SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

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Reading Anna J. Cooper with William James: Black Feminist Visionary Pragmatism, Philosophy's Culture of Justification, and Belief

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V. Denise James
University of Dayton
United States

This paper reads Anna J. Cooper's consideration of belief in "The Gain from a Belief" alongside William James' "The Will to Believe." It describes Cooper's position as a black feminist visionary pragmatism of interest because of its resonance with James and because reading Cooper's text through a philosophical lens pushes the boundaries of the culture of justification of academic philosophy. These efforts are not an attempt to explain or defend all of Cooper's work, rather to offer a point of entry into her important contribution to the history of social justice writing in the U.S. from a pragmatist perspective for an audience that has largely neglected her work.


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