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A Companion to African-American Philosophy by Tommy L. Lott

By Tommy L. Lott

This wide-ranging, multidisciplinary selection of newly commissioned articles brings jointly unique voices within the box of Africana philosophy and African-American social and political thought.Provides a accomplished severe survey of African-American philosophical concept. Collects wide-ranging, multidisciplinary, newly commissioned articles in a single authoritative quantity. Serves as a benchmark paintings of reference for classes in philosophy, social and political inspiration, cultural reports, and African-American reports.

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71–3. Calvin O. Schrag, “Phenomenology, Ontology and History in the Philosophy of Heidegger” in Phenomenologv, ed. Joseph J. Kocelmans (Garden City, 1967), p. 293. David Pears, Ludwig Wittgenstein (New York, 1969), p. 179. Pears’ book is a mini-classic on this enigmatic philosopher. It is important to note that trenchant critiques of the notion of necessity within the philosophical tradition of the West leave philosophers with little subject-matter. For example, Hume’s rejection of necessary causal inferences elevates the role of imagination in thought and custom and habit in behavior: it results in a psychological naturalism and an embry- PHILOSOPHY AND THE AFRO-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE 15 16 17 18 19 20 onic sociology of knowledge.

Afro-American philosophy deems the vitalist response undesirable. The romanticization of Afro-American culture is an escape from reality. It fosters cultural stagnation and leaves Afro-Americans vulnerable to insidious manipulation by charismatic figures or socially mobile groups. In other words, it does not enhance the cultural life or ameliorate the socioeconomic conditions of the majority of Afro-Americans. Rationalist Tradition The self-image of Afro-Americans in the rationalist tradition (strong and weak types) is one of self-hatred, shame and fear.

Based on my conception of Afro-American philosophy, there have been few conscious instances of it. Of course, there have been Afro-American philosophers, but, like most AfroAmerican intellectuals, they have exerted their energies either trying to convince the black middle class that the world of ideas should be taken seriously, serving as an ideologue for a particular political or cultural movement, or attempting to gain acceptance in the predominately white Academy. All three activities are essential for a potent intelligentsia, but leave little time for reflecting upon the basic assumptions of the theoretical frameworks wherein thinkers speculate.

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