Saturday, January 31, 2009

Final thoughts on Critchley

Having finished "A Very Short Introduction to Continental Philosophy" I finally feel like I can explain the difference between Analytic and Continental Philosophy. It's not as cut and dry as I first thought, and, interestingly, it appears that most philosophical debates take place within each school, rather than interscholastic debates (e.g. Heidegger debated with Sartre, but only ever references Carnap once, even though the differences in Carnap and Heidegger's philosophies was far greater than the difference between Sartre and Heidegger). My understanding of Continental Philosophy is that it believes that Kant has proven that all values and things in the world can be un-, de-, and re- constructed, thus creating nihilism, and that most Continental Philosophers make use of these "tools of construction" to fight nihilism itself. Perhaps this is why Continental Philosophy is more conscious of it's own history - because it uses history to critique and reevaluate the present.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect that "analytic" philosophy is also conscious of it's own history, but in a different way. I continue to become more and more uncomfortable with the labels because while they do have usefulness in terms of general, broad-brush groupings, the usefulness seems to dissolve when taken too seriously or authoritative.