Talk:Continental philosophy

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Stuff from 'Contemporary Philosophy Entry to be merged in[edit]

If someone wants to merge this material into the continental philosophy entry, here it is:

Main article: Postmodern philosophy

Postmodern philosophy is a new and complex trend of thought. Beginning as a critique of Continental philosophy, it was heavily influenced by phenomenology, structuralism and existentialism, including the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger. It was also influenced to some degree by the later Ludwig Wittgenstein's criticisms of traditional philosophy, including earlier analytic philosophy. Postmodern philosophy is skeptical of many of the values and bases of analytic philosophy; for instance a postmodernist might disavow that the complex system of meanings embodied in normal or philosophical language could be represented in logical annotation (some might even disavow any traditional notion of "meaning" altogether).

Nitpick[edit]

"Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and, perhaps principally, Jacques Lacan are usually associated with this field." first, principally is most likely a weasel word in this context. Secondly, I have a hard time imagining how Lacan could be preeminent over Freud in any context. He [Lacan] certainly did not think so. A continental philosopher who engages with Lacan is a Lacanian or specifically interested in his work; it is almost unheard of for a continental philosopher to fail to engage with Freud. The Frankfurt School, for example, puts a huge emphasis on Freud, but ignored Lacan entirely even at the apex of his career. 66.222.62.214 23:46, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Jun 2004 Edits[edit]

I would like to know what was NPOV about the stuff I put up that you removed. i also object to your retitling of hte 'English-speaking world' section as 'in the university', as it does not apply to 'the university' at all, but only to universities in certain countries.--XmarkX 07:54, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry these changes bothered you... and if you object to something in the article, please change it! Not much has been removed from the article -- apart from moving sentences around and some rewording, I deleted one sentence: From this point to the present, the torch of philosophy in continental Europe has been passed, for the first time since the eighteenth century Enlightenment, to France. This praise seemed unsubstantiated and a little idiosyncratic to me; if somebody disagreed with the article, how would we demonstrate which country was now "carrying the torch"? (This was the non-NPOV I meant to refer to in the change log, and User:Sethmahoney in this edit was probably referring to the word "dogma," which seems like anti-Heidegger POV to me.) On the section title, just change it back if you want. I thought those sections seemed really to be about the academic status of continental philosophy, and they do mention its place in France and Germany as well. -- Rbellin 14:51, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, I should be apologising, since in fact, because the paragraphs didn't match up between the two versions, I thought that actually you'd deleted most of a paragraph, when in fact all you'd done is make it into a separate paragraph. I'll retitle the other section.--XmarkX 08:05, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Nietzsche and Marx[edit]

I think placing Nietzsche and Marx, in here, and claiming that analytic philosophy is uninterested in them, is arguable. Nietzsche in particular is similar in many ways to later continental philosophy, but both Nietzsche and Marx are known and engaged within the analytic philosophy tradition, and there are a reasonable number of analytic philosophers in political philosophy who promote Marxian viewpoints. Nietzsche I'd argue is somewhere in between the two camps. --Delirium 23:56, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)


I am replying to the above remark on Marx and Nietzsche (I can't seem to write there.) While both Nietzsche and Marx are of course studied by analytical philosophers also, they do not have the same status as they do in the Continentl tradition. Practically all of the major continental thinkers after Nietzsche engage with his work extensively. I name Heidegger, Deleuze, Benjamin, Derrida, Foucault, Lacoue-Labarthe almost at random. Husserl is questionable but some academics, such as Poellner, argue for a strong Nietzschean imperative in the very inception of his phenomenology. While Nietzsche is studied in the analytical tradition, I am not aware the he INFLUENCED Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson to any great degree. They certainly do not engage with his work to the same extent as the former. Indeed Nietzsche, to this extent, is perhaps THE continental philosopher par excellence, in that he was vital for Heidegger's development, and he occurs in all strands of French "post-structuralist" (terrible term - simply shorthand here) philosophy. As regards Marx, one can say something similar, but to a lesser extent (-his influence on Heidegger was of a different variety.) It is especially noteworthy that left-leaning analytic philosophers such as Chomsky and Putnam (a Maoist in the 60s/70s I believe) do not incorporate a reading of Marx integrally into their central philosophical projects in the way that, say, Deleuze and Derrida do. Also, as Hegel tends somewhat to be studied more by "Continentalists," a deeper philosophical engagement is more immediately accessible to those who study this area, iti s part of the course as it were. I do not believe it is a matter of CLAIMING certain philosophers as BELONGING to one group or another. Rather it is a matter of assessing the extent to which these philosophers are valued, and philosophical valued, by the concerned parties. So I would like to say that analytical philosophers are perfectly welcome, indeed encouraged, to read these thinkers too (but thinking of Nussbaum I'm not so sure!!!) Simon

An introduction[edit]

The opening needs to make a stab at identifying what is particularly non-English about these strains in philosophy, for is that not the sub-text of Continental philosophy. If the distinction cannot be made, the coherence of the article rather collapses, does it not?. --Wetman 07:20, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

You mean apart from the language and country of origin of (most of) the primary texts? I have to say that I don't think assigning national characteristics to ideas is a particularly fruitful approach in general. As to coherence, in everyday use the term has little real coherence or deep meaning, beyond denoting a set of approaches and texts that everyone agrees it denotes, and maybe having some secondary stylistic connotations. But it still gets used all the time, though (I think) most agree about its descriptive weakness... so it's still clearly an encyclopedic topic. In any case, I think the article's approach is the right one -- to explain the term and its connotations without imputing any great significance to it. But there are probably many more good explanations out there to cite -- including some that give the term more credit than I do -- and if you know of any of them, please add it. -- Rbellin|Talk 14:31, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

On some specific points, I find the Cavell quote disingenuous. It makes an initial distinction between problems and texts, and slides from that to imply that continental philosophy lacks analysis. This is misinformed at least, and certainly does not follow. "Continental Phliosophy" is highly analytic, but tends to deal with specific problems in the context of overall works, and overall philosophies. It has not been fractured into easily digestible portions in the way that analytic philosophy has. Also, this article states that Continental Philosophy is not taught in philosophy depts in the English speaking world. While this is largely the case there are notable exceptions, such as De Paul, Northwestern, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Boston College, and Stonybrook in the USA, MacMasters and McGill in Canada, UCD in Ireland, and Middlesex, Dundee, Sussex, Essex and The University of Warwick in Britain. (I don't know about Australia I'm afraid) A glance at the staff pages of these depts will make clear to the informed reader that a large proportion of the most highly regarded "Continental Philosophers" in the English speaking world are in fact based in philosophy departments.

I think the distinction between analytic and continental philosophers does not make any sense at all. This distinction has been invented in US and British philosophy departments. These terms imply that continental philosohers are non-analytic (meaning no-brainers) and that analytic philosophers are non-continental (meaning british or american). First of all, the main contributors to so-called "analytic philosophy" were all continental philosophers, Frege, Wittgenstein, Popper, Vienna School, .... They did not come from Britain or the US. Secondly, the presumption that continental philosophical traditions, which were not engulfed in the english-speaking world, are illogical (non-analytical) is simply the result of ignorance and arrogance. Kikl 10:20, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

As for the Cavell quotation - there is no sliding. He merely indicates that continental philosophers in general do not use analytic methods of compartmentalization (as opposed to hermeneutic, phenomenological, etc.) to pick apart texts; he is saying nothing about the rigour or lack thereof of continental figures. In fact, having a quotation by him makes a good deal of sense, seeing as though Cavell is often singled out as being one of the few figures who extensively uses both analytic and continental methods and inspirations (one could even argue that he attempts a fusion of the two). In response to Kikl's two points: 1. Your first point doesn't make any sense; here the term "continental" has expanded contextual meaning beyond just "comes from continental Europe." Everyone understands that the phrase "continental philosophy" is a term of art that describes methods. Besides, Wikipedia is meant to explain words that have come into use, nto be blamed for their original creation. 2. No one said that contiental philosophy is "illogical" per se, but it is quite true that analytic figures utilize symbolic logic to a high extent, while canonical continental writers tend to be less concerned with the issue of logic, or expand its meaning. --Xenikos 10:21, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

"This distinction has been invented in US and British philosophy departments."
Correct. As I said in the discussion of the Analytic and Continental Philosophy article, analytic philosophers describe themselves as such and acknowledge that they form a very loose school. There are no philosophers who regard themselves as "continental" or subscribe to a "continental" school. "Continental philosophy" is a term used by analytic philosophers of others - usually pejoratively, as well as with a lack of geographical accuracy. KD -- November 22

"Anglo-American"[edit]

"revert last edit, since the phrase "Anglo-American" is key to explaining what "Continental" is defined against." What is that supposed to mean?

