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American Philosophies: An Anthology



American Philosophies: An Anthology

Leonard Harris (Editor), Scott L. Pratt (Editor), Anne S. Waters (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-21002-3 December 2001 Wiley-Blackwell 464 Pages

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This anthology promotes a new vision: American Philosophy as complex and constantly changing, enlivened by historically marginalized, yet never silent, voices.


Prolegomenon to a Tradition: What is American Philosophy (Leonard Harris).

Part I: Origin and Teleology.

1. Letter to the Taino/Arawak Indians, 1493 (King Ferdinand of Aragon).

2. Speeches (Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha).

3. How the World Began (Arthur C. Parker).

4. The Interesting Narrative (Olaudah Equian).

5. A History of New York (Washington Irving).

6. Nature (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Part II: Minds and Selves.

7. Impressions of an Indian Childhood (Zit Kala Sa).

8. Of Being and Original Sin (Jonathan Edwards).

9. Principles of Psychology (William James).

10. Self-Consciousness, Social Consciousness and Nature (Josiah Royce).

11. Our Brains and What Ails Them (Charlotte Perkins Gilman).

12. Race (W. E. B. Du Bois).

13. The Genesis of the Self and Social Control (George Herbert Mead).

Part III: Knowledge and Inquiry.

14. Knowledge (Frances Wright).

15. An Introduction to the Study of Phylosophy Wrote in America for the Use of a Young Gentleman (Cadwallader Colden).

16. What Pragmatism Is (Charles Sanders Peirce).

17. The Supremacy of Method (John Dewey).

18. The Practice of Philosophy (Susanne K. Langer).

19. An American Urphilosophie (Robert Bunge).

Part IV: Community and Power.

20. Traditional History of the Confederacy of the Six Nations (Committee of the Chiefs).

21. Account of My Life (Benjamin Franklin).

22. The Federalist Papers (Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay).

23. Observations on the New Constitution (Mercy Otis Warren).

Part V: Slavery and Freedom.

24. The Pueblo Revolt, 1680 (Don Antonio de Otermin).

25. Fourth of July Address at Reidsville, New York, 1854 (John Wannuaucon Quinney).

26. Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, 1829 (David Walker).

27. Prejudice Against People of Color, and Our Duties in Relation to this Subject (Lydia Maria Child).

28. Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau).

29. Oration, Delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, July 5, 1852 (Frederick Douglass).

30. Women versus the Indian (Anna J. Cooper).

Part VI: Democracy and Utopia.

31. Male Continence (John Humphrey Noyes).

32. Democratic Vistas (Walt Whitman).

33. Newer Ideals of Peace (Jane Addams).

34. Anarchism: What It Really Stands For (Emma Goldman).

35. What to Do and How to Do It (George Washington Woodbey).

36. What the Indian Means to America (Luther Standing Bear).

37. Our Democracy and the American Indian (Laura M. C. Kellogg).

38. Cultural Pluralism (Alain L. Locke).


"Leonard Harris, Scott L. Pratt, and Anne S. Waters have produced an anthology nurtured by a profound epistemological and cultural value pluralism. The text unapologetically reveals a diversity of philosophical perspectives and traditions previously marginalized by intellectual and political normative forces that have valorized a few white men as the ‘oracle voices' of American philosophy. This new, relevant, and highly engaging anthology will force academic and cultural gatekeepers to radically reassess what it means ‘to know and to be,' ‘to do American philosophy,' ‘to be an American,' and ‘to live democratically." George Yancy, Duquesne University and editor of Cornel West: A Critical Reader (Blackwell 2001)

  • Portrays American Philosophy as complex and constantly changing.

  • Features readings from several different traditions of American Philosophy.

  • Provides a sense of the history and context of sophisticated, ongoing philosophical arguments.

  • Compels the reader to rethink the meaning of American Philosophy.