The Primal Roots of American Philosophy: Pragmatism, by Bruce Wilshire

By Bruce Wilshire

An exploration of yank philosophy, connecting the paintings of such thinkers as Thoreau, Emerson, Dewey and James with local American ideals and practices. Bruce Wilshire's seek isn't really for specified parallels, yet fairly for basic affinities.

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Extra resources for The Primal Roots of American Philosophy: Pragmatism, Phenomenology, and Native American Thought

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He had felt burdened for decades by the undelivered message. To the appalled regard of the Christian authorities of that locale, Black Elk “reverted”—at least for the time it took him to tell his story. A surge of energy connected him with his earlier life. When, for example, comparing his people’s round dwellings with birds’ nests, he said, and it bears repeating, “Birds build their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours” [195], he was uttering a way of being in the world that cannot be found in the whole Jewish-Greco-Christian tradition.

172] With this we witness one of the most spectacular attempts by anyone of European ancestry to grasp the obsessiveness and drivenness of North Atlantic culture, and how they shut us off from the regenerative powers of Nature that formed us in the first place. It helps us grasp how sick we seemed to indigenous peoples. On the matter of ownership, Emerson and his spiritual progeny sound the abyss that divided insurging Europeans from native Americans. The latter were essentially hunter-gatherers, those who had not changed much since our earliest direct forebears on Earth, hundreds of thousands of years ago in the Paleolithic age.

But what about portions of the original transcripts omitted by Neihardt? These can be found in DeMallie’s patient reconstructions, and they are not unimportant. Chapter2 1/20/06 3:21 AM Page 31 Black Elk, Thoreau, Emerson 31 out of the body. When he did so, he sometimes saw the small “blue man” swimming in a cup into which he expectorated. But Neidhardt is true to his purpose: to help Black Elk communicate himself to the vast world. ” Such an impoverished and abstract conception of symbols the European or average white American brings with himself!

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