Review: Philosophy Americana: Making Philosophy at Home in American Culture by Douglas R. Anderson [Book Review]

Douglas R. Anderson's Philosophy Americana reads like a series of rescue attempts: an attempt to rescue academic teaching from institutional and bureaucratic logic; to rescue philosophers such as Bugbee and Royce from their pragmatist critics; to rescue the pragmatists themselves from their would-be champions among the postmodernists; to (in a related move) save Emerson from Cavell; to save country music from the charge that it is either politically retrograde or an experiential dead-end; and to save Kerouac and the Beats from the charge of nihilism or its more enjoyable cousin, hedonism. Anderson connects his chapters through a common theme: the centrality of failure and loss to American culture and the need to both be at home in/with it and to move beyond its self-limiting aspects. Though this rubric may provide us with a clue as to Anderson's temperament as a writer it does not finally provide an adequate frame for the book, which reads more like a book of related essays than...
Keywords American philosophy
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DOI 10.2979/TRA.2007.43.2.411
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