Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 1 (June 2007), 15 Editions Rodopi © 2007 Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. This introduction to a special issue of Contemporary Pragmatism about Cornel West argues that he remains, despite his recent selfdescriptions, a critical voice within the tradition of pragmatism. West's preoccupation with the tragicomic dimensions of our lives point to resources within the philosophies of pragmatism that have been underdeveloped or simply ignored. Cornel West, these days, does not describe himself as a pragmatist. He is more apt to see himself as a Chekhovian Christian, a jazz man in the life of the mind, or as a dramatist of philosophic notions and historical narratives. Of course, he remains indelibly shaped by the pragmatist tradition. He continues to insist, with C. I. Lewis, that questions of truth of any kind cannot be separated from questions of the justifiable ends of action. He rejects the view that knowledge requires philosophical foundations in direct personal awareness, and he is adamant in his accent on the capacity of ordinary people to make a difference in their worlds. But West has always found the tradition of pragmatism, even when he tells its story, somewhat suspect. Pragmatists, he
Contemporary Pragmatism – Brill
Published: Apr 21, 2007
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