Pragmatism, Nation, and Race

Pragmatism, Nation, and Race

Community in the Age of Empire
Edited by Chad Kautzer and Eduardo Mendieta
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/18/2009
Format: paper 336 pages
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-22078-3
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Pragmatism has been called "the chief glory of our country's intellectual tradition" by its supporters and "a dog's dinner" by its detractors. While acknowledging pragmatism's direct ties to American imperialism and expansionism, Chad Kautzer, Eduardo Mendieta, and the contributors to this volume consider the role pragmatism plays, for better or worse, in current discussions of nationalism, war, race, and community. What can pragmatism contribute to understandings of a diverse nation? How can we reconcile pragmatism's history with recent changes in the country's racial and ethnic makeup? How does pragmatism help to explain American values and institutions and fit them into new national and multinational settings? The answers to these questions reveal pragmatism's role in helping to nourish the fundamental ideas, politics, and culture of contemporary America.

Author Bio

Chad Kautzer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver.

Eduardo Mendieta is Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University. He is editor of
Latin American Philosophy (IUP, 2003).


"This collection on American philosophy, American identity, and race will undoubtedly make a substantive contribution to the literature and it will be well received by scholars and teachers of many disciplines." —José Medina, Vanderbilt University

Pragmatism, Nation, and Race is an anthology that is as rare as it is important. Its essays cohere so seamlessly that the work reads more like a transcript of a single conversation than fourteen voices speaking to related themes. . . . This work offers such clear illuminations of fundamental concepts and current problems that it is an essential text for any scholar of pragmatism, critical race theory, post-colonialism, or American politics. . . . No matter your views on pragmatism, foreign policy, or America's status as an empire, a democracy, or both, parts of this work will irk you, others will uplift you, but every part will reward you." —Teachers College Record , February 16, 2010

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Community in the Age of Empire
Chad Kautzer and Eduardo Mendieta

Part 1. Transformative Communities and Enlarged Loyalties

1. When Philosophy Paints Its Blue on Gray: Irony and the Pragmatist Enlightenment
Robert Brandom

2. The Unexamined Frontier: Dewey, Pragmatism, and America Enlarged
David H. Kim

3. Pragmatism and Solidarity with the Past
Max Pensky

4. Mead on Cosmopolitanism, Sympathy, and War
Mitch Aboulafia

5. Deliberating about the Past: Decentering Deliberative Democracy
James Bohman

Part 2. The Racial Nation

6. Race, Nation, and Nation-State: Tocqueville on (U.S.) American Democracy
Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr.

7. William James on Nation and Race
Harvey Cormier

8. Race, Culture, and Black Self-Determination
Tommie Shelby

9. Prophetic Vision and Trash Talkin': Pragmatism, Feminism, and Racial Privilege
Shannon Sullivan

Part 3. The Tragedy and Comedy of Empire

10. The Unpredictable American Empire
Richard Rorty

11. Transcending the "Gory Cradle of Humanity": War, Loyalty, and Civic Action in Royce and James
Eduardo Mendieta

12. Pragmatism and War
Robert Westbrook

13. Laughter against Hubris: A Preemptive Strike
Cynthia Willett

Interview with Cornel West, Conducted by Eduardo Mendieta

List of Contributors