Pragmatism in the Americas

By Gregory Fernando Pappas | Go to book overview

NINETEEN
RELIGIOUSLY BINDING THE IMPERIAL SELF
Clasical Pragmatism’s Call and Liberation,
Philosophy’s Response

Alexander V. Stehn

Eduardo Mendieta has made an important gesture toward what we might call “Continental American philosophy” by announcing his hope that a future generation of scholars will begin to “develop, mature, and conceive a greater America that includes all of its subcontinents,” so that “we will begin to think of Latin American and North American philosophies as chapters in a larger geopolitical and world-historical school of American philosophy from this hemisphere.”1 Under this banner, which I believe unites many of the reflections that constitute this volume, my essay examines the ethical and political significance of religion in classical American pragmatism and contemporary Latin American liberation philosophy, as exemplified in the works of William James and Enrique Dussel respectively.2 These two American philosophical traditions share a metaphilosophy insofar as they take experience or life as both the fundamental point of departure and the necessary point of arrival for every philosophy worth its salt.3 This in turn leads both traditions to have democratic political leanings, since it is all of human

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