Ta-Nehisi Coates's Phenomenology of the Body

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 31 (3):493-503 (2017)

Abstract
The publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates's "letter to his son," Between the World and Me,1 has been met with mixed and widespread reviews and reactions. Responses have ranged from a critique of his "pessimism" to a grand celebratory remark announcing him as the next great intellectual and social critic in the mold of James Baldwin.2 Yet there are few reviews that have acknowledged Coates's project as a materialist cosmology of the body. What does this mean? In short, it means that while Coates embraces terrestriality over transcendence, he nevertheless sees great possibilities in the body, the greatest of which is the creation and destruction of "galaxies of reality." More than...
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