The “Analytic Co-opting” and Death of the Continental Tradition


A conversation about Continental philosophy between Fordham University philosophy professor Babette Babich and game-designer and “outsider philosopher” Chris Bateman is being published in parts on Bateman’s blog, Only a Game (part one, part two).

Bateman attributes to Babich the view that “the art of continental philosophy is dying out.” Babich, who works in Continental philosophy, attributes this to a broader trend. She says:

the problem is to be sure not merely the exclusion of classical sorts of continental philosophy but all kinds of things that don’t fit an increasingly narrower analytic mode. I am… keenly attuned to the analytic co-opting of the continental tradition.

The “co-opting” she’s referring to is the trend over the past couple of decades for philosophers who work in an analytic style to take up the figures and topics on which Continental philosophers had written. This is one of those ideas that people familiar with the philosophy profession will understand, even if it is notoriously difficult to get satisfactory definitions of “Continental” and “analytic” philosophy. Babich adds:

Analytic philosophy privileges argument and persuasion, making a case, making a claim, proving a point, persuading an opponent and so on and it is to this extent fairly legalistic, case-focused. From this perspective it is rather easy to wave a flag and think that waving a flag is all that is needed. So if one talks about Heidegger or Nietzsche that will justify calling oneself continental.

The worry is, in part: if that gets to be called Continental philosophy, then what do we call the stuff we used to refer to as “Continental philosophy”?

A good chunk of Daily Nous readers will likely answer, “we call that ‘bad philosophy'” — an answer that Babich and Bateman are aware of and understandably reject. Continental philosophy is not my tradition, either, but given that so many smart and well-educated people find it worthwhile, it behooves us to attempt a more generous response.*

What comes through in Bateman and Babich’s conversation is a sense of loss resulting from a kind of academic gentrification. And just as real-world neighborhood gentrification is a mixed bag of benefits and costs, so too, they think, is this academic version. For it is not just a question of what a type of philosophy is called. There’s the question of whether and where it can continue to exist.

I think this is worth discussing. Conversations about analytic and Continental philosophy tend towards the fiery, fueled by smugness and defensiveness. Can we do it in a more peaceable, non-insulting way?

A couple of questions do come to mind. Do Babich and Bateman have the facts right? Is there less “traditional-style” Continental philosophy? Fewer venues for it? How far back does the style of philosophy that Babich and Bateman call “Continental” go? We don’t mourn the loss of logical positivism as a living form of philosophy; should we have the same attitude towards the kind of Continental philosophy with which Babich and Bateman identify (if it is actually declining)? How have the institutions of universities and disciplines affected this kind of philosophy, and how should they from now on? Suppose that Continental philosophy of this type is dying: what about it should be saved?

You’re welcome to discuss these and other related questions. But please, let’s keep it civil.

And in case you haven’t ever looked at it, here is the comments policy.

(Thanks to Dirk Felleman for bringing the Babich-Bateman conversations to my attention.)

* Me, elsewhere: “It seems silly to think that finally, after a couple of thousand years, we, the dominant Anglo-American analytic philosophers, have, in the last century, finally hit upon the correct set of questions and the correct method of philosophy. I happily admit that those are my questions and my method, but nonetheless I think I have to be open to the idea that it may be limited in important respects.”

Gerhard Richter, "Florence 36"

Gerhard Richter, “Florence 36”

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Mark Alfano
4 years ago

Maybe this is not the most civil way to start the discussion, but I find the critique baffling. If “analytic” people want to talk about Nietzsche too, what could possibly be the problem with that? It’s one thing for Babich and others to say that it’s worthwhile to continue in the same vein or style as people like them. Sure, go crazy. It’s something entirely different to start a turf war with the aim of somehow forbidding undesirables from engaging with the primary sources they take themselves to own.

A few years ago, I gave a talk about Nietzsche’s approach to epistemic virtues, especially curiosity. A continental-identifying philosopher in the audience asked me why I hadn’t given the talk in the style of Nietzsche. (For those unfamiliar with this sort of reasoning, the unspoken premise is that style and content are inextricable, so if you’re not “channelling” the muse, you’re not doing it right.) It was very clear to me then (and now) that this meant that, if you don’t do it “our” way, you don’t get to do it at all. This is classic silencing, and the discipline should not accept it.Report

P.D. Magnus
Reply to  Mark Alfano
4 years ago

“A continental-identifying philosopher in the audience asked me why I hadn’t given the talk in the style of Nietzsche.”
This strikes me as an odd question to anyone. Should talks on Plato be given as dialogues? Talks on Heraclitus be given as fragments?
The existentialists wrote explicit arguments but also novels and plays. Giving a lecture about of Sartre’s plays doesn’t seem at all objectionable, nor does writing a play in which Being and Nothingness is discussed.
Lamenting the eclipse of a certain style of writing is independent of fretting about which figures being interrogated. I am perplexed by the phrase “classical sorts of continental philosophy”, because the category of continental philosophy itself was an invention of the mid-twentieth century. It reflects a very specific sociological development within the profession. Although at odds with one another in a sense, both analytic and continental philosophers as academics occupied very similar social positions in the same broader society. So “appropriation” must mean something different than it does when applied to relations between different cultures or classes.Report

Mark
Reply to  P.D. Magnus
4 years ago

Clearly you haven’t seen a talk by John Salis. Report

Chris
Chris
Reply to  Mark
4 years ago

Out of curiosity, what is the style of talk given by Sallis?Report

Mark
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

Last one I saw, he closed by playing the Hallelujah Chorus (Handel). I almost stood up.Report

Terence Blake
Reply to  Mark Alfano
4 years ago

Babich’s argument is that many “continental-identifying” philosophers are in fact analytic. This would seem to be the case with the example you cite. Requiring that to talk about Nietzsche you must talk in the style of Nietzsche betrays a literal-minded, i.e. analytic, mindset. Continental philosophers such as Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and Badiou have published on Nietzsche without adopting Nietzsche’s style. Given their emphasis that important conceptual presuppositions can be contained in a philosopher’s mode of enunciation it would be naive and uncritical to simply reproduce that style.Report

Kris McDaniel
Kris McDaniel
4 years ago

This is small, maybe, but….

Taylor’s book has “analytic” in its title because the text in Heidegger does: the existential *analytic* of Dasein.

