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The American Philosopher

Interviews on the Meaning of Life and Truth

Phillip McReynolds

Over the course of nearly a decade, Phillip McReynolds conducted a series of interviews with prominent American philosophers including, among others, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, Joseph Margolis, Richard Bernstein, Bruce Wilshire, John Lachs, Richard Shusterman, and Crispin Sartwell. The American Philosopher: Dialogues on the Meaning of Life and Truth brings these interviews together, bridging a wide variety of topics both personal and professional, and ultimately addressing what it means to be an American philosopher. With interviews that are both philosophical and biographical in nature, this book will be of interest to those who specialize in pragmatism and the history of American philosophy, academics in fields such as comparative literature, history, political science, sociology, and American studies, and to anyone with an interest in “America” as an idea « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 310Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-1315-9 • Hardback • August 2015 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4985-1316-6 • eBook • August 2015 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
Phillip McReynolds is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He has published articles and book chapters on the philosophy of technology, philosophy and film, and other topics in a pragmatist vein. The conversations, which have been edited for inclusion in this book, were the basis for his documentary film, American Philosopher.
2. Cultivating the Experience of Philosophy in America: John E. Smith
5. Philosophy as Problem Solving: John Lachs
6. The Philosopher as Heretic and Cultural Explorer: Douglas Anderson
7. Family Ties and Improvisation in Philosophy: Vincent Colapietro
8. Anything Goes: Joseph Margolis
9. Beyond Theory and Praxis: Richard Bernstein
10. From Pastors to Professionals: James Campbell
11. Philosophers as World Travelers: Judith Green
12. Beyond Ontological Insecurity: Bruce Wilshire
13. Embodying Philosophy in America: Richard Shusterman
14. Practical Philosophy: Lucius Outlaw on Keeping Mind and Body Together in a Racist Society
15. Philosophy as Technology for Living: Larry Hickman
16. Philosophy and Social Vision: Erin McKenna on Practical Utopianism
17. Crispin Sartwell: American Anarchist
Lively and penetrating, McReynolds explores both the biographical roots and socio-cultural backgrounds of American philosophy. Should be read by anyone looking for refreshing thoughts on what philosophy is good for. Wholeheartedly recommended even by a non-American philosopher for non-American philosophers, even those who aren’t pragmatists.
Emil Višňovský, Comenius University & Slovak Academy of Sciences

What is American philosophy? While typically understood as a revolt against certain traditional fixations in philosophy, American Philosopher provides a fresh and positive account. McReynold’s candid interviews with sixteen preeminent figures yield insightful, imaginative, and wry visions about what American philosophy is, today—and why it matters.
David Hildebrand, University of Colorado Denver

McReynolds interviews fifteen philosophers who are working in America, in—or in the neighborhood of—the pragmatist tradition. The volume presents not only well-known figures (Rorty, Putnam) but a number of important thinkers who are less familiar outside the circles of academic philosophy. McReynolds elicits informative, often fascinating accounts of how these scholars came to philosophy, what they see as distinctive about the American philosophical tradition, how they understand their peers' views, and what they think the American philosophical orientation can do for us now. The American Philosopher presents a valuable portrait of the robust discussions that comprise American philosophy today.
Kelly A. Parker, Grand Valley State University