PHI 202: Philosophical Visions of American Pluralism

"This Land Is Your Land"
Woody Guthrie

PHI 202 is an explorartion of the American philosophical tradition, but it does not regard philosophy as only the work of academically trained philosophers.  Rather, it takes a broader, more inclusive approach — one that reflects the profound diversity of the United States, not only in terms of its ever-changing demographics, but also in terms of the many philosophical questions that have inspired Americans, broadly understood, to engage in the "love of wisdom."

This is the official course description: "This course explores various philosophical visions of American pluralism as both the idea and the ideal of diversity in all its many forms.  Pluralism as an idea is considered in relation to democracy, race, gender and immigration.  Pluralism as an ideal is examined as a goal of liberal democratic society."

These are the materials that we usually cover:

Nancy Stanlick, American Philosophy: The Basics (New York: Routledge, 2013)

David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, ed. Peter P. Hinks (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000)

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Nature Walking (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991)

William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, abr. ed. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013)

How It Is: The Native American Philosophy of V. F. Cordova, ed. Kathleen Dean Moore, Kurt Peters, Ted Jojola, and Amber Lacy (Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press, 2007)

Selections from Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville; PDF

Selections from The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay; PDF

“Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton; PDF

“The Conservation of Races” by W.E.B. Du Bois; PDF

“Anarchism: What It Really Stands For” by Emma Goldman; PDF

“Why Care About Caring?” by Nel Noddings; PDF

“Black Feminist Epistemology” by Patricia Hill Collins; PDF

“African-American Philosophy, Race, and the Geography of Reason” by Lewis R. Gordon; PDF

© Douglas Ficek