This wide-ranging, multidisciplinary collection of newly commissioned articles brings together distinguished voices in the field of Africana philosophy and African-American social and political thought. Provides a comprehensive critical survey of African-American philosophical thought. Collects wide-ranging, multidisciplinary, newly commissioned articles in one authoritative volume. Serves as a benchmark work of reference for courses in philosophy, social and political thought, cultural studies, and African-American studies.
A special issue of The Philosophical Forum , one of the most prestigious philosophy journals, is now available to a wider readership through its publication in book form. The volume includes twelve essays in three sections-- Philosophical Traditions; the African-American Tradition; and Racism, Identity, and Social Life. Contributors are: K. Anthony Appiah, Kwasi Wiredu, Lucius Outlaw, Leonard Harris, Bernard Boxill, Frank M. Kirkland, Tommy L. Lott, Adrian M.S. Piper, Laurence Thomas, Michele M. Moody-Adams, Anita L. Allen, and (...) Howard McGary. The introduction is by John P. Pittman. (shrink)
In the burgeoning field of whiteness studies, What White Looks Like takes a unique approach to the subject by collecting the ideas of African-American philosophers. George Yancy has brought together a group of thinkers who address the problematic issues of whiteness as a category requiring serious analysis. What does white look like when viewed through philosophical training and African-American experience? In this volume, Robert Birt asks if whites can "live whiteness authentically." Janine Jones examines what it (...) means to be a "goodwill white." Joy James tells of beating her "addiction" to white supremacy, while Arnold Farr writes on making whiteness visible in Western philosophy. What White Looks Like brings a badly needed critique and philosophically sophisticated perspective to central issue of contemporary society. (shrink)
In this article I argue that African-Americanphilosophy emerges from a socio-existential context where persons of African descent have been faced with the absurd in the form of white racism. The concept of struggle, given the above, functions as both descriptive and heuristic vis-à-vis the meaning of African-Americanphilosophy. Expanding upon Charles Mills’ concept of non-Cartesian sums, I demonstrate the inextricable link between Black lived experience, struggle, and the morphology of meta-philosophical assumptions and (...) philosophical problems specific to African-Americanphilosophy. Then, I provide a sketch of two early African-American philosophers whose philosophical work is, though neglected, indispensable to African-American philosophical legitimating practices and whose work is informed by the defining motif of struggle. Lastly, I demonstrate the efforts of Africana philosophers at creating philosophical sites that nurture a sense of shared struggle and community. (shrink)
This essay considers the recuperation of beauty as a productive critical strategy in discussions of AfricanAmerican dance. I argue that black performance in general, and AfricanAmerican concert dance in particular, seeks to create aesthetic sites that allow black Americans to participate in discourses of recognition and appreciation to include concepts of beauty. In this, I suggest that beauty may indeed produce social change for its attendant audiences. I also propose that interrogating the notion of (...) beauty may allow for social change among audiences that include dance theorists and philosophers. Through a case-study consideration of work by three AfricanAmerican choreographers, Donald Byrd (b. 1949), Ulysses Dove (1947 – 1996), and Abdel Salaam (b. 1949), I ultimately hope to suggest critical possibilities aligning dance performance with particular aesthetic theory relevant to its documentation and interpretation. (shrink)
The term “AmericanPhilosophy,” perhaps surprisingly, has been somewhat vague. While it has tended to primarily include philosophical work done by Americans within the geographical confines of the United States, this has not been exclusively the case. For example, Alfred North Whitehead came to the United States relatively late in life. On the other hand, George Santayana spent much of his life outside of the United States. Until only recently, the term was used to refer to philosophers of (...) European descent. Another focus for defining, or at least characterizing, AmericanPhilosophy has been on the types of philosophical concerns and problems addressed. While American philosophers have worked on traditional areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology, this is not unique to AmericanPhilosophy. Many scholars have highlighted American philosophers’ focus on the interconnections of theory and practice, on experience and community, though these, too, are not unique to AmericanPhilosophy. The people, movements, schools of thought and philosophical traditions that have constituted AmericanPhilosophy have been varied and often at odds with each other. Different concerns and themes have waxed or waned at different times. For instance, the analysis of language was important throughout much of the twentieth century, but of very little concern before then, while the relation between philosophy and religion, of great significance early in AmericanPhilosophy, paled in importance during much of the twentieth century. Despite having no core of defining features, AmericanPhilosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and shaping collective American identity over the history of the nation. (shrink)