Maybe she is just making a not very funny joke. I honestly couldn’t tell.
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Laurence
Laurence
4 years ago

There’s no “saving” of a part of philosophy. You have to argue for a position to keep it “alive”. Otherwise, we’ll end up with some kind of “untouchable” areas that are forbidden to discuss in one way or another. And that’s contrary to all standards of doing philosophy, analytic and continental alike.

Also, it is not that continental philosophy books are being burned or censured. They are there, “saved”, everyone is and should be free to use them, and write them. I run out of imagination when trying to conceive of what else could be done to “save” continental or any other philosophy.

In short, I think this is a pseudo problem generated by reducing philosophical endeavor to the purely ad hominem. As if people are gentrified by arguing against their theoretical position or taking up a subject that they chose to study. This is not the case.

A much bigger problem in philosophy is the fact that sometimes people are really excluded or discriminated against within the discipline. But this in principle cannot be done by rational discourse. Report

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Laurence
4 years ago

But this is assuming that the conflict between analytic and continental philosophy is one of position. It seems more likely that the conflict is one of value, and when you have conflicts of value, these are notoriously difficult to adjudicate between.

Also, you might think that part of the issue at hand between the continental and analytic conflict is whether or not arguments, rigorously and systematically defended, should be granted high value status in philosophy. And if you think you have the high ground because they haven’t given you one of the arguments, then you’re just begging the question.Report

Jacob Archambault
4 years ago

For those assuming this is a pseudo-problem, compare the following:

http://www.philpercs.com/2016/05/against-latin-american-philosophy-going-mainstream-.html

Here are some genuine questions: is there a relevant difference between the concerns expressed by Dr. Babich, and those in the linked post? If so, what is it?

For my part, without glossing over differences, the concerns expressed in both pieces seem to be coming from a similar place. Thus, it would be odd to take appropriation concerns seriously in the one case, and dismiss them offhandedly in the other. I think both deserve an open ear.Report

OstracizedPhdStudent
OstracizedPhdStudent
4 years ago

Continental philosophy is still dominant in France. Any continental conference attracks a huge crowd of random people from the public. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad philosophy. Somehow, people are not aware of that, they genuinely think what they say make sense. It’s beyond me.
Thanksfully, not everything is bad.
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OstracizedPhdStudent
OstracizedPhdStudent
Reply to  OstracizedPhdStudent
4 years ago

I should add that by Continental philosophy I mean mainly phenomenology (Marion, Badiou…), and a lot of stuff done in the name of Foucault.
The rest is history of philosophy and is really good. Report

Neil Levy
Neil Levy
4 years ago

“the problem is to be sure not merely the exclusion of classical sorts of continental philosophy but all kinds of things that don’t fit an increasingly narrower analytic mode”.

I don’t think that is remotely true. At least, I don’t think that’s remotely true if what is meant is that philosophy (at, say, top 50 departments, or in high profile journals or, say, discussed on this very blog) is increasingly narrow. I think it’s pretty obvious that the opposite is the case. In the past 15 years there has been a proliferation of approaches and of topics. It is true that certain topics and approaches are not accorded sufficient respect, but that’s a quite different matter.Report

Ian
Ian
4 years ago

So most of these comments thus far seem fairly dismissive of the problem, except for Prof. Weinberg’s of course. I must admit, however, that as a PhD student who is currently taking an analytic approach to content that is historically the place of continental philosophy, this is something that I worry about. Maybe not so much for my own practice, but for those who want to study continental philosophy in the more ‘traditional’ style.

So here’s an argument defending the view:

(1) Continental philosophers are philosophers who hold alternative sets of scholarly values to analytic philosophy.

(2) Analytic philosophers studying a particular subject are more likely to get an academic, tenured position than a continental philosopher many times because of established values of philosophers within a department.

(3) We should be committed to a type of pluralism within any particular field. We do not want just one set of scholarly values overarchingly dominating the field of philosophy, merely because there is general acceptance of those values.

(4) If (2), then it is likely that continental philosophers are being pushed out of departments merely because they don’t share similar values with an existing department.

(5) But this is against value pluralism as stated in (3). We shouldn’t want just one set of scholarly values dominating an academic institution, especially not philosophy.

Most controversial premises here I think will likely be (3) and (4), but I think they are plausible enough that I leave it up to detractors to take issue with.

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atnorman
atnorman
Reply to  Ian
4 years ago

Of course, (3) is acceptable on the face of it. But the question becomes how pluralistic we should be. I don’t think anyone would maintain that for mathematics we should be committed to this methodological pluralism wherein people just go out and dream up solutions, or in physics that we consult astrology texts. Now this is an obvious reductio of the proposition in a strong form. A weak form I think clearly holds.

But it’s not at all clear to me that a formulation of (3) that includes disagreeing with

“[privileging] argument and persuasion, making a case, making a claim, proving a point, persuading an opponent and so on and it is to this extent fairly legalistic, case-focused.”

is even the slightest bit possible. Indeed, I’d call Babich’s reprehension here to be caricature of continental philosophy, were it not said by her in this context.Report

ES
ES
Reply to  Ian
4 years ago

I definitely agree to the pluralist drive.

But there is one premise which you take for granted, which is that there is still such a thing as a continental/analytic divide. This is mainly driven by self-proclaimed continental philosophers (i.e. those working in a certain tradition, not just on certain philosophers) who set themselves apart from analytic philosophy. But often that label ‘analytic’ is hopelessly antiquated and refers to some bogeyman ordinary language philosophy or the use of more formal methods. And most people in this ‘analytic’ camp do not think of themselves as analytic philosophers (certainly not in that sense) but rather as just doing philosophy.

Now that might be disingenuous but I do think that “analytic philosophy” (as referring to the highest ranked, most reputable, whatever) has pluralised incredibly and there is very little holding it together methodologically. I can’t speak for the situation in continental departments. I know that there has been diversification to e.g. process philosophy.

In other words, I think the target of the ‘analytic’ label has largely forsaken sectarianism, methodological or otherwise.
I say this as someone who was a self-described continental and moved to a very pluralistic top Anglo-Saxon school and finds ‘continental’ work on continental figures (unfortunately, Professor Babich’s partly included) tiresome, uninformative and without any progress.Report

J Mitchell
J Mitchell
4 years ago

As someone who writes on Nietzsche I find much of what Babich has to say quite poorly motivated (for reasons I will explain below). But first I want to start by quoting Babich’s definition of ‘continental philosophy’:

The question the interviewer sets up is this:

“CC If, as I am suggesting, logical argumentation is at the heart of the analytic methods, can you express the essence of the continental practices in philosophy?”

