Sean Illing in Vox:
Cornel West is one of the most unique philosophical voices in America. He has written a ton of books and taught for over 40 years at schools like Princeton, Harvard, and now at the Union Theological Seminary.
West is what I’d call a public-facing philosopher, which is to say he’s not a cloistered academic. He’s constantly engaging the public and his thought is always in dialogue with poetry and music and literature. (If you’ve ever seen one of his lectures, you know what I mean.)
That civic-mindedness is a product of his roots in a school of thought called pragmatism. America doesn’t have an especially deep tradition of philosophy, but if we’re known for any one tradition, it’s pragmatism.