May 11, 2005

'Analytic-Continental' Divide#2

More quotes from the article by Babette E. Babich on the 'Analytic-Continental' Divide in the philosophy institution. She says:

"Claiming there is no analytic-continental divide is an important step in the analytic appropriation of the mantle (not the substance) of continental philosophy. Why should the analysts want to appropriate the themes of continental philosophy? The short answer is that analytic philosophy has exhausted itself; the extended and more conflictedly interesting answer is because continental philosophy is sexy: the grad students want it - or think they do. The difference between so-called analytic and so-called continental styles of philosophy is a contentious matter of ideology and taste - "deflating questions" as opposed to reflecting on what is question-worthy, as Heidegger would say, in a question....Yet the advantage of denying any difference between modalities of philosophy is considerable because once the denial is in place, continental style philosophy can be dismissed as bad or even as "just not" philosophy and this is needed both to justify one's inattention to the work done by scholars working in the contemporary tradition of continental philosophy and even more importantly because analytic philosphy wants to try its hand at themes formerly left to continental modes of thought."

That is spot on.

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at May 11, 2005 09:38 PM | TrackBack

Though Babich's opposition to what I like to call "Leiter's Borg strategy" is appreciated, I am not sure that analytic philosophy is exhausted so much as in transition. For that matter I don't really like such nominalistic labels as "analytic" and "continental" philosophy, though I acknowledge their academic-political force. N.B. Recently Hilary Putnam has been speaking out against the narrowness of the analytic consensus and McDowell has said that if more "mainstream" analytics (i.e., Wright) don't like his way of inquiry then he does not care if he is not an analytic.
Babich makes a good basic point, but the issues are much more complex.

Posted by: Bob Slocum on May 12, 2005 09:35 PM
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