“BB: Continental philosophy includes a historical sense, a sense of historical context which it does not name ‘the history of philosophy.’ If Heidegger writes about Anaximander he is not reflecting on philosophy’s history as if this were a thing once done, passé, whereas we now, today, do some other sort of thing when we ‘do’ philosophy. At the same time the continental tradition also emphasizes everything that has to do with context, with interpretation, as a difference that makes all the difference.”

For starters, there is no obvious reason why one can’t study philosophy with a ‘historical sense’, where this involves paying due attention to historical context, and at the same time be involved in ‘logical argumentation’, if by the later one is taken to mean providing reasons, arguments and evidence for the claims one makes (especially, but not least, claims of exegesis). The two would only seem mutually exclusive if one had an incredibly narrow understanding of what ‘logical argumentation’ amounted to (i.e. equivalent to applying the most abstract of formal logical methods which is not the trend in Nietzsche studies!).

The reality is that if one reads much of the secondary literature on Nietzsche (one of Babich’s supposed specialties) one usually finds one of two approaches, often in tandem. (1) Detailed attention to the texts, where this includes an important sense and understanding of historical content and (2) the relating of claims and ideas in those texts to contemporary issues (e.g., normative ethics, meta-ethics, etc). Now Babich most likely would have an objection to (2), and while I believe this to be an incredibly valuable and fruitful approach to the history of philosophy, we can just grant her that this is ‘anachronistic’ for the sake of argument, since the really important point is that it is in fact fallacious to claim that what she does is (1). Having read (or at least tried to read) her book on ‘Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Science’ one quickly finds out two things: that Babich does not think that one really needs to study or cite philosophy of science to pronounce on Nietzsche’s views on the philosophy of science, and that there is a striking lack of historical sense or attention to the historical context.

So what exactly is going on here? The following is my own pithy diagnosis. There are a number of philosophers, primarily influenced by reading a lot of post 1960’s French Philosophy (of which the worst is no doubt Deleuze et al), who want to be able to pronounce on figures in the history of philosophy without actually having to argue for, or defend, exegetical claims about them. Often these figures (whether it be Nietzsche or anybody else) serve as proxy-philosophers, providing a supposed historical authority, for an odd (and increasingly outdated) form of grandstanding. It, understandably, is irksome to them that their work is not cited as much as so called ‘analytic studies’, and the motivation for their desire to tribalistically carve up the profession is (as Nietzsche himself would have been quick to realize) fueled by ressentiment. In this context, it is telling that Brian Leiter, a figure who crops up in the interviews a number of times, is no doubt thought to be something of an exemplar of this so called ‘analytic coopting’ of continental philosophy. What Babich fails to note, since it would reveal the problematic nature of much of what she says (and her identification with her own definition of continental philosophy), is that Leiter’s 2002 book involved a whole chapter providing precisely the kind of historical context that is lacking in her study of Nietzsche (and indeed similar studies).
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D. F.
D. F.
Reply to  J Mitchell
4 years ago

With all due respect, that was a very long justification for what ended up being an ad hominem attack about Continental philosophers being driven by ressentiment. It would have been more generous of you to simply start your comment with “deconstruction and/or postmodernism is bad philosophy and everyone who likes it must be a bad person.”Report

D. F.
D. F.
4 years ago

I won’t defend the gentrification analogy, because I do not think it is fair to compare being a Continental philosopher in the United States to being in an oppressed racial group or economic class, and it’s always important to acknowledge that “analytic” and “Continental” are at best extremely messy terms. But I do think there’s something to this claim if we see analytic and Continental philosophy as representing different methods and visions for philosophy. So, here is an admittedly vague but charitable attempt to show where Babich is coming from.

To try to give a gloss: Let’s say analytic philosophy generally tries to isolate problems, making important distinctions and thereby clarifying terminology, with the hope of eliminating pseudoproblems and resolving long-lasting dilemmas. Let’s say Continental philosophy generally refuses to isolate problems, seeing them as significant only in the context of other ideas, and hopes not for progress but to come to terms with that background context. The first can have a clear notion of philosophical progress; the latter seems to challenge that very notion. I know these are superficial generalizations. But they set up a classic Searle/Derrida clash: the analytic philosopher decries, “Everything you say is nonsense because you won’t properly define your terms,” and the Continental philosopher retorts, “Everything you say is vacuous because you ignore the context in which your terms become meaningful.” What’s necessary for proper philosophy for one is the destruction of philosophy for the other. I’ve seen versions of this conflict happen repeatedly. And I confess that as someone not originally trained in analytic philosophy, I have had to learn to constantly restrain myself when reading articles in that style, inevitably reading “X assumption is what I will not be discussing here,” and inevitably thinking, “X assumption is exactly what your entire argument turns on, and challenging it overturns everything you have done.”

When I think about in what sense analytic philosophy can be meaningfully “colonial,” I’m reminded of Gary Gutting’s article in the Stone from 2012 where he effectively argued that analytic philosophy is like Continental philosophy but clearer. Sure, the bad faith worry about analytic philosophers taking up Continental figures may be that, hey, someone’s encroaching on Continental turf and so they must be discredited at all costs. But a good faith concern may be that analytic philosophers are applying a method and vision of philosophy that misses the spirit of the subject matter they’ve taken up and are effectively denying, like Gutting, that there can be any other method or vision except a worse one.Report

Matt
Reply to  D. F.
4 years ago

” I have had to learn to constantly restrain myself when reading articles in that style, inevitably reading “X assumption is what I will not be discussing here,” and inevitably thinking, “X assumption is exactly what your entire argument turns on, and challenging it overturns everything you have done.””