Puritans and Pragmatists: Eight Eminent American Thinkers. By Paul K. Conkin. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1968. Pp. viii+49S. Cloth, $12.50; Paper, $5.95) Recent AmericanPhilosophy. By Andrew Reck. (New York: Pantheon, Random House, 1964. Pp. xiii+343. $5.95) -/- These two volumes supplement each other in several ways: the one introduces eight of the most important philosophers in American history, the other introduces ten less famous but more recent philosophers; the one portrays major makers of (...) the American heritage, the other expounds various types of philosophical systems, each in its own terms; the one can be read like history and biography, the other must be studied carefully; the one is written for the so-called intelligent layman, the other is composed for professional students of philosophy. Together they give a better account of the varieties of American philosophical thought than either gives, and together they provide an excellent orientation both historically and analytically. Professor Conkin of the Universities of Maryland and Wisconsin presents Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Santayana as interesting individuals with impressive minds; the biographical and philosophical portraits are blended with rare skill and insight, so that, despite the varied idioms of their thinking and writing, these philosophers are described in a manner and a language that is intelligible and enjoyable to a literate reader, whether he has studied philosophy or not. The book will certainly be enjoyed by a large number of readers as both history and "wisdom literature." The eight eminent Americans are presented as a sequence, set against the backdrop of a "Puritan Prelude," so that they compose a continuity of New England tradition and share in a "common moral tenor." This intellectual history reflects the imaginative and literary skill of a trained historian. Three of the eight are presented as "diverse Puritans," another three as equally diverse pragmatists. Emerson is presented as "in transition" and Santayana as "in retreat." A few specialists will be irritated by the vague generalizations that serve to make a single story out of these eight characters. The author himself accurately predicts that "the most perceptive reader may find the unity too elusive to be convincing" and "some may even resent as distracting my efforts to identify it" (p. vi). One is apt to wonder what each of the eight would say if they could read the book and would find themselves set up in historical order and continuity. It is, to be sure, a commonplace that no person sees himself in proper historical perspective; but these eight are "eminently" qualified to make some intelligent remarks about themselves and their "predecessors." It seems appropriate, therefore, in this connection to report a few self-orienting remarks of Santayana. He was evidently pleased when he saw that Will Durant, in his The Story of Philosophy, has listed him to follow Herbert Spencer. And he said with some emotion: "I wish I could go down in history not as an American but as the last of the Victorians." And while he was writing his novel and was engrossed in it as autobiography he commented: "Of course, I never thought of myself as the last Puritan, for I never was one, but I might be considered as the dialectically ultimate Puritan, who worried conscientiously because he believed he should not have a con- science. (shrink)
First published in 1986, Knowledge, Belief, and Witchcraft remains the only analysis of indigenous discourse about an African belief system undertaken from within the framework of Anglo-American analytical philosophy. Taking as its point of departure W. V. O. Quine's thesis about the indeterminacy of translation, the book investigates questions of Yoruba epistemology and of how knowledge is conceived in an oral culture.
This volume contains the most extensive exposition of Latin Americanphilosophy to date. I know of no other comparable anthology on the subject in any language. The width of its scope is quite impressive. At least for this reason, and whatever its shortcomings might be (to some of them I’ll come to speak below), it is a welcome collective work.
John McCumber is right to think that analytic philosophy has had a particularly central and dominating position in Americanphilosophy, and that philosophy is less significant in American public life than in the public life of many European countries. I believe he is wrong to think that American philosophers have turned to analytical work in order to escape being politically relevant, and that he is wrong to suppose that prominent academic philosophy is something (...) to wish for. (shrink)
In the first book-length study of Americanphilosophy at the turn of the century, Daniel J. Wilson traces the formation of philosophy as an academic discipline. Wilson shows how the rise of the natural and physical sciences at the end of the nineteenth century precipitated a "crisis of confidence" among philosophers as to the role of their discipline. Deftly tracing the ways in which philosophers sought to incorporate scientific values and methods into their outlook and to redefine (...)philosophy itself, Wilson moves between close analysis of philosophical texts and consideration of professional careers of illustrative philosophers, such as Charles Sanders Peirce, John Dewey, and Josiah Royce. The author situates the emergence of professional philosophy in the context of the professionalization of American higher education and articulates, in the case of philosophy, the structures and values of a professional discipline. One of the most important consequences of this transformation was a new emphasis on communal theories of truth. Peirce, Dewey, and Royce all developed sophisticated and important theories of community as they were engaged in reshaping and redefining the limits of philosophy. This book will be of great importance for those interested in the history of philosophy, the rise of professions, and American intellectual and educational history, and to all those seeking to understand the contemporary revival of pragmatic thought and theories of community. (shrink)