(This was posted as a reply to my last edit reinserting the text "Anglo-American" before "analytic philosophy," and the anonymous user who posted it appears to be the same editor as User:Kikl.) Remember, Wikipedia articles are written for newcomers and outsiders to the fields they cover. To someone who doesn't understand the distinction, it makes sense to explain that analytic philosophy is notionally Anglo-American as a contrast to "Continental," because otherwise the distinction seems like an apples-and-oranges comparison. This is the case even if, as you seem to believe and I mostly agree, the distinction is largely false when the matter is considered in more depth.
Please, also, remember the principle (WP:NOR) that Wikipedia reports on existing ideas rather than polemicizing for or against them; the opinion above that "the distinction...does not make any sense at all" is a valid opinion, but Wikipedia is not the place to argue for or against it. The point of this article is to explain to a lay reader what the purported distinction is, not argue that it does or that it does not have descriptive validity. It's enough to note that informed opinions vary on this question, and perhaps to cite notable statements of the various takes on the question. -- Rbellin|Talk 21:29, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

O.K. I agree Kikl 00:20, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


Continental philosophy is a general term for several related philosophical traditions that (notionally) originated in continental Europe from the nineteenth century onward, in contrast with Anglo-American analytic philosophy.

I suggest that be rewritten: Continental philosophy is a general term used on Anglo-American universities for several....

Or something in that sense; I have never heard it used self-refferentially by the so called 'continental philosophers', and would expect that such label would be refused. It only exists to have something to contrast with analytic philosophy, and frankly that seems a wery weak reason to lump together completely different schools together, and on a geographical basis, which could even be interpreted as chauvinistic. So, wherever in the article the term is used, i think it should be emphasized who (and who alone) uses such a term.

I changed the first paragraph in the "history" section, because previously it had lumped Soren Kierkegaard in with Freud as having been well outside the tradition of German Idealism. Which didn't make a lot of sense; Kierkegaard's first burst of creative output came as a result of his trip to Berlin to attend Schelling's lectures. At least a third of Kierkegaard's writing has to do with refuting Hegel, and the extent of influence by Kant, Fichte, and Schelling on Kierkegaard is almost as great as the influence Kant had on Schelling. I can see no rationale to explicitly place him outside of the unfolding of that tradition, unless it was just because he lived in Copenhagen. Which is not a good reason. --Xenikos 10:44, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a comment from Germany can help in this discussion: from the point of view of people who value the work of sceptics ranging from Nietzsche to Derrida (e.g. people who agree with Rorty most of the time) the term "continental philosophy" is regarded as a cliche used in polemical attacks against "decadent european thought" or "the obvious weaknesses of cultural relativism". In Germany, the term is used in the (polemical) attempt to construct a universally valid dichotomy between the ideal of "anglo-american analytical thought" aiming at identifying "The Truth" ever more clearly (leading to scientific, economical and military supremacy) and "weak liberal scepticism" that leads nowhere - only to the further decay of the "european welfare system".

(deleted) - apologies, not seing any responces in talk, I failed to notice how article has supstantialy progressed since these problems were first pointed out...--Aryah 15:06, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Contradiction of source: "This tradition, which has come to be known broadly as "analytic philosophy", became dominant in Britain and America from roughly 1930 onward." The source given for this is Dummet, but Dummet holds the completey opposite view. He says the Anglo-American view "utterly distorts the historical context", excludes Russel and Moore as the original and proposes the term Anglo-Austrian. Now look, an argument that has to be won by klugeing up phony sources is not worth winning. Let's have the truth here, not your partisan views. If you are wrong have the grace to withdraw the argument. I note that no page number is given on this source and that is always a warning sign. The book is reviewable; I found it on page 1, Chapter 1. I'm only formatting sources here. The article seemed good but now I'm beginning to wonder. There is another source given. I will check that if I can but the first source has to go; it isn't a source. If the other one, which has no page number either, is wrong then I will leave it unsourced. You can look it up. I'm not working on this right now, only checking formats.Dave (talk) 15:08, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the Dummett reference is useless (and the Prado suspect), but saying that Dummett holds the opposite view is confusing the issue. The claim you quote from the article is saying "AP became dominant in the UK & US". Dummett does not and would not deny this. What Dummett is objecting to in his book is the claim that "AP = Anglo-American". Dummett argues that the origins of AP lie in Frege, Bolzano, and other German-Austrian philosophers. The claim in this article is poorly sourced (and originates in the early, low-quality origins of this article), but Dummett does not deny it, and it would be, I think, fairly easy to find appropriate sources. (Charlton, p. 2, or Glock, p. 64, or the Searle/Leiter quotes at the start of the Wiki article on Analytic Philosophy. 271828182 (talk) 22:29, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Differences from analytic philosophy[edit]

What does it mean that something appears to be different "from an analytic point of view"? Doesn't a difference imply an analysis? Paired with the following bit about how analytic philosophy "notoriously defines descriptive value on its own terms" this smells like POV. If something appears a certain way to the layman, even if that happens to align with a particular philosophical POV, it shouldn't require qualification... this kind of language looks like a tetchy, insecure rebuttal. It's like saying "2 + 2 = 4 (in the slanted, insular world of mathematics, famous for defining numbers on its own terms)." Or am I missing something? Pjrich 17:07, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

On the same note, the "Emphasis on Thinkers" subsection seems a bit OR. Until someone can cite it, I'm putting a {{POV-section}} tag on it. --LordTimothyDexter 01:52, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Help at Lit Crit[edit]

Can anyone contribute here? — goethean 17:30, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Intro link trouble[edit]

Lucaas, I strongly disagree with removing the links to 20th-century philosophy and Western philosophy in the intro. We surely can find a formulation which links those and your new article Analytic and Continental Philosophy -- if it stays.

Also using "tradition" without quotes seems a bad change to me. "Continental" is an external and POV labelling of something which doesn't consider itself one of two traditions.

Pjacobi 22:13, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Helloooo? Arguments? --Pjacobi 17:09, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Changed back to "traditions" of current Western philosophy --Pjacobi 21:39, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Better to standardise the link as it is in analytic philosophy page and to give some point of unity between the two in the encyclopedia so as to clarify the confusion of "two philosophies."
--Lucas

Redirect from "Speculative philosophy"[edit]

I was redirected here from "speculative philosophy," but I couldn't find the term speculative philosophy used anywhere in the article. I've got no idea how the two are related (and still don't know anything more about speculative philosophy, obviously, which is what I was looking for). Drlith 14:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

That's weird. I typed in speculative philosophy in the search box and landed on Sublation, the whole of which strikes me as original research. Speculative philosophy isn't all about Hegel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculative_philosophy Zeusnoos 21:30, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I feel that the speculative philosophy redirection should be removed and replaced with a stub page linking to both natural philisophy and continental philosophy.

Md84419 (talk) 22:04, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

npov[edit]

i love that we a discussing a neutral point of view with regards to a contenental philosophy a subset of which rejects possibility of this. should wikipedia contribution include a airing of biases, probably not but this point is too obvious ignore

Eiffel Tower photo[edit]

Cute, but what does it have to do with continental philosophy besides the obvious stereotype? Acornwithwings 00:29, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Many photos in wiki philosophy are obvious stereotypes, that is what makes them such good shorthand. --Lucas

Having looked through many of the philosophy pages, I notice that most of them don't have a image, and if they do they either have a photo of someone who was big in the field or an illustration of a concept in that field. inasmuch as any of these are stereotypes, they make sense as shorthand because they have anything at all to do with the topic at hand. What is the Eiffel Tower shorthand for? The Eiffel Tower has nothing to do with continental philosophy. it illustrates a common stereotype, but it's a misleading one. There are certainly many French continental philosophers, and certainly many influential French continental philosophers, but they don't even come close to dominating the field. what about Heidegger, the frankfurt school? should we also have a picture of a dude in lederhosen? Acornwithwings 17:36, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Pure silliness. I've removed it. --Pjacobi 17:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The image doesn't have anything obvious to do with the subject of the article. I agree with its removal. -- Rbellin|Talk 18:59, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Well nice to see that there are still some serious people left in the world! All the above contradicts itself. None is backed up, why is it silly? These comments are far more silly. How come it has nothing to do with the subject and is also a stereotype? Only real critic was that it left out any reference to Germany. However, the glass half-full is better than none. --Lucas

here's an idea: put a photo of Big Ben on the analytic philosophy page. Acornwithwings 04:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I'd think the statue of liberty with a clear blue sky but withh stars might be better, but not much. Book covers for Analytic tend to go with abstract art showing geometric forms. The Paris image was not so much for the eiffel tower as for the storm over Paris. I think the challenge to Pjabobi et al. should be to up the standard: find a better image or stop removing this one.

In any case, it looks like Pjacobi and Rbellin want to remove it. Acornwings also wants to remove it or replace it, it seems, so I'll go along with it. However, I think the page looks rather more dull now and if anyone would like to leave the Pjacobi mob or join mine let me know and I'll put that fine and most appropriate image back. I can even see some publisher putting it on a the cover of a book "The Continental Reader" or French reception of German etc..