But – that would be a nice argument to make, and a good reply to the article, if it’s in fact correct. If what you say is right, then surely it can itself be shown, right? Why not do that, in those cases? (I get that there are historians of philosophy – not necessarily “analytic” or “continental” – who think that arguments can only make sense _entirely_ within their original context, and not otherwise, but it’s rare that great philosophers think that of _their own_ work, and I’d want to say that it’s _sometimes_ okay, at least, to take them on their own terms, in that sense, and I assume you mean this to apply to more than historical discussion, in any case.) Report

ContInHiding
ContInHiding
Reply to  Matt
4 years ago

I’d like give my personal experience on this matter as somebody whose philosophical aim and training has fundamentally been a continental/european one, while doing my PhD in a deeply analytic department. As soon as somebody argues that one should indeed discuss Presupposition X as it is the hinge upon which everything in a certain paper or argument turns around, the reactions are, in no particular order: a bewildered stare, incredulity and amazement about challenging that very presupposition as it is “completely natural, commonsensical hence true”, comments about “having to grant something, otherwise we have to rediscuss everything since Plato”, various accusations of saying something uninteresting or falling outside the concerns of the paper, some argument about not having to defend presupposition X as it should concern some other fields (Metaphysics usually). It is very rare to be taken seriously when raising such problems, there seems to be a sort of taint around investigations that try to probe the presuppositions of a certain philosophical picture. Of course this is for continental philosophers much the opposite; meta-philosophy is seen as essential in carrying out philosophy itself, while for a fair amount of colleagues I encountered, metaphilosophy is considered mostly as a waste of time.

About the issue in the article: the matter is actually more serious than usually recognized, and some philosophers who write about continental figures from an analytic perspective are aware of this situation being problematic. Essentially, in trying to express philosopher X contributions on a certain topic as defined by contemporary analytic philosophy, one is bound to lose sight of what that philosopher actually proposed as their stance can only be detached from their wider system with difficulty, and hardly without undergoing some fundamental distortion. A contemporary case is with Hegel, undergoing a reinassance in the US, with the habit of using his arguments and positions in a rather piece-meal way for a number of topics, losing track of the actual content Hegel’s philosophy had (Robert Brandom has come under such accusations for example by Rolf-Peter Horstmann and Tom Rockmore). Nietzsche is also another problematic thinker whose writings can be adapted to a lot of different positions, polishing the most radical and iconoclasic side of his philosophy, coincidentally the traits that mattered most to 20th century french philosophy (interestingly enough this has happened for the second Wittgenstein as well, leading to a huge number of subpar and tamed readings of his later writings in analytic philosophy). I believe that very valuable scholarship on Continental authors coming form an analytic-oriented or informed standpoint is something actually widespread (and is basically what I’m doing as well). However, I can recognize the concerns of those philosophers whose focus has a distinctively different orientation and aim, and I’m afraid we are losing a number of very valuable contributions on continental topics (under accusation of being SPEP-py for example), just because these orientations do not fall neatly within the way contemporary philosophy is subdivided in specialized fields (in analytic departments, the classical area of Theoretical Philosophy is hardly recognized as something existing in its own right, quite the opposite in Germany, Italy and France were professorships and chairs in this field are still viewed as the norm).Report

PhilosopherOfMath
PhilosopherOfMath
Reply to  ContInHiding
4 years ago

The comments by D.F. and ContInHiding come as close as I’ve seen to articulating my sense of one rather palpable divide in the last century or century-and-a-half of our discipline. (I should say I also like Irene McMullin’s point that both divisions have their own “presuppositions and metaphors.”) Whether their distinction maps onto the analytic-continental distinction, however, I do not know. For the sake of brevity and expository ease, though, I’ll use “analytic” and “continental.” And, of course, in talking about a distinction or divide, I do not mean that there aren’t in-between cases, or cases that exhibit both characteristics. I’m sure there are some paradigmatic cases of each, with lots of more and less eccentric cases. I should also note that I agree with Continentalist (and others) who note that whatever characterizes the divide, it’s not the presence or absence of argument — as long as we give “argument” a suitably wide sense.

I cut my philosophical teeth on existentialism/phenomenology and early analytic philosophy up to Quine and Putnam before I even had an inkling of the possibility that each tradition was, well, its own tradition. I saw (my favorites of) the existentialists/phenomenologists and analytics as engaged in the same sort of Aristotelian project of systematizing all the modes of being, and saw them as offering interestingly different ontologies. I’ve come to recognize that my vision of unity, and of philosophy generally, was naive, unfamiliar as I was with the rich and varied history of our discipline.

But I’m still interested in both traditions. And far, far more often than not, when I tell philosophers this, the ensuing questions betray their assumption that I bring an analytic vision and method to bear upon continental authors and concerns — because OBVIOUSLY that’s what is professionally and philosophically best. But the reverse is actually the case: I bring what D.F. and ContInHiding identify as a more continental approach to bear upon analytic authors and concerns.

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to engage either analytic or continental philosophers in this sort of project: analytics because they see little fruit in bringing what they consider the interpretive enterprise’s stultifying meta-philosophical self-consciousness to bear on their most cherished results, and continentals because they see little fruit in paying attention to what they consider the normal-scientific enterprise’s unreflective optimism in solving problems, or, equally, their obsession with setting up their own little isolated games they continue to play without wondering whether those games should be set up in the way they are.

When I tell philosophers that I study the philosophy of mathematics and logic, the ensuing questions also reveal their assumption that I MUST be using an analytic approach: philosophy of math and logic is the bastion of clarity and rigor — no place for the messiness of contextualizing, interpreting, or characterizing deeply-held world pictures that engender conceptualizations that make certain problems arise in the first place. When I try to explain my more contextual, interpretive approach — which involves ample reference to historical figures — the response I get is: “Oh, so you do history,” as though if you’re not solving problems, you’re JUST doing history, and never the twain shall they meet. (Dividing our discipline into philosophy and history of philosophy strikes me as a particularly analytic move.)

The fact that talk of rapprochement of visions or styles is often talk of bringing analytic methods to bear on continental concerns is a sign that true rapprochement is further away than we might suppose. And, as the poster called lacunahead noted, this might be for more professional reasons than philosophical ones. Analytic approaches to both traditionally analytic and traditionally continental themes yield flashy, bite-sized papers, conference presentations, and grant proposals, giving certain topics a sheen of tractability, certain methods a sheen of rigor, and certain vocabularies a sheen of transparency none of these may actually have.