Here, in a single volume, is a comprehensive and definitive account of pragmatism and classical Americanphilosophy. Pragmatism and Classical AmericanPhilosophy, now revised and expanded in this second edition, presents the essential writings of the major philosophers of this tradition: Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead. Illuminating introductory essays, written especially for this volume by distinguished scholars of Americanphilosophy, provide biographical and cultural context (...) as well as original critical and interpretive perspectives. This edition also includes all new selections and interpretive essays that situate pragmatism and classical Americanphilosophy in a wider American philosphical context, including: Ralph Waldo Emerson and transcendentalism; Jane Addams, feminism, and writings of American women; Borden Parker Bowne, personalism, and idealism; Alain Locke and Afro-American thought; and John Herman Randall, Jr., nationalism and realism. Up-to-date suggestions for further reading will benefit both introductory and advanced readers. This American intellectual tradition speaks insightfully, creatively, and critically to our contemporary global society and its pressing problems. In unmatched quality and quantity, Pragmatism and Classical AmericanPhilosophy provides the resources necessary to understand and act on these insights. (shrink)
The Human Genome Project (HGP) represents a massive merging of science and technology in the name of all humanity. While the disease aspects of HGP-generated data have received the greatest publicity and are the strongest rationale for the project, it should be remembered that the HGP has, as its goal the sequencing of all 100,000 human genes and the accurate depiction of the ancestral and functional relationships among these genes. The HGP will thus be constructing the molecular taxonomic norm for (...) humanity. Currently the HGP genomic baseline is almost exclusively skewed toward North Atlantic European lineages through the extensive use of the Centre d’Études du Polymorphisme Humaine (CEPH) data set. More recently, the HGP has shifted to the use of volunteer donors since adequate informed consent had not been secured from the CEPH families. No evidence exists that either the CEPH families or the current volunteers are the most appropriate demographic or evolutionary lineages for the functional genomic studies that will guide production of new DNA based drugs, targeted therapeutics and gene-based diagnostics. The lack of scientific representativeness of the HGP is a serious impediment to its broad applicability. Yet this can be remedied, and five alternative sampling strategies are presented. In response to the current exclusionary design of the HGP, there is noteworthy caution and skepticism in the AfricanAmerican community concerning genetic studies. The Manifesto on Genomic Studies Among African Americans reflects both a desire to be systematically included in federally funded genomic studies and a desire to maintain some control over the interpretation and application of research results. Representative sampling in the HGP is seen as an international human rights issue with domestic ethical implications. (shrink)
Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead: each of these individuals is an original and historically important thinker; each is an essential contributor to the period, perspective, and tradition of classical Americanphilosophy; and each speaks directly, imaginatively, critically, and wisely to our contemporary global society, its distant possibilities for improvement, and its massive, pressing problems. From the initiative of pragmatism in approximately 1870 to Dewey's final work after World War (...) II, classical Americanphilosophy has come to represent the critical articulation of attitudes, outlooks, and forms of life imbedded in the culture from which it arose. John Stuhr brings together the works of these foremost thinkers to present a comprehensive collection in Americanphilosophy. Extensive introductory essays, written especially for this volume by leading scholars of the subject, provide not only the bibliographical and cultural contexts necessary to a full appreciation of each thinker, but also original critical and interpretive philosophical observations. (shrink)
A focus group study using four groups of food shoppers provides insights into consumers’ knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors regarding organic foods. Two focus groups consisted of shoppers who regularly bought organic foods and two focus groups of shoppers who predominantly purchased conventional foods. Participants in one of the conventional groups were all Caucasian; in the other they were all African-American. While familiarity with organic foods was much lower in the African-American group, its members were more receptive (...) and positive towards organic foods. Likewise, the African-American shoppers were more accepting of price premiums for organics foods. In comparing the two organic shopper groups with the two conventional shopper groups, it was found that the former were generally more knowledgeable about organic foods. They were also more likely to follow a special diet than conventional Caucasian shoppers. However, the behavior of organic shoppers varied widely. The research supports examining social justice and access as motivations for changing policies to support organic agriculture. (shrink)
In The American Evasion of Philosophy Cornell West makes a comparison between the developments of European and classical American philosophies. Within West's analogy, however, two important American figures are missing: Josiah Royce and George H. Mead. In the context of this framework, this article ..
