Allen, Norm R., Jr. “The Crisis of the Black Religious Intellectual.” Free Inquiry 14 (Summer, 1994): 9-10. Allen discusses Stephen L. Carter and West, two significant black intellectuals whose orientation is religious. Both believe that for society to survive and progress, faith in God is crucial. They assess modern culture and past history from religious perspectives. Allen contends that their doing so limits their intellectual depth. He especially faults them for their insistence that their religious texts are absolute, sacred texts that should be accepted unconditionally.
Anderson, Jervis. “The Public Intellectual.” The New Yorker 69 (January 17, 1994): 39-46. Anderson acknowledges West’s appeal to young people. He cautions that despite his popular acceptance, West is viewed by many of his professional colleagues as superficial in his writing and thinking and so broad in the generalizations he makes as to compromise many of his philosophical conclusions.
Appiah, K. Anthony. “A Prophetic Pragmatism.” The Nation 250 (April 9, 1990): 496-498. In this extensive review of The American Evasion of Philosophy, Appiah relates Rorty’s attempts to come to an improved understanding of American philosophy to Hegel’s attempts at the beginning of the eighteenth century to understand the past of philosophy in protonationalistic terms. He shows how West, whom he suggests may be the...
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