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continentalchap
continentalchap
4 years ago

Sorry, Justin, but I think you do the Continental Philosophy tradition a serious disservice by raising this (to my mind very important) topic in the context of a rant by Babich and one of her acolytes. She’s well known to try to discredit speakers at Continental Philosophy conferences by insulting them on Twitter (sometimes with the retort that they are secretly “Analytic”, and sometimes with more mundane insults). She’s barely taken seriously by Continental Philosophers anymore, except for a small die-hard crop of apologists who are thankfully diminishing in numbers fast. Most Continental Philosophers are much more open minded than she (and if being open minded is identified as being at odds with “Classical” Continental Philosophy, then so much the worse for it). Report

GradStudent_NotFromUSorUK
GradStudent_NotFromUSorUK
4 years ago

I have always been skeptical of the assertion that “argument and persuasion, making a case, making a claim, proving a point, persuading an opponent” is the exclusive label reserved for the analytical tradition, which allegedly has sprung out of nowhere in the 20th century. Rather, it seems to me that the above ‘label’ has always been flowing through the vein of Western philosophy since Plato, at least to a certain extent (perhaps, again, my assessment might have stemmed out of my myopic view installed through the analytical training I received.)

My view might have been instilled by one of the faculty members in my department whose main research topic lies on Heidegger and Nietzsche. He received his doctorate in German university in the early 90s, and is presumably insulated from much of analytical training besides elementary logic. That should be sufficient to make him, I believe, a full-fledged “traditional continentalist”.

The point is that the lucidity of his writing is unparalleled. As far as I know, he identifies his philosophical methodology as “hermeneutics” too, but his “argument and persuasion” still exhibits the clarity which overshadows many analytical philosophers (I have some reservations about his pedagogical style as I am a student, but it is irrelevant anyway :-)) It is also noteworthy that he has been vehemently critical of his Lacanian colleagues for their “indecipherable” writing, just as many analytics do in the blogsphere. We students had witnessed some of the most bitter strife between them in colloquia, defenses, etc. (In fact, analytical philosophers in my department are more of pacifiers within this battlefield!)

It is because of my encounter with his ‘traditionally-continentalist-yet-unforgiving-to-indecipherables’ attitude that makes me skeptical of the claim that “continental philosophy is inherently anti-argumentative; hence, pursuing the logical argumentation is losing its raison d’etre.”Report

ES
ES
Reply to  GradStudent_NotFromUSorUK
4 years ago

If you provided the name of said colleague, we could actually confirm your description of him.Report

GradStudent_NotFromUSorUK
GradStudent_NotFromUSorUK
Reply to  ES
4 years ago

Thank you for your interest, but I am too worried about becoming a whistleblower of a sort 😉 And since I am not in an anglophone department, I am afraid most visitors here will not be able to read his works due to a language barrier. Report

lacunahead
4 years ago

I wonder if it’s really right to frame the substantive problem as a difference in the methodological approaches of “analytic” and “continental” philosophy. Isn’t it rather that contemporary academia valorizes making numerous small but definite contributions in one’s particular niche field, and “analytic” philosophy is more amenable to this approach? The philosopher who pumps out six articles a year on “Why the X Dilemma in Y Epistemologies Doesn’t Entail Z” is seen as pushing the field forward by definitively proving or disproving some particular argumentative stance or conclusion; the philosopher who spends a couple of years on a book of Heidegger exegesis, however impeccably nuanced or groundbreaking it might be, is not in such clear waters with regards to their accomplishment. Additionally the former networks better with their peers by merit of their directly responding to or elaborating upon their arguments, generating citations more frequently, etc.

The “analytic” adoption of “continental” subject matter, rather, seems to be a refitting of content to meet new publishing demands. Now of course this entails some self-reflection from the practitioners which might be elaborated on as a result of some substantive methodological differences. We are all aware of the boring “analytic = precise, logical, rigorous, definite // continental = open to possibility, hermeneutical, literary, deep” trope. Maybe there is even some truth in this. Certainly the article form has differing demands from the book form, and fast publishing turnarounds necessitate a different sort of style and investigation than more liberal timelines. But philosophers, like everybody else, respond to institutional incentives which structure the standards for the profession.

I don’t have any definite answers as to whether or how these incentives should be changed. Thoughts?Report

Matt McAdam
Matt McAdam
4 years ago

“privileges argument and persuasion, making a case, making a claim, proving a point, persuading an opponent and so on…”

At this level of generality, what’s described her is more aptly labeled “scholarship” than it is “analytic philosophy”. Report

Hey Nonny Mouse
Hey Nonny Mouse
Reply to  Matt McAdam
4 years ago

Yeah, let me admit right now that I fight for these things to be privileged in philosophy. I take them to be a very serious duty, in philosophy and all disciplines.Report

Continentalist
Continentalist
Reply to  Matt McAdam
4 years ago

Exactly. And it’s just wrong to think that continental philosophers don’t do this, or even that it is less ‘privileged’ in the continental tradition. Pick up a book by Husserl, or Heidegger, or Derrida, or Foucault. Lo, they are full of claims! And many of those claims are clearly intended to function as support for other claims. Or read an interview with Gadamer, or Levinas, or Marion, in which the interviewer brings up a critique of or objection to their work. The reply is *never* ‘I can’t be critiqued, because I’m not making a claim’ or ‘I don’t care about objections, because I’m not trying to persuade anybody’. Instead, they *respond* to the objections, just like they would if they were trying to ‘make a case’ for a ‘claim.’ Report

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Continentalist
4 years ago

While I like the gist here, it’s simply not true of the early Derrida.Report

Continentalist
Continentalist
Reply to  Ian
4 years ago

I’m surprised you point specifically to the *early* Derrida. In my experience, that material (like Speech & Phenomena, Violence & Metaphysics) is much more clearly argumentative than the later stuff.Report

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Continentalist
4 years ago

I should have been more specific. You’re right that the early Derrida does, at least sometimes, have more or less clear arguments. “Structure, Sign, and Play” and *Of Grammatology* are more examples.