Existence in Black is the first collective statement on the subject of Africana Philosophy of Existence. Drawing upon resources in Africana philosophy and literature, the contributors explore some of the central themes of Existentialism as posed by the context of what Frantz Fanon has identified as "the lived-experience of the black." Among questions posed and explored in the volume are: What is to be done in a world of near universal sense of superiority to, if not universal hatred (...) of, black folk?; What is black suffering?; What is the meaning (if any) of black existence? The introduction argues that a response to these questions requires a journey through the resources of identity questions in critical race theory and the teleological dimensions of liberation theory. The contributors address these questions through an analysis of nearly every dimension of Africana phiosophy. In the first half of the book, they address Black Philosophies of Existence in terms of Traditional AfricanPhilosophy, the Harlem Renaissance, Du Boisian Double-Consciousness, and Fanonian and Sartrean Philosophies of Existence. In the second half of the book, contributors consider racial identity through examinations of such concepts as equality, death, mimesis, property, embodiment, technology, disappointment, and dread. Part II is an exploration of postmodern challenges to "black existence" through discussions of postmodern conservatism, Nietzsche's thoughts on blacks, Richard Wright and fragmented consciousness, and feminist critiques of race. And Part IV is an examination of problems of historical responsibility and constructing black liberation theories. Contributors are: Ernest Allen, Jr., Robert Birt, Bernard Boxill, George Carew, Bobby Dixon, G.M. James Gonzales, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Floyd Hayes, III, Paget Henry, Patricia Huntington, Joy Ann James, Clarence Shole Johnson, Bill E. Lawson, Howard McGary, Roy D. Morrison, William Preston, Jean-Paul Sartre, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gary Schwartz, Robert Westley, and Naomi Zack. (shrink)
Africana Philosophy is a gathering notion used to cover collectively particular articulations, and traditions of particular articulations, of persons African and African-descended that are to be regarded as instances of philosophizing. (The notion is meant to cover, as well, the philosophizing efforts of persons not African or African-descended, efforts that are, nonetheless, contributions to the philosophizing endeavors that constitute Africana philosophy.) A central concern of the essay is the question whether there are characteristics of (...) the philosophizing practices of persons identified as members of social groups thought to comprise a geographically and historically dispersed and ethnically diverse race that do, or should, distinguish the practices by virtue of being those of persons African and/or African-descended. Is there, can there be, should there be a properly determined field of philosophy that is constituted, first and foremost, by the efforts of persons of a particular race and its ethnic groups? (shrink)
There is very little study of Latin AmericanPhilosophy in the English-speaking philosophical world. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is nothing of philosophical worth in Latin Americanphilosophy or its history. The present article offers some reasons for thinking that this impression is mistaken, and indeed, that we ought to have more study of Latin Americanphilosophy than currently exists in the English-speaking philosophical world. In particular, the article argues for (...) three things: (1) an account of cultural resources that is useful for illuminating the fact of cultural differences and variations in cultural complexity, (2) a framework for understanding the value of philosophy, and (3) the conclusion that there is demonstrable value to Latin Americanphilosophy and its study. (shrink)
The widespread impression that recent philosophy of science has pioneered exploration of the “social dimensions of scientific knowledge‘ is shown to be in error, partly due to a lack of appreciation of historical precedent, and partly due to a misunderstanding of how the social sciences and philosophy have been intertwined over the last century. This paper argues that the referents of “democracy‘ are an important key in the American context, and that orthodoxies in the philosophy of (...) science tend to be molded by the actual regimes of science organization within which they are embedded. These theses are illustrated by consideration of three representative philosophers of science: John Dewey, Hans Reichenbach, and Philip Kitcher. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]. (shrink)
Professional philosophers have tended either to shrug off Americanphilosophy as negligible or derivative or to date Americanphilosophy from the work of twentieth century analytical positivists such as Quine. Russell Goodman expands on the revisionist position developed by Stanley Cavell, that the most interesting strain of American thought proceeds not from Puritan theology or from empirical science but from a peculiarly American kind of Romanticism. This insight leads Goodman, through Cavell, back to Emerson (...) and Thoreau and thence to William James and John Dewey, as they assimilated to American circumstances and intellectual habits the currents of European thought from Kant to Wittgenstein. (shrink)
