Cornel West | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 7 pages of analysis & critique of Cornel West.
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Buy the Critical Review by Michael J. Quirk

SOURCE: “Notes on Prophetic Pragmatism,” in Cross Currents, Vol. 44, No. 4, Winter, 1994-95, pp. 535-9.

In the following review, Quirk offers a favorable evaluation of Keeping Faith, though finds that West fails to distinguish between secular and Christian pragmatism.

In his pathbreaking The American Evasion of Philosophy (Wisconsin, 1989), Cornel West argued that the often-overlooked tradition of American pragmatism contained plentiful, potent resources for social and political change and the spiritual renewal of the American republic. Yet, according to West, two important moral and intellectual hurdles need to be cleared before pragmatism can effectively be recovered and reclaimed. First, would-be pragmatists need to be made aware of pragmatism’s deep roots in “the genteel tradition” of the emerging nineteenth-century American bourgeoisie: the blindnesses of that social group, typified perhaps by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s own “soft” racism (28ff.), need to be acknowledged and decisively overcome. Second, pragmatists must be willing...

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This section contains 1,851 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Michael J. Quirk
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Critical Review by Michael J. Quirk from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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