He was notoriously prickly about responding in a generous way to critique about his claims. The most famous example is his (non)-exchange with Gadamer, or the Searle “debate,” but it seems to me that this trend persists throughout let’s say the first 2/3rds of his career. Report

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre
Reply to  Continentalist
4 years ago

Derrida is an interesting case. Some of his less-ludic early work genuinely does advance an argument and make an effort to ground that argument within a philosophical conversation. Of course, it also, at least on occasion, crucially misreads the work on which it bases its claims. I am thinking in particular of Derrida’s rather bad reading of J. L. Austin, a misreading on which he erects perhaps his major claim in “Limited Inc, A, B, C…” Stanley Cavell remarks on this at length in *A Pitch of Philosophy* (1994) and *Philosophical Passages* (1995). In his marginal notes to Derrida’s *Speech and Phenomena*—the copy of which we have in our library—Bert Dreyfus also identifies numerous places where Derrida gets Husserl wrong. While these criticisms suggest that neither Cavell nor Dreyfus were persuaded by Derrida’s readings of these two figures, they nevertheless do signal an awareness of the seriousness of Derrida’s undertaking and their belief that Derrida is engaged in the traditional work of philosophical argumentation. Report

Continentalist
Continentalist
4 years ago

As someone who works on continental philosophy, I find Babich’s attitude utterly baffling. I don’t think that there’s anything like ‘the style’ or ‘the mode’ of continental philosophy (compare Husserl, for example, with Nietzsche, or Ricoeur with Zizek), but even if there were, I see absolutely no reason to think that preserving the tradition of continental philosophy would require us to continue employing that ‘style’ or ‘mode.’ On the contrary, insisting that one only use the style and vocabulary of those who went before is a guaranteed way to *kill* a tradition, not to keep it alive. To take up a tradition means precisely to figure out how to express its insights in your own words and in your own context. As one of Babich’s supposed heroes–Gadamer–puts it, “Every age has to understand a transmitted text in its own way, for the text belongs to the whole tradition whose content interests the age and in which it seeks to understand itself. The real meaning of a text, as it speaks to the interpreter, does not depend on the contingencies of the author and his original audience. It certainly is not identical with them, for it is always co-determined also by the historical situation of the interpreter.”

In fact, the thing Babich complains about here is *precisely* what figures in the continental tradition tend to do with the history of philosophy. Heidegger was famous for his lectures on Aristotle, because they showed how Aristotle’s ideas could speak to the concerns raised by German neo-Kantianism and Husserl’s phenomenology. Derrida’s ‘Plato’s Pharmacy’ certainly does not stick to Plato’s own style or vocabulary, but I’m confident that Babich would not describe it as a problematic ‘co-opting’ of the Greeks. If there’s nothing wrong with this, then why is it a problem when Dreyfus brings Heidegger into the ‘analytic’ debate about AI, or Brandom brings Hegel into the debate about representational content, or McDowell appeals to Gadamer to explain the difference between human and animal cognition? Of course, if they are misinterpreting them that’s one thing. But the right response to that is to explain, with appeal to (gasp!) reasons and textual evidence, why their interpretation is incorrect, and what a better interpretation would look like.Report

Henri Perron
Henri Perron
4 years ago

Whenever any sort of analytic/continental discussion arises, I often refer back to William Blattner’s short write-up on the topic which can be found here:

https://sites.google.com/a/georgetown.edu/prof-william-blattner/continental-analytic-philosophyReport

Irene McMullin
Irene McMullin
4 years ago

As a ‘continental philosopher’ I endorse Blattner’s reading of the situation (see link above), particularly his insistence that we recognize that there are bad philosophers on both sides. Having trained in analytic departments, I have read a good deal of ‘analytic’ philosophy that is so convoluted, jargon-filled, and opaque that it makes a mockery of analytic’s claim to the ‘clarity’ throne. Further, the lack of education into each others’ tradition means that people become blind to the fact that the presuppositions and metaphors of their own tradition ARE presuppositions and metaphors. For example, talk of “near possible worlds” is a commonplace in analytic philosophy that sounds like a strangely mystical or science-fiction style metaphor to continental ears – and one that is simply passed over without comment. Such examples are legion on both sides (one thinks immediately of mocking invocations of Heidegger’s ‘Nothing’), and the bulk of the problem comes from a simple lack of knowledge or curiosity about the nature and function of these concepts that sound so foreign. Sadly, this lack of knowledge and curiosity is often rooted in sheer prejudice: I once had an analytic colleague who proudly proclaimed that he would never waste his time reading Hegel even if he were immortal and thus had infinite time to waste.

I also recommend reading John McCumber’s excellent history of academic philosophy in America – “Time in the Ditch: American Philosophy in the McCarthy Era” – which discusses how many continental figures and departments were purged by McCarthyism and the consequent reshaping of academic philosophy to model itself more and more on a scientific model of argument analysis – which would not challenge the political status quo.

In keeping with this, we should note that many traditional continental figures – one thinks in particular of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche – have understood their writing to be in the service of bringing about cultural and individual transformation. Though they make arguments, then, they make arguments in the service of waking people out of their intellectual and moral torpor. And since that is their ultimate agenda – not making arguments for the sake of amassing a body of correct arguments – they also use distinctive rhetorical devices meant to reach people on different levels as well (e.g. aesthetic, emotional, moral). At the heart of the worry about the analytic appropriation of the continental tradition, then, is that the powerful transformative effect of certain writers will be lost or obscured if the truths they are conveying are distilled into information bits or argument maps, since information bits and argument maps (however true they are) will never compel someone to change her life.Report

Hey Nonny Mouse
Hey Nonny Mouse
Reply to  Irene McMullin
4 years ago

Rhetoric serves falsehood just as well as truth. We need to try to make sure that our opinions are not formed by rhetoric, and we need to try to train our students to do the same.Report

