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 American philosophy.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)
Taking Emerson as his starting point, Cornel West’s basic task in this ambitious enterprise is to chart the emergence, development, decline, and recent resurgence of American pragmatism. John Dewey is the central figure in West’s pantheon of pragmatists, but he treats as well such varied mid-century representatives of the tradition as Sidney Hook, C. Wright Mills, W. E. B. Du Bois, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Lionel Trilling. West’s "genealogy" is, ultimately, a very personal work, for it is imbued throughout with (...) the author’s conviction that a thorough reexamination of American pragmatism may help inspire and instruct contemporary efforts to remake and reform American society and culture. "West... may well be the pre-eminent African American intellectual of our generation."—The Nation "_The American Evasion of Philosophy_ is a highly intelligent and provocative book. Cornel West gives us illuminating readings of the political thought of Emerson and James; provides a penetrating critical assessment of Dewey, his central figure; and offers a brilliant interpretation—appreciative yet far from uncritical—of the contemporary philosopher and neo-pragmatist Richard Rorty.... What shines through, throughout the work, is West's firm commitment to a radical vision of a philosophic discourse as inextricably linked to cultural criticism and political engagement."—Paul S. Boyer, professor emeritus of history, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Wisconsin Project on American Writers Frank Lentricchia, General Editor. (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)
Written in the American tradition, American Modern: The Path Not Taken describes how four major American thinkers practiced philosophy non-reductively by incorporating the arts and other human activities. Tejera provides a detailed analysis of Peirce, Dewey, Santayana, and Buchler, showing that the importance they placed on the human can cure what is missing in recent philosophy. American Modern will interest philosophers, historians of philosophy, and scholars of American intellectual history.
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 American philosophy, 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)
Frontiers of Consciousness is a study of the problem of consciousness in a historic period of revolutionary change, and an authentic example of “interdisciplinary studies.” The book contains a wealth of insight into the conceptual interrelationships between the work of the American philosophers who have been called the Builders (William James, Josiah Royce, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey) and the work of three great modernist poets (T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams).
In _Time in the Ditch, _John McCumber explores the effect of McCarthyism on American philosophy in the 1940s and 1950s. The possibility that the political pressures of the McCarthy era might have skewed the development of the discipline has rarely been addressed in the subsequent half century. Why was silence maintained for so long? And what happens, McCumber asks, when political events and pressures go beyond interfering with individual careers to influence the nature of a discipline itself?
Pragmatism is America’s most distinctive philosophy. Generally it has been understood as a development of European thought in response to the "American wilderness." A closer examination, however, reveals that the roots and central commitments of pragmatism are indigenous to North America. Native Pragmatism recovers this history and thus provides the means to re-conceive the scope and potential of American philosophy. Pragmatism has been at best only partially understood by those who focus on its European antecedents. This book casts (...) new light on pragmatism’s complex origins and demands a rethinking of African American and feminist thought in the context of the American philosophical tradition. Scott L. Pratt demonstrates that pragmatism and its development involved the work of many thinkers previously overlooked in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
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 American philosophy 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)
Continuing his quest to bring American philosophy back to its roots, Bruce Wilshire connects the work of such thinkers as Thoreau, Emerson, Dewey, and James with Native American beliefs and practices. His search is not for exact parallels, but rather for fundamental affinities between the equally "organismic" thought systems of indigenous peoples and classic American philosophers. Wilshire gives particular emphasis to the affinities between Black Elk’s view of the hoop of the world and Emerson’s notion of horizon, (...) and also between a shaman’s healing practices and James’s ideas of pure experience, willingness to believe, and a pluralistic universe. As these connections come into focus, the book shows how European phenomenology was inspired and influenced by the classic American philosophers, whose own work reveals the inspiration and influence of indigenous thought. Wilshire’s book also reveals how artificial are the walls that separate the sciences and the humanities in academia, and that separate Continental from Anglo-American thought within the single discipline of philosophy. (shrink)
Professional philosophers have tended either to shrug off American philosophy as negligible or derivative or to date American philosophy 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)
In the first book-length study of American philosophy 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)
The American way of Renaissance and the Humanistic Tradition of Greece -- The Aristotelian tradition in American naturalism -- George Santayana and Greek philosophy -- Frederick J.E. Woodbridge and the Aristotelian tradition -- John Dewey and ancient philosophies -- John H. Randall Jr.'s interpretation of Greek philosophy -- The ontology of Herbert W. Schneider -- Ernest Nagel's pragmatism and Aristotle's principle of contradiction -- The naturalistic metaphysics of Justus Buchler -- Naturalism and the platonic tradition.