--Lucas


The only book dealing with 'continental philosophy' that ive ever seen bearing a picture of the eiffel tower is Fashionable Nonsense. I think what you're missing is that the picture doesn't correspond at all to anything in the article. French prominence in continental philosophy is a recent and short lived phenomenon that is already in its twilight. To have an image that signifies (admittedly via stereotype) a recent and relatively unimportant trend in a very broad topic is not informative. The closest analogy I can think of would be having a star of david on the page for 'physics'. Jimmyq2305 18:44, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, I think 'mob' is a bit much to describe a wikipedia based conflict that is minor even by the standards of wikipedia based conflicts. No one's getting tommy gunned.

Never heard of the book fashionable nonsense but I must remember to check the silliness rating of the writers, afterall anyone who writes a books declaring what is nonsense and what is sensible belongs in Tristram Shandy. Above all what you forget is that the Eiffel tower is not France but a symbol of the continental (and perhaps Enlightenment engineering etc.). The trouble with physics is that they could never agree upon a photo for their page, unlike this page which had one for a number of months. That you are a Calvinism, and hate images, an iconoclast, and lost for an image, I have no doubt, but what does that have to do with Continental philosophy and the fact the lightning over a capital of europe might happen to evoke something? --Lucas

if you don't know about fashionable nonsense (or bothered to hit the wiki link) it's a quite contentious book by a physicist who criticizes postmodern continental philosophers. the eiffel tower was used in an obviously derogatory fashion on the cover of that book. on top of the eiffel tower being a misleading stereotype, having nothing to do with the article, etc, if the pic is used on this page anyone who has seen fashionable nonsense will associate this page with that book, which is certainly not appropriate for a supposedly neutral wikipedia article. Acornwithwings 23:08, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Well I never saw the cover of that book, nor should we tailor this page to the few who might have. As I said earliar I would not buy a book from someone who purported to tell me what was nonsense and what was not. And most especially if it were a physicist, the masters of nonsense for 2,500 years, for a laugh just pick up an old physics book, almost unintelligible, all about wet and dry humours or earth wind and fire. The current lot are even worse, quarks that bump in the night, things disappearing, invisible matter, and energy that is lethargic, need I go on.
There is nothing necessarily derrogatory about the eiffel tower. The photo I had on the article was a rather stunning black and white with lightening forked all over the tower.

--Lucas


I think that the part about historicism and contingency or whatever is terribly over-simplified. This part must be fixed up —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.144.141.12 (talkcontribs)

Should Hegelianism be included in intro[edit]

We have reverted this enough. I was trying to suggest that German Idealism usually includes Hegel but that Hegelianism might be a different matter? ---- Lucas (Talk) 04:41, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Cite a source for a Hegelianism that is not idealism, but still falls under the rubric of Continental philosophy. Otherwise, it's a distinction without a difference encumbering a list that is already too long-winded. 271828182 09:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

That it also falls under Continental philosophy see "Oxford Companion to Philosophy", (OUP: 1975), there you see the influence on pragmatism, and on Continental through Kojeve and Hypolite in the 30s & 40s, but also how Left Hegelians like Feuerbach propose a naturalistic humanism that puts material above concepts.(ie, it is non-idealist) -- Lucas (Talk) 13:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course Hegelianism is Continental; no cites needed to convince me of that. But I asked for a non-idealist Hegelianism that is also Continental. Where does Feuerbach call himself a non-idealist Hegelian? 271828182 21:35, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

It is given in the reference I gave you. An aspect of Hegel is idealist, much of the work he did and that is of value is the non-idealist stuff. After all we do not talk of Newton for his work on deciphering Bible Prophesies but for what we find of value in him. ---- Lucas (Talk) 21:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, you want to include the Left Hegelians (Feuerbach, Bauer, Stirner, et al.), who considered themselves materialists. That's fine. OTOH, I'd like to see "the non-idealist stuff" Hegel did. You have some specific passages of the Encyclopädie in mind? 271828182 22:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Well yes I don't think you can say that Hegel can be summed up as idealist unless you want to completely re-write what idealism traditionally means. Yes he has his Absolute Reason coming to manifest itself in progress, and this is idealist but it is only the icing on the cake. If you leave out all this Absolute stuff which is part of the foundational project of the time, and includes religious/political aspects, there is a whole lot more. I would refer you then to the Master-slave section of the phenomenology and to the chapter on "The Critical Philosophy" (2nd attitude of thought) in the Logic. Also look to what he has to say about Concretising the idealist mode of Kant's philosophy and taking on board empiricism (he mixes idealism with empiricism). -- Lucas (Talk) 22:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Did you get to the end of the Greater Logic? You know, the part where Hegel notes, among other things, that the union of subjectivity and objectivity is that "Absolute Idea" thingie? Please, do your original research sometime and publish your exposition of how you just need to "leave out all this Absolute stuff" and Hegel's only an idealist in the sense icing is the top of a cake. That's rich. And after that you can explain how, if you leave out all the Y chromosome stuff, George W. Bush is really Barbara Bush. 271828182 23:03, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but I've no idea if this is meant to be a rebuttal, it certainly does not appear like that, it is just point of view. All you do is state baldly that Absolute idealism is essential in Hegel but I already gave you refences. It is not obligatory to take on board all of a philosophers statements unless they are dependent, and as I suggest above reading master-slave dialectic and "The Critical Philosophy" from the Logic gives alot of philosophy on these matters that does not depend on the end of the Logic and do not depend on an idealist reading. You have not shown that "Absolute Reason"/idealism is essential in Hegel and that without it there is nothing worthwile in his philosophy.
At certain points philosophers can lose their way, you do not have to swallow them whole. We do not read Newton's Prophecies or his Alchemy work. Again, I do not read Hegel for his ideas upon the Absolute, nor is this an original way of reading him, in fact it is probably the more common way to read him. Just look at the reception of Hegel in the 20th century. -- Lucas (Talk) 23:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
You gave no specific references, just vague handwaving to two sections of Hegel. The burden of proof is yours, especially in the face of ample evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not an appropriate venue for debating the correct interpretation of Hegel, so I am content to let the matter drop. 271828182 04:51, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Well not sure what handwaving you refer to, these are specific references (see above) and the comments are specific. On the other hand your couple of comments are rather vague. If you do not understand them that is one thing. It seems you interpret Hegel in your own essentialist manner and refer everything to the end of the "Logic" but of course this single reference you give to the end of that book, does not refute my comments. -- Lucas (Talk) 19:46, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Please stop. Wikipedia talk pages are for discussion directly related to improving the article, not quarrels about how to properly interpret Hegel. For what it's worth, I don't think it's a good idea to mention "Hegelianism" separately in the lead paragraph, because that list is too long and unwieldy already. -- Rbellin|Talk 19:52, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Not sure why you put this warning here, we were trying to discuss if Hegel is sufficiently covered in the intro by referring to German Idealism, or, if due to his reception in continental philosophy was less about idealism and more on other matters.-- Lucas (Talk) 20:40, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Of a particular set of philosophers[edit]

The intro said Continental is "heavily influenced by a particular set of philosophers" This is misleading, Continental is influenced by a whole host of philosophers and, unlike, Analytic, does not "rule out" certain philosophers like Hegel from its canon. This comment would suit better the page on Analytic. -- Lucas (Talk) 13:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

