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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Social Inequality, Power, and Politics: Intersectionality and American Pragmatism in Dialogue
2012, Journal of Speculative Philosophy 26 (2):442-457.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Introduction: June Jordan (1992) had her eye set on an understanding of freedom that challenged social inequality as being neither natural, normal, nor inevitable. Instead, she believed that power relations of racism, class exploitation, sexism, and heterosexism were socially constructed outcomes of human agency and, as such, were amenable to change. For Jordan, the path toward a reenvisioned world where ‘freedom is indivisible’ reflected aspirational political projects of the civil rights and Black Power movements, feminism, the antiwar movement, and the movement for gay and lesbian liberation. These social justice projects required a messy politics of taking the risks that enabled their participants to dream big dreams.

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Harris, Leonard (ed.), , . The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke a Reader on Value Theory, Aesthetics, Community, Culture, Race, and Education
1999, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Lydia Patton

Publisher’s Note: In its comprehensive overview of Alain Locke’s pragmatist philosophy this book captures the radical implications of Locke’s approach within pragmatism, the critical temper embedded in Locke’s works, the central role of power and empowerment of the oppressed and the concept of broad democracy Locke employed

Comment: Alain Locke (1885-1954) founded the philosophy department at Howard University. (The department is still housed in Locke hall, named for Alain, not John!) He was a pragmatist philosopher, who wrote on cultural relativism, pragmatism, and values. He is best known for his role as an aesthetic scholar of the Harlem Renaissance, but this work has deep connections to his work on the theory of race, on value theory and cultural relativism, and on pragmatism. (See the introductions to the anthologies above for more details.) Locke is an under-appreciated scholar of historical and philosophical significance. His work would provide excellent readings for courses in value theory, ethics and meta-ethics, aesthetics, pragmatism, and the philosophy of race, but would also be interesting reading for courses in epistemology, for instance, given his original stance on relativism, and his pragmatism about truth.

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Lovibond, Sabina, , . Feminism and pragmatism: a reply to Richard Rorty
2010, In Marianne Janack (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of Richard Rorty. Pennsylvania State University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Abstract: This essay responds to a (1991) Tanner Lecture by Rorty in which he criticizes ‘universalist-realist’ views in ethics, as exemplified by the work of Lovibond up to ‘Feminism and Postmodernism’ (where he is discussed, along with Alasdair MacIntyre and Jean-Francois Lyotard, as a specimen postmodern thinker), and promotes his pragmatist philosophy as a congenial intellectual basis for feminism. The essay questions the claims of pragmatism in this respect, and reflects more generally on issues of realism, essentialism, conceptual innovation, and legitimation. It argues that to acknowledge the historically situated character of human existence is not to give up on the idea of an ethically orientated politics. Likewise, it suggests that the risk of flawed or irresponsible generality in political discourse is not all located on the side of realism. Finally, some consideration is given to the notion of gendered identity as a basis for feminist consciousness.

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Misak, Cheryl, , . The American Pragmatists (The Oxford History of Philosophy)
2013, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Cheryl Misak presents a history of the great American philosophical tradition of pragmatism, from its inception in the Metaphysical Club of the 1870s to the present day. She identifies two dominant lines of thought in the tradition: the first begins with Charles S. Peirce and Chauncey Wright and continues through to Lewis, Quine, and Sellars; the other begins with William James and continues through to Dewey and Rorty. This ambitious new account identifies the connections between traditional American pragmatism and twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy, and links pragmatism to major positions in the recent history of philosophy, such as logical empiricism. Misak argues that the most defensible version of pragmatism must be seen and recovered as an important part of the analytic tradition.

Comment: A good primary reading for courses on pragmatism or the history of American philosophy. Useful for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

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