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Pragmatism with PurposeSelected Writings$
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Peter Hare, Joseph Palencik, Douglas Anderson, and Steven A. Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264322

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264322.001.0001

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The American Mind

The American Mind

Chapter:
(p.263) Eighteen The American Mind
Source:
Pragmatism with Purpose
Author(s):

Peter Hare

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823264322.003.0018

This chapter reflects on the so-called American mind by considering some of the problems systemic to modern American values as they relate to class, race, religion, and empire. The “American mind” is not a unified, coherent substance, but rather a tangled web of beliefs and attitudes, characterized by ever-changing tensions and knots that are seemingly impossible to untie. The chapter discusses some of the salient features of the American mind, starting with the notion that we are a classless society or at least a society whose class divisions are much less marked than those in other countries, along with the implications for democracy in America. It then explores racial issues, with particular emphasis on racism with regard to African Americans, along with the American tradition of radical pluralism in religion. It also takes up the issue of America's imperialism and concludes by commenting on the “balance of power”.

Keywords:   class, race, religion, empire, American mind, racism, African Americans, radical pluralism, imperialism, balance of power

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