Primal Roots of American Philosophy: Pragmatism, Phenomenology, and Native American Thought

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Penn State Press, Nov 1, 2010 - Philosophy
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Continuing his quest to bring American philosophy back to its roots, Bruce Wilshire connects the work of such thinkers as Thoreau, Emerson, Dewey, and James with Native American beliefs and practices. His search is not for exact parallels, but rather for fundamental affinities between the equally &"organismic&" thought systems of indigenous peoples and classic American philosophers.

Wilshire gives particular emphasis to the affinities between Black Elk&’s view of the hoop of the world and Emerson&’s notion of horizon, and also between a shaman&’s healing practices and James&’s ideas of pure experience, willingness to believe, and a pluralistic universe. As these connections come into focus, the book shows how European phenomenology was inspired and influenced by the classic American philosophers, whose own work reveals the inspiration and influence of indigenous thought.

Wilshire&’s book also reveals how artificial are the walls that separate the sciences and the humanities in academia, and that separate Continental from Anglo-American thought within the single discipline of philosophy.

 

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Contents

Looking Forward to the First Day
3
Black Elk Thoreau Emerson and Their Aura
15
William James Black Elk and the Healing Act
33
James Wild Beasts of the Philosophic Desert
45
James on Truth The Preeminence of Body and World
67
Further Reclamations
89
John Dewey Philosopher and Poet of Nature
91
BodyMind and Subconsciousness
121
Henry Bugbee The Inward Morning
153
Taking Stock
161
Ways of Knowing
163
Pragmatism Neopragmatism and Phenomenology The Richard Rorty Phenomenon
175
William Jamess Prophetic Grasp of the Failures of Academic Professionalism
191
Charles Peirce on the PreRational Ground of Reason
207
Shamanism Love Regeneration
219
Index
237

Passion for Meaning William Ernest Hackings ReligiousPhilosophical Views
137

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About the author (2010)

Bruce Wilshire is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Recent books include The Moral Collapse of The University: Professionalism, Purity, and Alienation (1990) and Wild Hunger: The Primal Roots of Modern Addictions (1998).

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