The American Evasion of Philosophy (book review) Cornel West

A Genealogy of Pragmatism


011015: 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: i have read one james [book:The Varieties of Religious Experience|1562693], one dewey [book:Art as Experience|75291], one rorty [book:Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity|86098] and one of those [book:Pragmatism: A Guide for the Perplexed|4660975]. this is not helpful reading the text. i have never read most of the authors, never read the key progenitor in emerson, never tangled with logical positivism or much wittgenstein, russell, carnap...


so the three is more my ignorance of this entire tradition. also reflects that i have trouble with the apparent religious foundations of all named, but my stance on that is in the review on james. there is some pomo, some foucault- what he seems to be missing, that particularly american idea: 'agency'-, some sense of history in that this is a historical document, from 1989, gives a reading of philosophers right back to 'cultural critic' emerson. i have no idea where the philosophical conversation is by now, on any of this. he does refer to heidegger, sartre, but no merleau-ponty... main trend seems to be, well, ‘pragmatic’, with lots of politics, though rorty sounds interesting...

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if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com 220611: this is probably the most academically accurate of the translations I have read of this book, but still prefer commentary o