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PHL 276 Philosophy of Cornel West (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the thought of Cornel West who has been recognized as one of the most important African American intellectuals since W. E. B. Dubois. West epitomizes the synthesis of scholarship and political activism. His work is consistent with the Jesuit imperative that we be “men and women for others.” In this course we will not only examine the philosophic foundation of the work of Cornel West, we will also situate the work of West in the context of democratic struggles. Any appropriate analysis of the thought of Cornel West requires an engagement with Marxism, existentialism, pragmatism, humanism, and Black Prophetic Christianity. All of these traditions contribute to West’s work as a philosopher and cultural critic. In the spirit of Karl Marx, our task is to learn how philosophy not only contributes to our understanding of the world but also to our mission to change it. This course will also familiarize the student with the black intellectual tradition