How does being influenced by a particular set contradict being influenced by a larger set as well? I am pointing out that you would not describe (say) a French Descartes specialist as a "continental philosopher" unless he or she was also influenced by (say) Heidegger. Cf. the difference between Martial Gueroult and Jean-Luc Marion. Your claim that the analytic tradition excludes philosophers in a way that the Continental tradition doesn't is pretty dubious, too. (How many times does Derrida discuss Frege anyway? Once in passing?)
I am trying to give the term a bit of definition in the first line. Saying, as your edit does, that it refers to "various philosophies" is vacuous. I am offering a neutral description of the extension of "continental philosophy" which comes in the list that follows. 271828182 21:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like you add to the emptiness of saying a variety of styles, with "from a particular" (ie, not general) "set of philosophers". I think both Analytic and Continental exclude certain philosophers, but Analytic from its inseption excludes two major traditions from the 19thC Hegel/Marx and Kierkegaard/Nietzsche. Yes Continental does not read Russell etc. But look how analytic starts talking about itself:
Analytic philosophy is the dominant academic philosophical movement in many English-speaking countries, but also in some Nordic countries. Its main founders were the Cambridge philosophers G.E. Moore and Bertrand Russell.
Now we instead give a very differnt impression. Saying that it is a "particular set of philosophers", is a useless comment it would not be a tradition if it didnt have a canon. By saying particular set it sounds like it limits itself straight away when in fact it is open to all but the Analytic which instead dropped alot of 19th century philsophy and, in a way, particularised itself.
Where is the reference for this material?
It needs to say "more widely used" because it hints that it may be just a term of use by English-speaking philosophers. Without a philological reference we cannot declare that it was not also a term coined by literary theory.
Also note the first section "history" seems to give details of the schism rather than of the start of Continental, Husserl had also started something totally new at that time, just like Analytic. -- Lucas (Talk) 22:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The reference is the Critchley book, p. 4. The term Continental philosophy is a term used primarily in English-speaking philosophical circles. The "particular set" comment is not vacuous, since it includes the crucial tag "from Europe" and links to the subsequent sentence listing the usual Continental suspects. Your comment that "Continental" is "open to all" doesn't fit with usage. Is Jules Vuillemin a Continental philosopher?
Explaining where the term came from does not "hint" that is its sole use. You are reading into the sentence. And I have given you the reference. Read the Critchley, or produce a source. Otherwise, there's no basis for your speculation that it was coined by literary theory. 271828182 22:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Europe includes Britain, so "from Europe" does not help. Much simpler to just say it refers to a style of philosophies on the Continent of Europe. Since the "particular set" is not clearly defined nor is it closed. What I meant by it being open to all, was that a Continental philosopher looks to much of the history of philosophy and can go on to include almost any philosopher. On the other hand Analytic espoused from the beginning a deprecation of Hegel etc.. Are you referring to the Analytic work of the French philosopher Vuillemin? I hope I did not suggest than anyone might be classed as Continental or Analytic based only on geography.
I am not reading into the sentence I am just pay attention to what is not said by it. As every politician knows, one can mislead by omission. I agree it is an open question, "is it only used by English-speaking philosophers?", as you said yourself it is "used more widely" and adding this clarifies. This is just a matter of clarifying something that can be read in that way since it gives no guidance on the issue, and "originating" here also implies using. Nor will you find Analytic defined as a "particular set of philosophers" it is just a narrowing expression and implies someone has this "list". The list given does not answer this either it is of philosophies not philosophers. -- Lucas (Talk) 23:10, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Naturally, the set is not well-defined, as "continental philosophy" is not well-defined. That is what makes your tendency to issue blanket generalizations about the differences between the traditions particularly unverifiable and problematic for Wikipedia. To wit: your claim above that CP "looks to much of the history of philosophy and can go on to include almost any philosopher" fits analytic philosophy just as well. Analytic work on Hegel? Check. Marx? Yes. Nietzsche? Tons. Husserl? Plentiful. Heidegger? Lots. Sartre? Beaucoup. Derrida and Foucault? Sure. In fact, there is far, far more "analytic" work on "continental" philosophy than vice versa. Name a book by a "continental" on Frege, Russell, Quine, or Kripke. Name even one. Yet the reverse is easy to do for each one of the continental greats in the preceding list.
At any rate, the list given is the best Wikipedia can hope to do for such an ill-defined term: give a publicly verifiable list of the names typically associated with the term. The "used more widely" tag is a "clarification" that makes the sentence more ungainly by accenting a fact that is easy to perceive without the help of an encyclopedia. 271828182 05:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
If the "set of particular" philosophers is poorly defined, as you suggest, then would it not be better to avoid referring to a "particular set" and avoid giving the impression that someone has a particularised list somewhere.
Trying to characterise the differences between the two is not an easy task. References given to philosophers who have talked about this are the best thing to go by and not your generalisations of it nor mine.
In characterising Analytic of course we try to give its general shape and character, and not cover all the details, nor make a rule for it. You will not find any of the above listed for example, on the Analytic article and let me give you a few quotations from that page on Analytic:
Analytic philosophy, perhaps because its origin lay in dismissing the relevance of Hegel and Hegelian philosophers (such as Marx), had little to say about political ideas for most of its history.
I do not know how you could say that Analytic characteristically works on Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida and Foucault. It is quite a strange comment you make. That there have been certain dismissive encounters between these is not. Remember I am talking about the main canon of Analytic not certain individual essays by lesser know individuals.
Look to the list of its main philosophers, how many of these refer to the above mentioned philosophers?
Analytic philosophy includes Philippa Foot, R. M. Hare, and J. L. MackieJohn Rawls, Robert Nozick,Monroe Beardsley, Richard Wollheim, Arthur Danto, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, David Kaplan, Saul Kripke, Richard Montague, Hilary Putnam, W.V. Quine, Nathan Salmon, John Searle, Gilbert Ryle, John Searle, Jaegwon Kim, David Chalmers, Putnam, P.F. Strawson, Kripke, David Lewis, Salmon, Peter van Inwagen
Continental is open in the sense I mean, in that it takes seriously these philosophers such as Marx, it does not just extract a comment or two from them and then analyse it to death, which is just a null operation and is too easy to suggest it involves "work". But in originally saying that CP was open, I was not suggesting that Analytic is closed. But that the sense of the intro in comparison to same for the Analytic page gives the impression of a closed, particular (and not general) canon of philosophers in CP.
-- Lucas (Talk) 20:15, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Just because a set is not well-defined does not entail that it is useless to try to enumerate its extension. "Baldness" is not well-defined either, but it still makes sense to call some people bald.
I agree that references are essential for the purposes of Wikipedia. And that is why I have referred to the Blackwell Companion as a source. You, by comparison, are fond of quoting photo captions of uncertain authorship (as with your cite from the Oxford Illustrated History of Philosophy that Husserl is respected by the analytic tradition). And the figures on this list accord with publications in, say, SUNY Press's Studies in Continental Philosophy series, or entries in the above-mentioned Blackwell Companion.
The sentence you quote from the article on analytic philosophy is an example of why I generally ignore other poorly-written articles when trying to improve another one. It is weaselly POV speculation ("perhaps...") that trades in a false stereotype: analytic philosophy had little to say about politics? But what about the Vienna Circle's association with leftist politics ("most of us, myself included, were socialists" - Carnap), as published in the Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung? Russell's numerous political publications and highly visible antiwar activism, from WWI to Vietnam? Popper's massive book against totalitarianism? Rorty and Putnam were practically Communists in the 60s and 70s. Oh, and Chomsky and Rawls and Nozick and Sen and Williams and.... Yeah, except for them, analytic philosophy had "little to say about political ideas".
My "strange comment" may seem strange, since it is a misreading of what I actually wrote. I nowhere implied analytic philosophy "characteristically works on" Hegel et al. I merely pointed out that analytic philosophy is much more open-ended than your false claim that it excludes certain authors and "particularizes" itself. In any case, your challenge again demonstrates your limited knowledge of philosophy: Mackie is influenced by Nietzsche, Rawls wrote and lectured on Hegel, Wollheim heavily drew on Freud, Danto wrote a famous book on Nietzsche, David Kaplan has written on Husserl, Putnam knows his Derrida, Levinas, and Foucault quite well, and as some of us have read firsthand, Ryle knew his phenomenology, including Heidegger.
As for the "sense of the intro"—well, what was it you were saying to me below, re: Ryle? "Keep your personal views" to yourself. I'm trying to write a clear, accurate, and informative encyclopedia article, not quibble over possible offence to your POV that Continental is "open" or "closed". 271828182 22:04, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
"A particular set of philosophers" gives an impression of a well-defined list, when it is not. If you were trying to refer to bald philosophers that is fine, but it is not lack of hair we talk about and unlike hair-ness, there are hundreds of ways of putting this expression without giving it as a particular rather than a general set. Even set is misplaced and an unusual wording for canon. We need not mention canon at all, since the list of philosophies all have their own canons. Nor should we start an article by referring to the group or person who coined a term. This is most unusual, look for example, look at the Analytic page (we don't talk of who first used the expression).
Not sure why you say I referenced Husserl from the Oxford Illustrated History of Philosophy. Are you mixing me up with another editor? The reference I was referring to in our discussion was to an analysis of Ryle's review. In which list do you refer to the Blackwell companion?
I would say that Analytic philosophy as philosophy had little to say about politics until Rawls. I would say that certain philosophers who practiced Analytic happened to have political views (like anyone), and may have published in support of these ideas, since they had a name, but these things were not part of their Analytic philosophy or "the philosophy of language". Would you say any of these pre-Rawlsian efforts are now studied as part of philosophy? I don't think so. In the founding of Analytic Russell made a strong critique of Hegel and British idealism. He made a new start (called Analytic philosophy) and part of its "constitution", meant leaving out Hegelianism and British Idealism as method. I'm not saying there is not something called "political philosophy" in Anglophone or Analytic but it was not in focus until after Rawls, and after him, exists only as a separate discipline in Anglophone philosophy. (unlike its mix with metaphysics etc in other philosophies)
I do not deny that many English speaking philosophers have read Nietzsche (who hasn't) what I try to say is that in the main "discoveries" or arguments of Analytic, these names do not appear. Yes Ryle had read some Husserl at one time, but look at his main work, where does he mention him? where does he draw on him or enter into debate with him, where does he seek to improve upon Husserl? Nowhere. Rawls read Hegel (again who hasn't) but again the ideas just glance off him, where is Hegel in "A Theory of Justice"? Are you suggesting these writers took ideas from these writers without crediting them with them? This generally goes for most of these Putnam/Derrida, etc. As to the Aesthetics of Danto and Wolheim, not sure if you could really describe them as Analytic. There is such a thing, after all, as CP done in English and it is often in lit. theory or aesthetic areas. It is the very form of such engagements that presents the other side as distant. Remember too that before the 40s/50s Analytic was not the main philosophy at US/UK universities, but Hegel etc. were.
Again to give some idea of the mainstay (or canon or even "particular set") of Analytic philosophers (and not certain fringes that you mention) here is the list of main ones from the Analytic page:
Analytic philosophy includes Philippa Foot, R. M. Hare, and J. L. Mackie, John Rawls, Robert Nozick,Monroe Beardsley, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, David Kaplan, Saul Kripke, Richard Montague, Hilary Putnam, W.V. Quine, Nathan Salmon, John Searle, Gilbert Ryle, John Searle, Jaegwon Kim, David Chalmers, Putnam, P.F. Strawson, Kripke, David Lewis, Salmon, Peter van Inwagen
The novel contributions made by all of the above to the canon of (and not just what they read in their spare time nor their unconnected political affiliations) Analytic philosophy was done independently of Hegel, Marx, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, etc.
The sense of the intro is clearly indicated by the expression "particular set", and it is not just my impression of this phrase. It is superluous. The list that follows gives enough of an idea on it.
-- Lucas (Talk) 02:45, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Are you even paying attention to the article, or are you just consumed with Talk page dithering? I have rewritten the opening paragraph to remove the "particular set" phrase (despite having found an even more precise citation for that phrase). 271828182 15:37, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I missed that, but I do not consider talking to you as "dithering", we were discussing issues of wider interest to the article. But I hope I made it clear that I think there is an important difference between a philosopher entering the depths of a "political philosophy" and one who happens to hold certain political inclinations that are largely unrelated to their philosophical work. Nor am I very satisfied with the revised: "certain philosophers from the mainland".

