In this Book

summary

In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible.

Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music?

Anderson’s second aim is to find places where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writings
of Jack Kerouac.

The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction: Inheritance, Teaching, and the Insane Angels of American Culture: Our Cultural Invisibility
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. 1 Some Preliminary Remarks on the Origins of Pragmatism
  2. pp. 19-32
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  1. 2 Royce, Philosophy, and Wandering: A Job Description
  2. pp. 33-49
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  1. 3 Wilderness as Philosophical Home
  2. pp. 50-64
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  1. 4 Working Certainty and Deweyan Wisdom
  2. pp. 65-84
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  1. 5 Wildness as Political Act
  2. pp. 85-93
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  1. 6 ‘‘After All, He’s Just a Man’’: The Wild Side of Life in Country Music
  2. pp. 94-111
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  1. 7 William James and the Wild Beasts of the Philosophical Desert
  2. pp. 112-128
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  1. 8 John Dewey’s Sensible Mysticism
  2. pp. 129-141
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  1. 9 ‘‘Born to Run’’: Male Mysticism on the Road
  2. pp. 142-154
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  1. 10 Philosophy as Teaching: James’s ‘‘Knight Errant,’’ Thomas Davidson
  2. pp. 155-166
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  1. 11 Learning and Teaching: Gambling, Love, and Growth (with Michael Ventimiglia)
  2. pp. 167-187
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  1. 12 Emerson’s Platonizing of American Thought
  2. pp. 188-205
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  1. 13 American Loss in Cavell’s Emerson
  2. pp. 206-220
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  1. 14 Emerson and Kerouac: Grievous Angels of Hope and Loss
  2. pp. 221-233
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  1. 15 Pragmatic Intellectuals: Facing Loss in the Spirit of American Philosophy
  2. pp. 234-254
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 255-280
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 281-288
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 289-296
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823285129
Related ISBN
9780823225514
MARC Record
OCLC
1098231745
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-19
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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