Charles Pigden
Charles Pigden
Reply to  Irene McMullin
4 years ago

In response to Irene MdMullin
It seems to me absurd to suppose that McCumber’s book comes within cooee of excellence . He argues that the triumph of the unduly disengaged school of analytic philosophy in the USA was due to McCarthyism. It is a moot point whether analytic philosophy IS unduly disengaged (Russell, Ayer and Hart, for example, were notable as as public intellectuals and one reason that so many logical empiricists had to flee to America was because of the anti-fascist tendencies of their thought) , but whether it is or not, McCarthyism can’t be the chief explanation of its triumph in America since analytic philosophy *also* triumphed in other Anglophone countries where McCarthyism was either muted or non-existent. The book is typical of one of the two ways in which American scholars tend to go astray. Because America is such a big, powerful and important country, they find it hard to keep the rest of the world in focus. As a result they are prone to two opposing errors: seeking a global explanation for what is mainly an American phenomenon or seeking a specifically American explanation for what is a global phenomenon. McCumber gives an American explanation for the triumph of analytic philosophy which is a global or at least a pan-Anglophone phenomenon (though one should not forget the triumph of analytic philosophy in countries such as Sweden and Finland). There is the further problem that analytic philosophy had largely triumphed in America BEFORE the political advent of McCarthy whose glory days were from 1950-1954. Now you can get around this difficulty by defining McCarthyism more broadly to encompass the red-baiting anti-radical and anti-Communist hysteria (often with an anti-New Deal agenda) that began in the nineteen-thirties and found institutional expression in the House Un-American Activities Committee which began its sessions in 1938 as well as the its predecessors such as the McCormack-Dickstein Committee whose co-chair, Dickstein, turns out (hilariously) to have been in the pay of the NKVD. But in that case the theory becomes even more bizarre as the most high-profile victim of this kind of proto-McCarthyism was Bertrand Russell, one of the founding fathers of analytical philosophy, who was blocked from a job at CUNY in 1940 because of his social and sexual radicalism and his anti-religious writings, reducing him temporarily, to near destitution. So McCumber’s thesis metamorphoses into the claim that philosophers sought to avoid the fate of Bertrand Russell by philosophizing in the style pioneered by -– Bertrand Russell. Well that’s not quite right (someone might reply); the point is that the triumph of analytical philosophy is to be explained by the fact that philosophers sought to avoid the fate of Bertrand Russell a) by philosophizing in the style of Bertrand Russell whilst b) *eschewing the public role that Russell had played for so many years as an activist for left-wing causes*. But then it seems that what McCarthyism (in this extended sense) explains is not the triumph of analytic philosophy (which was well on the way by 1940 and which happened elsewhere without the aid of McCarthyism) but the relative silence of left-leaning philosophers on social issues that was characteristic of American philosophy in the forties and fifties. In other words, what McCarthyism explains is not the triumph of analytic philosophy in America but the retreat of those triumphant analytic philosophers to the ‘icy slopes of logic’ . (This is confirmed by the fact that in other countries, where McCarthyite tendencies were relatively weak, you get the triumph of analytic philosophy without the retreat to the icy slopes: Russell, Ayer and Hart were all pretty vocal on social issues in the forties, fifties and sixties.) But this is not McCumber’s thesis but Reisch’s thesis as developed in ‘How the Cold War Transformed the Philosophy of Scince’. I have reservations about Reisch’s book but at least it isn’t as obviously silly as McCumber’s. Report

John McCumber
Reply to  Charles Pigden
4 years ago

My 2001 book, “Time in the Ditch,” suggests a possible American explanation of an American phenomenon, the triumph of analytical philosophy in the United States after World War II. What happened in other countries is not my concern.
I also don’t know whom Charles Pigden thinks analytical philosophy triumphed over. Continental philosophy dates from the 60’s and even its forerunners, existentialism and phenomenology, never really got going in secular American universities, so it couldn’t have been them. Pragmatism, which is a more plausible candidate, was still very much alive in 1947 (see my “The Philosophy Scare,” University of Chicago Press, 2016).
“Time in the Ditch” did not attempt to prove, or even to advocate, that McCarthyism was solely responsible for the “triumph” of analytical philosophy, but merely gathered evidence that further investigation was needed. I therefore commend Pigden for heeding the call I made, on the last page of “Time in the Ditch” and elsewhere, for philosophers to start taking these issues seriously enough to discuss them.
My fear was that if philosophers didn’t hash these issues out in-house, as it were, some outsider eventually would do it for them. Alas, Pigden’s support of my enterprise has fallen on deaf ears, and now a professor of Germanic Languages–me–has written a much more definitive account of how the McCarthy Era unfolded at one university. Check it out; it’s the book referenced above. Is it “obviously silly?” I can only wish it were.
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Reinhard Muskens
Reinhard Muskens
Reply to  John McCumber
4 years ago

Ah, continental philosophy dates from the 60s… You are obviously from another continent than I am.Report

John McCumber
Reply to  Reinhard Muskens
4 years ago

It’s true. Ask around.Report

Simon A. Lee
4 years ago

While reading the comments here, I recalled something Cavell said: “while I may often leave ideas in what seems a more literary state, sometimes in a more psychoanalytic state, than a philosopher might wish—that is, that a philosopher might prefer a further philosophical derivation of the ideas—I mean to leave everything I will say, or have, I guess, ever said, as in a sense provisional, the sense that it is to be gone on from. If to a further derivation in philosophical form, so much the better; but I would not lose the intuitions in the meantime—among them the intuition that philosophy should sometimes distrust its defenses of philosophical form” (Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome, 33).Report

Todd
Todd
4 years ago

I am someone whom Babich would classify as an analytic philosopher, despite most of my work prominently featuring Continental figures. I aim for clarity and some form of argument in my writing, but despite that, I always find it more enjoyable to read the traditional Continental canon than the recent analytic canon. Reading the seminal analytic articles often leaves me feeling like my engagement with the text is limited to quibbling with specific premises or steps in argument, effectively narrowing my philosophical focus.

On the contrary, when reading the seminal Continental texts (and other historical figures who have a more difficult writing style, e.g. Kant or Aristotle), I feel like the difficulty of the terminology and occasional (or frequent) lack of clarity in the presentation of ideas forces me to grapple fundamentally with questions about what issue really is up for discussion, why someone might find it important, and what mode of discourse is best suited for it, instead of just jumping into how best to argue for a specific conclusion. So, I ended up feeling much more engaged by these texts and more “philosophically alive” when reading them.Report

G
G
4 years ago

Personally, I don’t like it when analytic philosophers take the work of, e.g. Hegel and Heidegger, and water it down to make it more “reasonable” to the typical analytically inclined reader. That being said, there is nothing wrong with a philosopher doing this. *I* don’t like it, but that is because I like the wilder or less “respectable” parts these philosopher’s thought. I would however prefer people would be upfront about what they are changing rather than, as it seems to me, trying to force Hegel into some non-metaphysical box.

But there is nothing wrong with approaching the history of philosophy this way and it can do a lot of good, as we learn from Heidegger’s own insightful “interpretations” of Aristotle and Kant! Report

bzfgt
bzfgt
4 years ago

“Now the program at Boston College has in the interim (meaning post-Gadamer, and post-Taminiaux), hired only ‘safe’ sorts of continental-cum-analytic folk.”