Certain Philosophers from the Mainland[edit]

What is problematic about talking this way is that prior 1900 much of Western philosophy was from the "mainland" and what was from Britain and Ireland was also an important influence (eg, Locke, Hume, Berkeley) on the mainland and vice-versa, now you exclude Berkeley and Hume from being a part of the "certain philosophers". So I suppose what I'm trying to say (not very well) is that the geographic definition that is given is perhaps not the first way to characterise it. Just as a geographic definition of Analytic would not be either. Analytic too is no easier to define as method (it is usually given as having a well-defined method, clarity, etc. but there is now lots of jargon and very complex stuff in Analytic and the claim of clarity is perhaps just self-promotional).

In other words would you say this in defining analytic philosophy:

Analytic philosophy is a term that originated among, A.N. Others, and describes various philosophies strongly influenced by certain philosophers, and is practiced mainly in England and the U.S.. It is typically distinguished from Continental philosophy. The philosophies comprising analytic philosophy usually include...ordinary language, descriptivism, logical positivism, philosophy of science, semantic realism, ontological relativity, transcendentalism (or "connective analysis"), phil of mind, etc...

-- Lucas (Talk) 18:31, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


I might say that, sure. An extensional definition is better than none at all. And whereas analytic philosophy has a vague intension (clarity, logic, language, etc.), I leave it as an exercise for the editor to find a citable common thread among, say, Deleuze, Habermas, Hegel, Irigaray, Vattimo, Benjamin, Klages, Kierkegaard, and Serres. 271828182 21:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
The choice is not between, no definition all, or a vague one. The choice is between giving it as a tradition or as a vague definition. But the vague definition is misleading, common threads in analytic are more often broken than held: language, Rawls! clarity, Wittgenstein II (& I for that matter)!, logic, Quine! Neither do many of them actually agree on or give accepted definitions of what clarity, language or logic are. A thread between "Deleuze, Habermas, Hegel, Irigaray, Vattimo, Benjamin, Klages, Kierkegaard, and Serres"? Nor would I try reducing them to logic, clarity, language or any single terms. -- Lucas (Talk) 22:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
You are only reinforcing my larger point that the analytic/continental distinction is an exceedingly vague and dubious one to begin with. But then, you are the one who maintains that this split (or "schism") is so deep and profound Wikipedia needs your original research to highlight it. 271828182 22:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes I admit there is a problem here, but I do not think it is because there is no schism. I think it means that the schism is deeper and more profound than we suggested above. And so it is more difficult to characterise other than as a schism in which both sides have isolated themselves from one another and do not even critique one another, but neither side gives itself, or can be given, an easy definition. And, by the way, there are two citations to the fact that this division has grown rather than receded in recent decades. -- Lucas (Talk) 22:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
It's vague and doubtful; therefore it is deeper and more profound? Sorry, can't follow your reasoning there. And if the schism is as deep as you allege, how do gifted souls such as you manage to cast your gaze over the rift so accurately? I would recommend Davidson's "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" here, but since he's well-known to be entrenched in the analytic tradition, I imagine you would dismiss that primary source too. In any event, this discussion has wandered away from the article, yet again. 271828182 22:56, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
My reasoning there is not just conjecture, it is based as I mentinoed on two major citations that indicate the schism has widened rather than receded in the last few decades. I think the more profound something is the harder it can be to see (agreed for you it could be called vague) other wise it'd be apparent and not profound. Gifted souls like me do not really cast a gaze over it but use references and scholarly work to talk about it. I would not dismiss Davidson in general but would prefer you read his, "Belief and the Basis of meaning". But in writings about the schism, I'd be very naive if I didn't see to biases. -- Lucas (Talk) 14:38, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Original use of the term Continental Philosophy[edit]

Do you have a reference for the originating of this use only amongst "Anglophone philosophers," seems to me it was often, if not more often, used in literary criticism and other humanties.

Nor is it precedented (in discussions of Continental) to begin discussion of the matter by suggesting what group or person might have to come up with the term, and for which we need a philological reference. Was it not inevitable when Analytic separated itself became the main philosophy at universities in Anglo-America that a word would come for "all the rest" and, so it is just like any other word, and is not notable enought to include as our first sentence. ---- Lucas (Talk) 13:57, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

You have the reference: read the cited passage by Critchley. The term first became used to describe philosophy courses in the 1970s, typically to replace "phenomenology" or "phenomenology and existential philosophy". The term "continental" was used on occasion in the '60s -- I seem to recall, e.g., Sellars using it in "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man".
It is quite notable, since it puts to rest the mistaken belief (pervasive in, say, your deleted page on the "schism") that the "split" was somehow clearly apparent in 1900 or earlier. It is, as Foucault might have said, an invention of recent date.... 271828182 21:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, there is a difference between a birth and a baptismal. The schism can be traced back to 1900 as the article currently states, it does not mean that the people at the time were aware they were making an Analytic/Continental split, nor has this been suggested. It can also (again our article here states this) be traced even further. To trace somethings origins does not mean that the cracks were apparent at the time, it is only our regulative reading into the history. The Philosophy page has it at the moment that perhaps the first appearance (and this is referenced to "A House Divided") of a crack was in Ryle's dismissal of Heidegger's Being and Time, and the very different taking-up of Heidegger in England/U.S, and in France. ---- Lucas (Talk) 22:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


