of American pragmatism Dewey is the central figure in this

  • Title: The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism
  • Author: Cornel West
  • ISBN: 9780299119645
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Paperback
  • The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism By Cornel West, Taking Emerson as his starting point, West s basic task in this enterprise is to chart the emergence, development, decline recent resurgence of American pragmatism Dewey is the central figure in this pantheon of pragmatists, but he treats as well such varied mid century representatives of the tradition as Sidney Hook, C Wright Mills, DuBois, Niebuhr Trilling.Taking Emerson as his starting point, West s basic task in this enterprise is to chart the emergence, development, decline recent resurgence of American pragmatism Dewey is the central figure in this pantheon of pragmatists, but he treats as well such varied mid century representatives of the tradition as Sidney Hook, C Wright Mills, DuBois, Niebuhr Trilling West s genealogy is a personal work, for it s imbued throughout with the author s conviction that a thoro reexamination of American pragmatism may help inspire instruct contemporary efforts to remake reform American society culture Westy well be the pre eminent African American intellectual of our generation The Nation The American Evasion of Philosophy is a highly intelligent provocative book Cornel West gives us illuminating readings of the political thought of Emerson James provides a penetrating critical assessment of Dewey, his central figure offers a brilliant interpretation appreciative yet far from uncritical of the contemporary philosopher neo pragmatist Richard RortyWhat shines thru, throughout the work, is West s firm commitment to a radical vision of a philosophic discourse as inextricably linked to cultural criticism political engagement Paul S Boyer, professor emeritus of history, University of Wisconsin MadisonAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1 The Emersonian prehistory of American pragmatism Emerson on power tradition Emerson on provocation the market Emerson on personality race Emerson as organic intellectual2 The historic emergence of American pragmatism Peirce on scientific method, community Christian love James on individuality, reconciliation heroic energies3 The coming of age of American pragmatism John Dewey Dewey on historical consciousness, critical intelligence creative democracy4 The dilemma of the mid century pragmatic intellectual Sidney Hook the Deweyan political intellectual C Wright Mills the neo Deweyan radical social critic W.E.B Du Bois the Jamesian organic intellectual Reinhold Niebuhr the Jamesian cultural critic Lionel Trilling the pragmatist as Arnoldian literary critic The decline resurgence of American pragmatism Quine Richard Rorty5 Prophetic pragmatism cultural criticism political engagement Roberto Unger 3rd Wave Left romanticism The challenge of Michel Foucault Tragedy, tradition political praxis Prophetic pragmatism postmodernityNotesIndex

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    1 thought on “The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism

    1. The American Evasion of Philosophy is to pragmatism what Marvin Gaye s hit song, What s Going On, is to Motown a divergence from mainstream practices in an attempt to engage pressing social issues Traditional approaches to philosophy, according to West, offer limited value to society due to their preoccupation with epistemological questioning In this work, West situates pragmatism as a response to philosophy s overemphasis on epistemology Specifically, he seeks to chart the emergence, developmen [...]

    2. this is exactly what it says, though the evasion is not so much of philosophy but of a type West calls epistemological , which seems to be mostly historical continental this also shows the limits of my reading have read one james varieties of religious experience , one dewey art as experience , one rorty contingency, irony, and solidarity and one of those guide for the perplexed on pragmatism this is not helpful reading the text i have never read most of the authors, never read the key progenito [...]

    3. I really like the title philosophical problems can t be solved, but there may be strategies to evade or avoid them In this book I thought West was perhaps too dismissive of epistemology It s not like Descartes and Kant were just taking a piss You can t simply reject their way of thinking like a false hypothesis Philosophy is not a set of conclusions but the actual labor of thought Even if the quest for foundations is ultimately futile, it s still necessary to re enact it again for oneself Grante [...]

    4. Cornel West s Prophetic PragmatismCornel West has achieved public recognition as an intellectual activist, speaker, and writer on African American studies and on black theology He was one of a small number of University Professors those who are authorized to teach beyond Departmental boundaries at Harvard until 2001, when he took a position at Princeton Although his PhD is in philosophy, West s philosophical studies are less well known than is his social activism But his early book, The American [...]

    5. I learned so much from this book, and will continue to do so as I use it in class this autumn West s writing can be a little opaque at times, but the argument is artfully constructed, and consistently carried throughout, as West executes what he also describes as the prime Emersonian legacy empowerment through provocative engagement with his forebears so as to authorize one s personal political project.

    6. Tough read, but still interesting and necessary in order to understand pragmatism spread outside of Dewey and James.

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