Decolonizing American Philosophy

Edited by Corey McCall & Phillip McReynolds

Subjects: Philosophy, American Philosophy, African American Studies, Latin American Studies, Pragmatism
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race
Paperback : 9781438481920, 284 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438481937, 284 pages, February 2021

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Corey McCall and Phillip McReynolds

Part I: The Terms of Decolonization

1. Culture, Acquisitiveness, and Decolonial Philosophy
Lee A. McBride III

2. Without Land, Decolonizing American Philosophy Is Impossible
Kyle Whyte and Shelbi Nahwilet Meissner

3. Decolonizing the West
John E. Drabinski

Part II: Decolonizing the American Canon

4. Enlightened Readers: Thomas Jefferson, Immanuel Kant, Jorge Juan, and Antonio de Ulloa
Eduardo Mendieta

5. Writing Loss: On Emerson, Du Bois, and America
Corey McCall

6. Latina Feminist Engagements with US Pragmatism: Interrogating Identity, Realism, and Representation
Andrea J. Pitts

7. Dewey, Wynter, and Césaire: Race, Colonialism, and "The Science of the Word"
Phillip McReynolds

Part III: Expanding the American Canon

8. The Social Ontology of Care among Filipina Dependency Workers: Kittay, Addams, and a Transnational Doulia Ethics of Care
Celia T. Bardwell-Jones

9. Creolization and Playful Sabotage at the Brink of Politics in Earl Lovelace's The Dragon Can't Dance
Kris Sealey

10. Decolonizing Mariátegui as a Prelude to Decolonizing Latin American Philosophy
Sergio Armando Gallegos-Ordorica

11. Distal versus Proximal: Howard Thurman's Jesus and the Disinherited as a Proximal Epistemology
Anthony Sean Neal


Wide-ranging examination of American philosophy's ties to settler colonialism and its role as both an object and a force of decolonization.


In Decolonizing American Philosophy, Corey McCall and Phillip McReynolds bring together leading scholars at the forefront of the field to ask: Can American philosophy, as the product of a colonial enterprise, be decolonized? Does American philosophy offer tools for decolonial projects? What might it mean to decolonize American philosophy and, at the same time, is it possible to consider American philosophy, broadly construed, as a part of a decolonizing project? The various perspectives included here contribute to long-simmering conversations about the scope, purpose, and future of American philosophy, while also demonstrating that it is far from a unified, homogeneous field. In drawing connections among various philosophical traditions in and of the Americas, they collectively propose that the process of decolonization is not only something that needs to be done to American philosophy but also that it is something American philosophy already does, or at least can do, as a resource for resisting colonial and racist oppression.

Corey McCall taught philosophy at Elmira College. He is the coeditor (with Nathan Ross) of Benjamin, Adorno, and the Experience of Literature and (with Tom Nurmi) of Melville among the Philosophers. Phillip McReynolds taught philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is the author of The American Philosopher: Interviews on the Meaning of Life and Truth.


"An excellent resource for surveying diversity of philosophical thought across the Americas." — CHOICE