I don't deny that the distinction may have began long before it got a name. But it is important to emphasize that, say, Husserl did not think of himself as a "Continental philosopher". Nor did Merleau-Ponty or Heidegger. And nor do many philosophers today categorize themselves in this way.
And your repeated reference to the Ryle review as a "dismissal" is the sort of remark that convinces me you are talking out of your hat, and your knowledge of philosophy is mostly second- or third-hand. I've read that review, and it is in no way a dismissal. Mildly critical at points, especially at the end (where Ryle is remarkably prescient about the "windy mysticism" that is the only place Heidegger can go), but the review is generally respectful throughout. 271828182 22:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I am not aware of anywhere it was suggested that Heidegger viewed himself as a Continental philosopher, in the non-geographic meaning of that word that is. Of course he saw himself as a European philosopher. He would also have distinguished himself strongly from Logical Positivism.
Ryle's dismissal of Heidegger is not me talking at all, hat or no hat, it is a quote from the book "A House Divided", so unless you have a better reference I suggest you keep your personal views of the reiview. Of course it is not just Ryle's review but the contrast in the reception of "Being and Time" in English philosophy and philosophy on the continent of europe. Are you seriously suggesting that wrapping up the review by talking of "windy mysticism" is not a very negative thing for an Oxford don to say in the context of Analytic/Ordinary Language Philosophy. -- Lucas (Talk) 23:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Let's get this straight: you dismiss a primary source in favor of a secondary source recounting of that primary source. This is the sort of thing that makes editors weary of trying to reason with you. Have you read Ryle's review, yes or no? If the answer is "no", then how do you know it's a dismissal, when I've read it and can tell you firsthand that it is not? Since the text of the original essay is not available online, I can only refer you to a library. Or, since you appear to need secondary sources to tell you what a primary source says, see Simon Blackburn's comments here. The rest of Blackburn's essay on Heidegger is worth reading, too. 271828182 15:21, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
According to WP:OR, secondary sources should be your main source. In the context of trying to describe the AP/CP distinction, the review given by Ryle is analysed by an anonymous person (user 2718... on wikipedia), who considers the review as complimentary. In the same AP/CP context, the review is also analysed by a renowned, cited, and published philosopher who considers Ryle's review as "dismissive". Which do we choose: 2718 or the renowned philosopher? I do not think I need to answer. You miss the main issue though, even if Ryle's review was marvelous, Heidegger was not taken up by Analytic philosophy in anything like the way it was in Continental. And even within Ryle's own subsequent work he rarely (if ever) refers to Heidegger. "windy mysticism" is certainly a strong rejection for an Analytic/Ordinary language philosopher, it may even be his strongest terms for rejection. -- Lucas (Talk) 20:32, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Who are you going to believe indeed? Your own eyes, or User:Lucaas's ability to divine what a primary source says from secondary sources? Fortunately, a captious reading of Wikipedia policy does not determine the truth, let alone the construction of Wikipedia articles. To wit: you ignore the link I provided you, where a professional philosopher with lots more pubs, cites, and renown than Prado describes the Ryle review as "admiring". Hmmm. I guess to find out what Ryle thought, we might just have to read what Ryle actually wrote (reading a primary source—perish the thought!).
I take this as an admission that you haven't read the Ryle review. Kindly stop telling people who have what it says. 271828182 21:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I believe the book I cited since, firstly it is given in the context of explaning the AP/CP distinction. Your opinion on Ryle's review is certainly less reliable than that. Agreed, you lately introduced a piece of journalism (from The New Republic) to back up your point but unlike my source it was not of a scholarly standard and is from a writer deeply entrenched on one side of the divide. You seem to refuse the context of Heidegger's reception in Analytic, where is the philosophy in 1930s/40s/50s in Analytic that even mentions anywhere Heidegger? When in contrast, CP has it all over the place. Also how can you not see Ryle's impression of it as "windy mysticism" as dismissive in the context of ordinary language philosophy? I have read enough Ryle to know that he does not refer to Heidegger.
-- Lucas (Talk) 03:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
How do you know Blackburn and I are not reliable, since you haven't read the review? My last word on this topic: You haven't read the review. Stop telling people who have read it what it says. And for the love of Jimbo, stop putting your pretenses to knowledge into Wikipedia articles. 271828182 15:30, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
There is no pretence, the scholarly reference I give to this matter is way better than an anonymous wiki user's opinion (ie, yours) and a piece of journalism by an entrenched philosopher and, unlike your opinion, it does not breach WP:OR. In this and in the fact that you deny context (the generally poor reception of Heidegger in England in the 30s, 40s, etc., and the context of drawing a AP/CP distinction), and the devastating (for your argument) quote from Ryle that characterises Heidegger as "windy mysticism," makes any attempt at pretence or denial all yours. So stop telling us what you think of Ryle's review and stop promulagating it in articles. -- Lucas (Talk) 18:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
"Entrenched philosopher?" No offense but Blackburn is pretty widely recognized. Did you bother even to read the article? I am not certain your opinon that it's "way better" counts for much. Thalasar 21:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Thalasar (talkcontribs) 21:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC).
I did not suggest that he was not recognised in Analytic, in fact I hinted that he was well recognised by Analytic. All I suggested was that he was involved mainly with Analytic. I would go even further in interpreting Ryle's review of B&T. The opening paragraph suggests Heidegger is a disaster! Most of it attempts to summarise something other than Heidegger. It gets him wrong when he does try to summarise him (he equates Dasein with the cogito! with an "I"!). Throughout the summarising of B&T, almost everything important gets rejected, all non-summarising comments are negative. The only positive comment is in a short paragraph at the end, a polite, "but you did do alot of work, didn't you" -- Lucas (Talk) 22:34, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
We have been through this on another page, although I forget which one. I quoted from the Ryle review, which I have indeed read, and the quote was laudatory. It is not a dismissive review, regardless of the fact that in the course of a long piece Ryle naturally advanced specific criticisms. That a young philosopher in his twenties would read B&T in the original German and write a long, largely complimentary piece for Mind speaks volumes. I also previously provided a citation showing that Ryle taught classes on Brentano and Husserl at Oxford. Lucas is just wrong about this, whichever source he's using. As for Ryle not mentioning Heidegger - I can only agree that he fails to reveal the main source of some his arguments in The Concept of Mind! KD Tries Again 16:20, 2 February 2007 (UTC)KD
Here's Blackburn again: "Shortly after Being and Time was published in 1927, the level-headed (and later hard-boiled) Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle wrote a long, penetrating, and moderately admiring review of it in the philosophical journal Mind."[1] The editor of A House Divided is much, much less well-known than Blackburn. Since I've never seen that book, I have asked Lucas before for the quote. What does the book actually say about the Ryle review? Full context.
And here's something I didn't know. Ryle travelled to Freiburg to visit Husserl and stayed on to study with Heidegger. Seems to come from Ryle's own autobiographical notes, but here's the source I found.[2].
"Heidegger published his major work, Being and Time, at the age of thirty- eight. When his mother died in 1927, Heidegger put on her deathbed his own copy of the book. Gilbert Ryle, reviewing the work in Mind (1929) drew attention to Heidegger's "unflagging energy with which he tries to think beyond the stock categories of orthodox psychology and philosophy". [3] At some point, you do have to look at the House Divided source critically, rather than assume it's unassailable.KD Tries Again 16:22, 2 February 2007 (UTC)KD
You have just accused Ryle of plagiarising Heidegger. And made a wild claim about his "Concept of Mind" where is does give references but not to Heidegger. You might be lucky if his family dont read your comment and take an action against you for libel, then again he is dead. Would you say plagiarism is the normal mode of Analytic thus reflecting, perhaps the anglophone or western penchant for resource theft and thus grasping an era in thought!
Comment: I am sure there is a Wikipedia policy against this kind of editing, but I don't know what it is. Would like to know. KD Tries Again 20:11, 2 February 2007 (UTC)KD
I agree, it is not a good idea to label someone plagiarist without a shred of evidence, especially a well respected philosopher, please refrain. -- Lucas (Talk) 21:53, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
You might be thinking of the policy against making legal threats. User:Lucaas, please refrain from making these kinds of threatening comments, and also, please try harder to remain on task -- this Talk page, I remind you again, exists only to coordinate improvement of the article, not to discuss our personal views and interpretations of its subject. -- Rbellin|Talk 21:51, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Again you show yourself to be off-track today, we happen to be discussing if Ryle (as KD wildly suggested) took his ideas for Concept of Mind from Heidegger. This is of relevance to our discussion. As to breaking legal taboos I ask you to refrain from suggesting I made any threat whatsoever, it appears the threat infact is from you. -- Lucas (Talk) 05:34, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
But you are right about "A House Divided," it must be read critically, the problem is that on wiki (as most places) you need references. Now it would be impossible for me, in the context of the AP/CP divide, to use Blackburn since he is entrenched. Whereas the House Divided is purposefully attempts to avoid entrenchment, though critically you can see certain things coming through. I made my comments on Ryle's review above and won't repeat them but you pick one sentence about work not quality. Most (all?) qualitative comments by Ryle on particular but crucial philosophical points are dismissive, especially on the important ideas of Heidegger. Also Ryle fails to understand Heidegger. And you, like user:2918, fail to see the context (see above). -- Lucas (Talk) 19:14, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Can you give me the quote from House Divided on which you rely? From memory, Ryle's review begins by describing the book as one of the most difficult and important works of phenomenology. Dismissive? Simply to have chosen to read and review it, let alone visit its author in Germany, can't be called dismissive. Let's see what that cite actually says, please. By the way, to call Blackburn "entrenched" is to make an 'ad hominem' argument. KD Tries Again 20:11, 2 February 2007 (UTC)KD
The quote is that Ryle's edit was "negartive and dismissive". Yes Ryle says two things in the beginning he says in the same breathe it is important and that it is a disaster. The vast bulk of the review however, gives point after point summaries of Heidegger's philosophy and dismisses each one of them. Though he completely misunderstands B&T (see above). I hate to tell you but a free trip to Germany and the physical act of reading a book do not count in the ideas of philosophy. If I delcare myself as 99% involved exclusively with AP, and, without appearing unreasonable, how much more entrenched in AP could I get. -- Lucas (Talk) 21:53, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, it wasn't an edit, but a review in Mind. Could you please give the whole sentence, at least? My point is that reading a massive work of philosophy in the original German, travelling to study with its author (and mentioning it in his biography), both count against Ryle being dismissive of Heidegger. Which is why the citation remains under some suspicion. Seconday sources aren't always right. KD Tries Again 17:26, 5 February 2007 (UTC)KD
No, not an "edit", sorry, slip of the tongue. I am not sure why you think that getting a free trip to Germany, speaking German, and having a face to face meeting with someone, says anything about their views on Heidegger's ontology or on the actual issue of the English reception of Being and Time in general. Anyhow, here is the quote you asked for: "Gilbert Ryle's negative and dismissive review of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit'. C.G. Prado "A House Divided" (Humanity Book, 2003), p.9. However, you insist on referring to the Ryle's trip to Germany thus forgetting the context, Heidegger's Being and Time was not well received in the English speaking world in the 30s, 40s, etc. in comparison to its reception on the Continent. .-- Lucas (Talk) 01:04, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

