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Future PastsThe Analytic Tradition in Twentieth Century Philosophy$
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Juliet Floyd and Sanford Shieh

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139167

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019513916X.001.0001

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Non‐Negotiable Demands: Metaphysics, Politics, and the Discourse of Needs

Non‐Negotiable Demands: Metaphysics, Politics, and the Discourse of Needs

(p.315) 14 Non‐Negotiable Demands: Metaphysics, Politics, and the Discourse of Needs
Future Pasts

Naomi Scheman

Oxford University Press

Scheman discusses the history of analytic philosophy in America juxtaposing Cora Diamond’s Wittgensteinian critique of metaphysics (or of philosophical “requirements”) with Nancy Fraser’s use of Habermas and Foucault to develop a discourse of needs. Examining the of problems of philosophy from historical context in the analytic tradition in post–World War II America, Scheman critically examines Cornel West’s interpretation of American pragmatism as a resolute evasion of moral and political engagement, arguing that analytic philosophy did answer to particular cultural needs given the politics of that time. She then shows how arguments over the mind-independence of reality, the transcendence of moral standards, and the idea of privileged access may, despite their history, form a crucial and indeed inevitable part of a politically aware, morally engaged conception of philosophy, as useful for the disenfranchised as for those who benefit from the current arrangements of society.

Keywords:   politics of needs, metaphysics, ethics, politics, post-analytic philosophy, Cornel West, Cora Diamond, Nancy Fraser, feminism, political philosophy

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