John Sallis?!Report

Matt Burch
Matt Burch
4 years ago

What a productive thread! Whenever I think about this problem, I try to keep my students in mind. As an undergrad, I was introduced to the Continental-analytic divide well before I was in any position to evaluative it. But I trusted my favorite professors and assumed they were on the right side of the issue – the Continental side – and I applied almost exclusively to Continental grad programs. As fate had it, however, I landed in a graduate department dominated by analytic philosophers. And they were amazing—personally and philosophically! I revised my view of the so-called divide and came to think the whole thing was sustained by a kind of weird academic tribalism. I like belonging to a tribe as much as the next person. But when we initiate our students into our own tribe before they’re ready to assess the merits of either tradition, we run the risk of cutting them off from sources of inspiration and insight that might sustain them as budding philosophers. And for what? Based on the above description, I think I’m probably the kind of philosopher BB loves to hate. I’m ok with that. Report

German Grad Student
German Grad Student
4 years ago

I have to admit I find the premise of this blogpost rather curious – is it really the Continental tradition that is dying out? Or has the thematic pluralization of analytic philosophy over the past decades not rather meant that not much is left over from old-style analytic philosophy itself, perhaps apart from a certain style of writing that is considered to be particularly clear and a certain way of developing one’s terminology through an endless array of -isms?

Perhaps, for the future, we should just put the old analytic vs continental divide to the side and recognize that what all of us are doing is philosophy plain and simple – that fundamentally we are all tackling the same problems – and that different philosophers have developed rather divergent terminologies to deal with these problems, which sometimes makes communication pretty difficult because people generally put in too little effort to master other terminologies, claiming that the things they don’t understand right away must therefore be BS and unworthy of notice. Perhaps, for the future, a bit more charitableness on all sides would be welcome, so that we learn to understand people who use a different vocabulary, and learn how to translate different terminologies into each other.Report

James Goetsch
James Goetsch
4 years ago

I remember in grad school absolutely loving classes with both my analytic and continental profs, and feeling bewildered at the acrimony they displayed to each other in both the political environment of the department and the way in which they would mock the others ways of doing philosophy. What was strange to me was that I found good things in both approaches and could not understand why they could not recognize that in each other. In my mind it came to seem like I was child in a troubled marriage, hearing my two parents arguing and tearing each other down, while I only wished they could calm down and see how good they both were (and how bad they both were, for that matter).Report

William Cameron
4 years ago

Gilbert Ryle wrote a qualified but not unfavorable review of “Sein und Zeit” in “Mind” in the late 1920s. I’d suggest that the polemical division between so-called “analytic” and so-called “continental” philosophy, and therefore the start of this mutual antipathy and dismissiveness, can be traced to an attitude best characterized by Rudolph Carnap’s “The Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language” a bit later, in 1932. The root of the conflict seems to lie in a specific approach to denigrating Heidegger’s work by castigating it as nonsense. The whole enterprise of phenomenology and then of existentialism was thereafter tarred in the Anglo-American academy as so much obscurantism, as evocation of mood in lieu of plain premises and arguments readily reduced to symbolic logic. Report

Richard Zach
Richard Zach
Reply to  William Cameron
4 years ago

That paper wasn’t translated until 1966, and I suspect that tarring dates from around that time too. Whatever Carnap thought of Heidegger, he certainly wasn’t dismissive towards phenomenology.Report

Seth Edenbaum
4 years ago

The question concerns “doing” philosophy and whether philosophy exists independently of history.
http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/23014-money-and-the-early-greek-mind-homer-philosophy-tragedy/
“But Seaford’s concern with the historical explanations of Greek philosophy suggests that his book may not appeal to scholars interested exclusively in the philosophical content and argumentation of Presocratic texts. The author often explicitly minimizes intellectual explanations of a philosopher’s views in favor of socio-political, religious, and psychological factors. In fact, he insists that comprehending the relevant cultural factors is necessary for understanding Presocratic metaphysics. We must, he maintains, avoid treating ancient philosophy as if it were created in a “historical vacuum”, even if this threatens most Presocratic scholars’ “control of their subject and the autonomy of ’doing philosophy’“

Philosophical debates like this are the same as the debates over constitutional interpretation. If the US constitution is a ” living” document then meanings change. Historians write books about historical figures and reviewers will describe a book as giving us “an Abraham Lincoln for the progressive era” or the cold war era. So historians are happy to admit there is a 19th century Nietzsche and a 20th century Nietzsche, a French Nietzsche and a Flemish one. Analytic philosophers have a hard time with that. Mathematicians tend towards platonism, and analytical philosophers dream of the same rigor. So they tend to be like Scott Soames,, or political “realists” like Leiter. But if he were consistent Leiter be happy to see philosophical formalisms undermined by the evidence of determinism. Following his Nietzsche he would be happy to see a return to philology. But he doesn’t seem to be.

As for Babich, her argument is that continental philosophy is a branch of literature, a method of describing our own present in our own language, and that’s being lost. It is, in a sense. The new hybrid of analytic and continental, of Deleuze et al. is openly theological. Formalism is being put to the service of religious belief… again. The description of life as lived, “phenomenology” is left to literature, whether it’s Jane Austen, Houellebecq or Zadie Smith. So much the better for them. When Deleuze says science needs to metaphysics, I put down the book and walk away.

As for McCumber, he’s making a standard critique of post-war American art. It caused a bit of a ruckus 40 years ago.
http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo25998669.html
Guilbaut wasn’t the first.

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Hey Nonny Mouse
Hey Nonny Mouse
Reply to  Seth Edenbaum
4 years ago

“As for Babich, her argument is that continental philosophy is a branch of literature, a method of describing our own present in our own language, and that’s being lost.” Our language? Whose language? Like analytic philosophers, continental philosophers rarely write in language that is comprehensible outside of a tiny clique of people. Indeed, continental texts tend to be even further removed from natural languages than analytic texts are, and that’s saying something.Report

Samuel Maia
Samuel Maia
4 years ago

Maybe there is an important aspect of this discussion that is quite empirical: what is the real state of continental philosophers in US and UK departments? How much they are a minority? (30%?, 10%?, 5%?) What is their financial and professional state compared to analytic philosophers? (Their rates in funding and progress in their departments etc.)

Of course we would deal with methodological questions – who will be considered continental philosophers etc. And many would deny the merits of such research, arguing that is flawed since this distinction is problematic. Well, any research meets that kind of problems. Despite that I think the benefits would be innumerous – mainly, we would be able to jump from anecdotic experiences (which are still valuable) to more accurate ones.

It is harder to think seriously about the “death of continental philosophy” if we do not know whether it is really dead…

P.S.: It is possible that such endeavour have been already done, but, if so, is rarely cited.Report

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre
4 years ago

For those still following this thread, I have posted something that might be of interest to readers on my blog.

https://philosophyinthemargin.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/dreyfus-on-derrida/Report