On the attempt to define Analytic as method and Continental as incomparably geographic[edit]

Here I quote twice from the Oxford Companion:

Modern French philosophy is usually thought to be a part of ‘modern continental philosophy’, which is contrasted with Anglo-American ‘analytical’ (or ‘ analytic’) philosophy.

and,

The philosophical disagreements between, say, Logical Positivism and the later Wittgenstein, or the methodological divergences between, say, Frege and Ryle, make it hard to give ‘analytical philosophy’ clear sense or reference

This points to the difficulty of grouping for bother Analytic and Continental. It has been my impression that others here only consider it a problem of accidental naming given by Anglophones to a too loose grouping called Continental. It shows the same problem is also present for Anglophone philosophy. The obvious answer is that though philosophers and their methods disagreed with one another within a tradtion, in disagreeing they read only those of the same tradition. Both Analytic and Continental are used as names, and we should not get lost in their etymologies. ---- Lucas (Talk) 14:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Continental philosophy[edit]

1. Analytic philosophy is not primarily defined by geography, culture or language, but by a certain way of doing philosophy that has certain characteristics. These characteristics are (a) The importance of logical form. Once we attempt to reduce 'philosophical propositions' to their logical form, we either find that it is impossible, because the proposition is meaningless, or it is possible, but the proposition turns out to be harmless or trivial or uninteresting. Russell's theory of descriptions is held to be a paradigm of this activitiy. (b) The importance of predicate logic. This is a stronger version of (a), according to which modern predicate calculus provides the correct basis for reducing to logical form. Not all analytics agree with this, but it is nonetheless a pronounced characateristic of much AAA. (c) A suspicion or mistrust of metaphysical terminology. The correct logical form of language is ordinary language itself: once we excise the suspicious metaphysical terms (ontological, existentiel, being-in-itself, thrownness, 'nothing' used as a participle of the verb 'to noth' &c), we find that metaphysical propositions dissolve into incoherence (d) A strongly positivist tendency (of which an extreme form is logical positivism), according to which there are no specifically philosophical truths. All 'philosophical propositions' can be shown to be either trivially true, or meaningless, according to the preferred methods (a) to (c) above.

2. While analytic philosophy is not defined according to geography, there is some evidence that its practice is more widespread in English-speaking countries. Notwithstanding, it is practised on 'the Continent', and many of the key figures involved in the early period of analytic philosophy were from 'the Continent'.

3. Turning now to 'Continental philosophy', I am reliably informed that this is not a term that so-called 'Continental philosophers' use of their own philosophy. That seems inherently plausible because (a) the word 'the continent' is English, and does not as far belong to any European language in the sense that 'Le Weekend' does (b) it has a faintly pejorative tone, and is certainly not PC – the PC term is 'mainland Europe'.

4. Thus it seems 'Continental philosophy' is simply a word used by analytic philosophers to describe forms of philosophy that are not analytic, and which (in their view) were typically practised in mainland Europe.

5. If (4) is true, that suggests the introduction of the article needs to be changed to reflect that fact, and also the sources cited should be different. Instead of showing how 'continental philosophers' characterise their subject, and citing appropriate sources, it should reflect the (possibly prejudiced) opinions that analytic philosophers have as to what this philosophy is, citing appropriate sources.

6. Could even imagine two articles: this one, which describes a certain stereotype of non-analytic philosophy as seen by analytic philosophers (from the neutral viewpoint, i.e. making clear that this is just a viewpoint). Another article (European philosophy, perhaps) which treats it objectively. (I'm very much against that, for the same reason I'm against having an article on 'Eastern philosophy', as it illustrates the tendency of people from one culture to marginalise any philosophy or system or view by characterising it is 'not ours'. Anything that is 'not ours' should be handled in the depth and detail it deserves. Thus all the separate 'continental' traditions should be handled in separate articles (Existentialism, Phenomenology, Structuralism, Deconstructionism &c).

7. I like the point that analytic philosophers have done work on 'continental' ones, but "Name a book by a "continental" on Frege, Russell, Quine, or Kripke. Name even one.". Is it true – it seems plausible, but universal statements (no X is Y) are much harder to prove than existential ones (some X is Y).

Universal statements are hard to prove, but very easy to falsify--which is actually reflected in the structure of that comment.

8. I find the discussion above very hard to follow. What are the main issues? Lucas claims that there was a schism or division, and the person who is to be identified only by a number disagrees. I tend to agree with the numbered one. Schism implies some conscious disagreement between two sides, that both sides agreed on what the disagreement was about (some proposition or set of propositions that are in dispute, e.g.). Since there appears to be very little of a debate between the two sides, in what sense is there a schism?

9. What issue of importance hangs upon Ryle's review?

10. I read the Blackburn piece with interest. It reinforces all my prejudices (as an analytic) against 'Continental philosophy. E.g. "Ryle noted an alarming tendency toward unintelligibility" – see my point 1c above. "English is more resistant to the encrustations of philosophical German", is an elegant way of expressing an idea that Hobbes had to Latin (he thought that metaphysics was an essentially Latin subject, and that if you translated Latin philosophy into plain English, it would turn into nonsense – see the opening chapters of Leviathan). Blackburn also quotes disparingly "Time-space is the enowned encleavage of the turning trajectories of enowning, of the turning between belongingness and the call, between abandonment by being and enbeckoning (the enquivering of the resonance of be-ing itself!)."

Dbuckner 08:23, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

This quote is from Heidegger's *private* notes Beitraege, published as "Contributions" - I recognize it from the odd English translation (which is hilarious in places). H specifically instructed that this work not be published in German until 1989. He did not intend this writing for anyone but people of the future familiar with all of his works, his whole project and unique vocabulary. In other words, this is H writing not as a public philosopher, but to his own sort of "Uebermensch". Was that mentioned by Blackburn? Zeusnoos 20:22, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

How can you be an "Analytic against Continental philosophy" and have your "prejudices reinforced" against CP, if you dont believe that there is an AP/CP distinction? Blackburn intended to re-affirm your prejudices, he is avowedly Analytical. -- Lucas (Talk) 10:15, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Historical Background[edit]

Looking over the references, I see Dummett is cited as supporting this proposition:

"during the same period, based on the works of Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and G.E. Moore proposed a new philosophical method based on the analysis of language via the tools of modern logic (thus the term "analytic philosophy")"

I don't think so, and Dummett doesn't say it in any case (Lucas, did you pick up a copy of his book after I recommended it? If so, take a closer look at the Intro/Chapter One). Moore's role in this was that, ahead of Russell, he attacked the dominant Bradleyism of the day, first replacing it with an alternative and rather strange metaphysics in an 1890s paper I'd need to look up; then, just after 1900, jettisoning it altogether in a paper with a pretty blunt title, "The Refutation of Idealism", I think. Russell in "My Philosophical Development" gives Moore the credit for this. But I'm not aware either that Moore was influenced at all by Frege in this, and pretty sure that he didn't offer modern logic as a new method. So it's not really correct as it stands: I'll happily rewrite, but as ever pause to see if anyone disagrees. KD Tries Again 20:31, 2 February 2007 (UTC)KD

I'd just like to point out again that this article should not be based on the kind of research that would be involved in digging up original articles from the 1890s. It should report on already-established synthetic explanations, not create and argue for a new take on the history of philosophy. I think you probably know this and were looking for an illustrative example of an established idea, but we need to keep this in mind and work harder to cite, not original primary sources, but other established secondary sources like textbooks and introductions. -- Rbellin|Talk 21:51, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
There is a similar discussion going on on the philosophy page about primary sources etc. The WP:OR policy suggests going to secondary sources (original philosophers' works) and not to tertiary ones (dictionaries, encylopedias). I think you want to make a distinction between "major philosophers" and academics who write about "major philosophers". In which case I do not think this discussion has taken place or that wiki gives any policy on it. But to clear up how to talk about it we should avoid the confused terms, "primary and secondary", and instead refer to canonical philosophers and academic philosophers. -- Lucas (Talk) 22:01, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
User:Lucaas, you appear to misunderstand both the letter and spirit of the policy prohibiting original research as well as that of my comment. (And this is consistent with your editing, which often appears to me to be pushing your personal and idiosyncratic, original set of synthetic explanations of the history of philosophy.) Please try to be more careful about sticking only to published syntheses and explanations rather than constructing your own arguments based on "original philosophers' works" (which are certainly primary, not secondary, sources for articles on philosophy). -- Rbellin|Talk 22:08, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

User:Rbellin, not sure why you make this savage attack based on such an innocent and largely logical description. Did you get up badly today? Anyhow, your comments are mostly irrelveant to the matter under discussion and shows us all how you wander completely off the mark. Besides it is a sweeping generalisation that is not backed up by whit of evidence (or secondary source), nor is this the place for it.