Purpose in American philosophy.--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 American philosophy.--The philosophy of religion in America.
American Continental Philosophy is the first anthology to gather a representative selection of the most important and original thinkers from the continental tradition in the U.S. The essays reflect the diverse directions and methodologies that have emerged from this influential field. This state-of-the-art sampler showcases the richness and scope of American continental philosophy and will be of value to the entire philosophical community.
This collection of essays aims to mark a place for American philosophy 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 American philosophy is currently engaged. Some of the pieces (...) argue from an historical dialogue with the tradition, some are more polemically involved with American philosophy’s current status among the contemporary philosophical "schools," and still others seek to reveal the possibilities for the future of American philosophy. In thus addressing past, present, and future, the pieces, taken together, outline a trajectory for American philosophy that reinvents its importance from a new angle of vision. (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)
The _Encyclopedia of American Philosophy_ provides coverage of the major figures, concepts, historical periods and traditions in American philosophical thought. Containing over 600 entries written by scholars who are experts in the field, this _Encyclopedia_ is the first of its kind. It is a scholarly reference work that is accessible to the ordinary reader by explaining complex ideas in simple terms and providing ample cross-references to facilitate further study. The _Encyclopedia of American Philosophy_ contains a thorough analytical (...) index and will serve as a standard, comprehensive reference work for universities and colleges. Topics covered include: Great philosophers: Emerson, Dewey, James, Royce, Peirce, Santayana Subjects: Pragmatism, Progress, the Future, Knowledge, Democracy, Growth, Truth Influences on American Philosophy: Hegel, Aristotle, Plato, British Enlightenment, Reformation Self-Assessments: Joe Margolis, Donald Davidson, Susan Haack, Peter Hare, John McDermott, Stanley Cavell Ethics: Value, Pleasure, Happiness, Duty, Judgment, Growth Political Philosophy: Declaration of Independence, Democracy, Freedom, Liberalism, Community, Identity. (shrink)
This collection of thirteen essays, when viewed together, offers a unique perspective on the history of American philosophy. 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 American Philosophy, 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 American Philosophy" 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)
This revised edition of John E. Smith’s classic details the phenomenal growth in American philosophy in the years since the book first appeared. Through the addition of a new chapter and the readdressing of earlier material, Smith advances his reflections on the present decade. The book also considers the impact of British linguistic philosophy and other currents of thought abroad on classical American philosophy.
_American Philosophy: The Basics_ introduces the history of American thought from early Calvinists to the New England Transcendentalists and from contract theory to contemporary African American philosophy. The key question it asks is: what it is that makes American Philosophy unique? This lively and compelling book moves through key periods in the development of American thought from the founding fathers to the transcendentalists and pragmatists to contemporary social commentators. Readers are introduced to: Some of the most (...) important thinkers in American history including Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Paine, Charles Sanders Pierce, Thomas Kuhn, Cornel West and many more Developments in five key areas of thought: epistemology, metaphysics, religion and ethics, social philosophy, and political philosophy The contributions of American women, African-Americans and Native Americans. Featuring suggestions for further reading and assuming no prior knowledge of philosophy, this is an ideal first introduction for anyone studying or interested in the history of American thought. (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 American philosophy; 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 American philosophy 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 American philosophy. 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)
There is very little study of Latin American Philosophy in the English-speaking philosophical world. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is nothing of philosophical worth in Latin American philosophy 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 American philosophy 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 American philosophy and its study. (shrink)
The term “American Philosophy,” 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, American Philosophy 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 American Philosophy. 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 American Philosophy. The people, movements, schools of thought and philosophical traditions that have constituted American Philosophy 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 American Philosophy, paled in importance during much of the twentieth century. Despite having no core of defining features, American Philosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and shaping collective American identity over the history of the nation. (shrink)
Despite the recent rise in articles by American philosophers willing to deal with race, the sophistication of American philosophy's conceptualizations of American racism continues to lag behind other liberal arts fields committed to similar endeavors. Whereas other fields like American studies, history, sociology, and Black studies have found the foundational works of Black scholars essential to "truly" understanding the complexities of racism, American philosophy-driven by the refusal of white philosophers to acknowledge and incorporate the foundational (...) works of Black scholars at the turn of the century, as well as the relevant insights of contemporary race theorists-remains in a very real sense underdeveloped .. (shrink)
This volume contains the most extensive exposition of Latin American philosophy 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.