This collection of thirteen essays, when viewed together, offers a unique perspective on the history of Americanphilosophy. It illuminates for the first time in book form, how thirteen major American philosophical thinkers viewed a problem of special interest in the American philosophical tradition: the relationship between experience and reflection. Written by well-known authorities on the figure about which he or she writes, the essays are arranged chronologically to highlight the changes and developments in thought from (...) Puritanism to Pragmatism to Process Philosophy. While Doctrine and Experience will be of particular interest to specialists in AmericanPhilosophy, there is also much to offer anyone interested in the intellectual and cultural history of the United States. In order of appearance, the essays are: "Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening" by John E. Smith "Heart and Head: The Mind of Thomas Jefferson" by Andrew J. Reck"Emerson and the American Future" by Robert C. Pollock"Chauncey Wright and the Pragmatists" by Edward Madden"Charles S. Peirce: Action Through Thought – The Ethics of Experience" by Vincent G. Potter"Life Is in the Transitions’: Radical Empiricism and Contemporary Concerns" by John J. McDermott"John Dewey and the Metaphysics of American Democracy" by Ralph W. Sleeper"Individualization and Unification in Sartre and Dewey" by Thelma Z. Levine"Josiah Royce: Anticipator of European Existentialism and Phenomenology" by Jacqueline Ann K. Kegley"The Transcendence of Materialism and Idealism in American Thought" by John Lachs"C. I. Lewis and the Pragmatic Tradition in AmericanPhilosophy" by Sandra Rosenthal"The Social Philosophy of George Herbert Mead" by David Miller"Existence as Transaction: A Whiteheadian Study of Causality" by Elizabeth Kraus. (shrink)
In this fresh, provocative account of the American philosophical tradition, Roger Ward explores the work of key thinkers through an innovative and counterintuitive lens: religious conversion. From Jonathan Edwards to Cornel West, Ward threads the history of American thought into an extended, multivalent encounter with the religious experience. Looking at Dewey, James, Peirce, Rorty, Corrington, and other thinkers, Ward demonstrates that religious themes have deeply influenced the development of Americanphilosophy.This innovative reading of the American (...) philosophical tradition will be welcomed not only by philosophers, but also by historians and other students of America's religious, intellectual, and cultural legacy. (shrink)
Contemporary developments in American epistemology, by R. M. Chisholm.--Contemporary metaphysics in the United States, by D. F. Gustafson.--Philosophy of physics, by H. Putnam--The influence of continental philosophy on the contemporary American scene: a summons to autonomy, by G. A. Scharader, Jr.--The influence of the later Wittgenstein on Americanphilosophy, by J. O. Nelson.--Philosophy of mind, by F. H. Donnell, Jr.--Some remarks on the philosophy of language, by J. A. Fodor.--Ethics in the United (...) States today, by D. Kading.--Social philosophy; philosophy of social science, by P. Diesing. (shrink)
This collection of essays aims to mark a place for Americanphilosophy as it moves into the twenty-first century. Taking their cue from the work of Peirce, James, Santayana, Dewey, Mead, Buchler, and others, the contributors assess and employ philosophy as an activity taking place within experience and culture. Within the broad background of the American tradition, the essays reveal a variety of approaches to the transition in which Americanphilosophy is currently engaged. Some (...) of the pieces argue from an historical dialogue with the tradition, some are more polemically involved with Americanphilosophy’s current status among the contemporary philosophical "schools," and still others seek to reveal the possibilities for the future of Americanphilosophy. In thus addressing past, present, and future, the pieces, taken together, outline a trajectory for Americanphilosophy that reinvents its importance from a new angle of vision. (shrink)
Purpose in Americanphilosophy.--Radical empiricism.--Three types and two dogmas of empiricism.--William James as philosophical psychologist.--Charles S. Peirce: community and reality.--The contemporary significance of Royce's theory of the self.--The course of Americanphilosophy.--The philosophy of religion in America.
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? (...) Anderson’s second aim is to find places where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of Americanphilosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
Contents: FOREWORD Aronson, Moses J.; THE HUMANIZATION OF PHILOSOPHY Ayres, Clarence Edwin, THE GOSPEL OF TECHNOLOGY Bates, Ernest Sutherland; TOWARD A SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY Bode, Boyd H.; "THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM" Cohen Felix S.; THE SOCIALIZATION OF MORALITY Costello, Harry Todd, A PHILOSOPHER AMONG THE METAPHYSICIANS Durant, Will; AN AMATEUR'S PHILOSOPHY Edman, Irwin; THE NATURALISTIC TEMPER Flewelling, Ralph Tyler; THE NEW TASK OF PHILOSOPHY Holt, Edwin Bissell; THE WHIMSICAL CONDITION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, AND OF MANKIND Hook, (...) Sidney; EXPERIMENTAL NATURALISM Irving, John Allan; TOWARD RADICAL EMPIRICISM IN ETHICS Kallen, Horace Meyer . (shrink)