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A Prophetic Pragmatist Response to Koopman’s Transitional Pragmatism

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image of Contemporary Pragmatism

Colin Koopman’s Pragmatism as Transition offers a new insight into how to understand pragmatism, particularly by connecting pragmatism’s melioristic approach to problems with a Foucauldian genealogical analysis of the very problems that pragmatism hope to solve. Peculiarly absent from Koopman’s presentation is a consideration of Cornel West’s prophetic pragmatism, which itself combined the melioristic problem-solving of pragmatism and the Foucauldian analysis proposed by Koopman. This absence is not malicious, of course, but it does bring to mind how West’s prophetic pragmatism has been generally disregarded by mainstream pragmatism scholarship.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Suite 3600, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 338–5807


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1. Koopman Colin. 2009. Pragmatism as Transition: Historicity and Hope in James, Dewey, and Rorty . New York: Columbia University Press.
2. Koopman Colin. 2013. Genealogy as Critique: Foucault and the Problems of Modernity . Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
3. West Cornel. 1982. Prophesy Deliverance! An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity . Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
4. West Cornel. 1989. The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
5. West Cornel. 1993. Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America . New York: Routledge.

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