Here, in a single volume, is a comprehensive and definitive account of pragmatism and classical American philosophy. Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy, 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 American philosophy, 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 American philosophy 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 American Philosophy provides the resources necessary to understand and act on these insights. (shrink)
This paper considers Carlin Romano's claim that the United States is "the most philosophical culture in the history of the world" alongside John Lysaker's contention that "American philosophy" is an oxymoron, given the imperial nature of American politics. I argue for Lysaker and against Romano, exploring how these two claims complement each other in a way that reveals something important about both. We are only able to understand the full import of Lysaker's perspective when we understand just how (...) misguided Romano's is. Likewise, the problematic nature of the latter claim is only fully revealed by the veracity of the former. As a way of illustrating the point, I analyze two popular films, one from the McCarthy era ("My Son John") and one from 2014 ("God's Not Dead"). (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 ..
By focusing on the thought of Classical American philosophers, this article addresses the existential problem of the fear of death. Drawing on the experiences and philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and Jane Addams as a theoretical framework, a prescriptive claim regarding how to confront human mortality is advanced. It is suggested that embracing the notion of experience as a prelude to the disaster of death can be – despite appearances to the contrary – a useful approach to (...) navigating exigencies connected with mortality and, in particular, fear of death. The essay contributes to a small but growing body of literature on the topic of death in American philosophy scholarship, while addressing a perennial problem receiving treatment in contemporary popular discourse. (shrink)
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... (shrink)
John McCumber is right to think that analytic philosophy has had a particularly central and dominating position in American philosophy, 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.
Examining the literature of slavery and race before the Civil War, Maurice Lee demonstrates for the first time exactly how the slavery crisis became a crisis of philosophy that exposed the breakdown of national consensus and the limits of rational authority. Poe, Stowe, Douglass, Melville, and Emerson were among the antebellum authors who tried - and failed - to find rational solutions to the slavery conflict. Unable to mediate the slavery controversy as the nation moved toward war, their writings form (...) an uneasy transition between the confident rationalism of the American Enlightenment and the more skeptical thought of the pragmatists. Lee draws on antebellum moral philosophy, political theory, and metaphysics, bringing a fresh perspective to the literature of slavery - one that synthesizes cultural studies and intellectual history to argue that romantic, sentimental, and black Atlantic writers all struggled with modernity when facing the slavery crisis. (shrink)
"The essays in this book make it elegantly clear that there is a vigorous and rigorous Latin American philosophy... and that others dismiss it at their peril." —Mario Sáenz The ten essays in this lively anthology move beyond a purely historical consideration of Latin American philosophy to cover recent developments in political and social philosophy as well as innovations in the reception of key philosophical figures from the European Continental tradition. Topics such as indigenous philosophy, multiculturalism, the philosophy (...) of race, democracy, postmodernity, the role of women, and the position of Latin America and Latin Americans in a global age are explored by notable philosophers from the region. An introduction by Eduardo Mendieta examines recent trends and points to the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions that have inspired the discipline. Latin American Philosophy brings English-speaking readers up to date with recent scholarship and points to promising new directions. (shrink)
'...a remarkable book....Zuckert shows, subtly and persuasively, how the themes of American literature resonate with those of modern thought...Zuckert brings us to the point where philosophy and politics intersect. Few projects have such depth.'-AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW.
Manju Jain's innovative study of T. S. Eliot 's Harvard years traces the genesis of his major literary, religious and intellectual preoccupations in his early work as a student of philosophy, and explores its influence on his poetic and critical practice. His concerns were located within the mainstream of Harvard philosophical debates, especially in relation to the controversy of science versus religion. These questions point forward to important debates in contemporary philosophy and hermeneutics. Drawing extensively on unpublished sources, Manju Jain (...) offers answers to the questions of why Eliot failed to find satisfaction in an academic career devoted to philosophy, and why he abandoned the speculations of metaphysics for the dogmas of theology. (shrink)