ABSTRACT. This paper argues that Rorty and Cavell define American philosophy “after” Wittgenstein. Each embraced the historical nature of philosophy, culture and language implied by Wittgenstein’s cultural turn and each sought to reimagine the American tradition in philosophy both by returning to American philosophers before the analytic fracture and by investigating the Idea of America. In both American philosophy and the idea of America discussion of race and racism have been notable by their absence. Only recently has black philosophy begun to raise questions about the “whiteness” of American philosophy yet even Cornel West who has been responsible for “black pragmatism” needs to historicize his philosophy further and to use it to make links to investigating other forms of racism around the world. pp. 7–22     

Keywords: American philosophy, black consciousness, race, racism, pragmatism


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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

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