It was a European who discovered America, but it was Americans who were the
first nation to discover this earth and man’s proper place in it, and man’s
potential for happiness, and the world which is man’s to win. What they failed
to discover is the words to name their achievement, the concepts to identify
it, the principles to guide it, i.e., the appropriate philosophy and its
consequence: an American culture.
America has never had an original culture, i.e., a body of ideas derived from
her philosophical (Aristotelian) base and expressing her profound difference
from all other countries in history.
American intellectuals were Europe’s passive dependents and poor relatives
almost from the beginning. They lived on Europe’s drying crumbs and discarded
fashions, including even such hand-me-downs as Freud and Wittgenstein.
America’s sole contribution to philosophy—Pragmatism—was a bad recycling of