What is your understanding of wiki's sourcing policies? If you read WP:OR you would see that it clearly prefers "secondary" sources. So let me do the work of reminding you of what primary sources are in wiki:

diaries, census results, video or transcripts of surveillance, public hearings, trials, or interviews; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires; written or recorded notes of laboratory and field experiments or observations; and artistic and fictional works such as poems, scripts, screenplays, novels, motion pictures, videos, and television programs.

And secondary are for example,

An historian's interpretation of the decline of the Roman Empire, or analysis of the historical Jesus, constitute secondary sources. Wikipedia articles should rely on reliable, verifiable, published secondary sources wherever possible.

(by the way, tertiary are dictionaries and encyclopedias.)

So if you quote a major philosopher it is, according to wiki OR a secondary source. If you quote an academic opinion about a philosopher, it is at one more level of remove. However to avoid confusion I suggest we talk instead about canonical and academic philosophers. I was not, and do not, even express an opinion on the above matter of which kind of source is preferable, I was just suggesting a way to discuss it, since it is obviouly not clear to a number of editors. -- Lucas (Talk) 23:30, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


That is my bad, not Lucas's. The original sentence had Moore and Russell; I added the Dummett cite while reworking that sentence to give proper credit to Frege, but didn't think to remove Moore once the sentence's emphasis had changed. 271828182 23:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough - apologies to Lucas. KD Tries Again 15:37, 5 February 2007 (UTC)KD

Primary and Secondary sources[edit]

The concept of a 'primary source' comes from history, and means a source that is very close to a historical event (such as an eyewitness, minutes of an important meeting &c). WP:OR suggests not using primary sources because they usually require synthesis and interpretation in order to make sense, and of course if that is allowed, then we implicitly open the door to any personal and idiosyncratic, original set of synthetic explanations, i.e. original research.

There is of course no exact analogue of a 'historical event' when we are discussing the works of the great philosophers. But the spirit of WP:OR is clear. Avoid anything that requires interpretation (what exactly does 'getting the fly out of the fly-bottle', mean), or synthesis (taking a wide variety of quotes from the same philosopher, or from different philosophers of the same school, and making a judgment about what all those quotations mean).

On that interpretation, the original writing of a great philosopher is a primary source, i.e. a source very close to the historical event of the philosopher thinking great thoughts. So we avoid this wherever possible. We don't try and understand Wittgenstein's cryptic remark about flies and fly-bottles. We go straight to a authoritative secondary source like Kenny, and see what Kenny says, and cite it. I don't know much about Heidegger, but I know he is famously more cryptic and difficult than Wittgenstein, so we rely on authoritative (and intelligible, in my view) secondary sources.

I am quite happy to take this to the Philosophy project where they have set up guidelines on this. But surely this belongs in the department of the bleeding obvious. The only reason there seems to be any argument over this is one user, who shall remain nameless, who persists in pushing personal and idiosyncratic, synthetic explanations of the history of philosophy all over the shop. Please try to be more careful about sticking only to published syntheses and explanations rather than constructing your own arguments based on "original philosophers' works" (which are certainly primary, not secondary, sources for articles on philosophy). Dbuckner 08:29, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't hold entirely with this view, it seem to be quite a personal take on the matter. See philosophy talk page for detailed discussion.-- Lucas (Talk) 01:02, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

I recently revised the introduction to read as follows:

Continental philosophy refers to the philosophy of mainland Europe. In contemporary usage, "continental philosophy" is often restricted to a narrower range of continental European philosophy: that produced in the 19th and 20th centuries and not produced by continental figures who participated in the movement called analytic philosophy (e.g. Frege, Wittgenstein, and the Vienna Circle).[1] This more refined sense of the term originated among English-speaking philosophers in the late 20th century, who found it useful for referring to a range of thinkers and traditions that had been largely ignored or neglected by the analytic movement. Continental philosophy includes the following movements: German idealism, phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, structuralism, post-structuralism, French feminism, and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and some other branches of western Marxism.[2]

I prefer this because "Continental philosophy" is still used to refer to, well, philosophy of the European continent--not just 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, produced by philosophers outside the analytic tradition. For example, many contemporary philosophers claim as areas of specialty things like "17th Century Continental Philosophy," and it's perfectly appropriate to talk about Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, etc as "continental philosophers." The more restricted usage is, in some ways, a popular bastardization of the actual philosophical terminology. In any case, I think we should make note of both usages at the beginning of the article.

As far as the rest of my edits, I apologize if I made things more "frankenstein"-esque. The article overall clearly needs a lot of work, and I was just trying to tidy it a bit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.253.87.236 (talk) 12:28, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Well,this seems to be a reasonable attempt to save this wikipedia article. It's been almost 3 years since I've posted this:

"I think the distinction between analytic and continental philosophers does not make any sense at all. This distinction has been invented in US and British philosophy departments. These terms imply that continental philosohers are non-analytic (meaning no-brainers) and that analytic philosophers are non-continental (meaning british or american). First of all, the main contributors to so-called "analytic philosophy" were all continental philosophers, Frege, Wittgenstein, Popper, Vienna School, .... They did not come from Britain or the US. Secondly, the presumption that continental philosophical traditions, which were not engulfed in the english-speaking world, are illogical (non-analytical) is simply the result of ignorance and arrogance. Kikl 10:20, 31 January 2006 (UTC)2

After reviewing this discussion page I have found. None of the proposed definitions makes any sense. The distinction between analytic and continental philosophy is a pejorative distinction. Nothing more and nothing less!

Regards

Kikl —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.134.1.254 (talk) 22:19, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Theologians[edit]

I gather thatt many theologians have been influenced by Continental philosophy, such as Hans Kung, Edward Schillebeeckx and Karl Rahner, and this might eventually be noted if the article becomes more clear and more detailed. ADM (talk) 13:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Why are you reverting?[edit]

Philosophy - the study of life and human's reaction to it; an outlook and way of life. Nihilism - the philosophy of denying life. Thesis - Schopenhauer (reaction to Hegel), Kierkegaard (as nihilist) Existentialism - the philosophy of accepting life. Antithesis - Kierkegaard (as theistic/atheistic existentialist), Nietzche, Sartre, et.al. Absurdism - the philosophy recognizing the absurdity of life Synthesis - Kiekegaard (as absurdist),Camus What is more important than these?

One of the basic policies of Wikipedia is that claims in articles must be verifiable, that is, based on reliable published sources, preferably by experts in that field. The lede definition of continental philosophy is based on such reliable sources, and any additions need to be likewise. 271828182 (talk) 06:50, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

The entry Continental Philosophy was based on continentalphilosophyastaughtinneostalinistdepartmentsowewhereindeepestprovince.--Radh (talk) 10:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Flight to Moscow[edit]

I know of not a single philosopher who went to Moscow in 1933ff. Do you have any names?--Radh (talk) 12:21, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Why does 'Speculative philosophy' re-direct here?[edit]

This is already mentioned earlier in this talk page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Continental_philosophy#Redirect_from_.22Speculative_philosophy.22

Why does speculative philosophy re-direct here? It is true that the Continental schools tend to be more speculative than the analytic schools. But that's like saying that atheism should re-direct to Communism because Communism is more atheistic than capitalism. What about ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, the rationalists, Alfred North Whitehead? They are all speculative schools. What I would suggest is that somebody makes a new article for speculative philosophy (perhaps just a stub clarifying what it is), or that it somehow gets re-directed to the wikitionary entry en.wiktionary.org/wiki/speculative_philosophy. I suppose it would be acceptable to make a disambiguation page for speculative philosophy, but then you would surely need to put links on it to every single philosopher who could be called speculative. And I certainly see no way in which you could simply re-direct speculative philosophy to a single Wikipedia article, unless you were to re-direct it to the 'Philosophy' article itself. It would be more sensible to make a new article or re-direct to the wikitionary entry. Matthew Fennell (talk) 00:17, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Perspective of the article[edit]

The article doesn't talk about this explicitly, but "Continental philosophy" as a term seems to be used in two related senses: as a collection of genealogically-related philosophical movements (idealism, existentialism, structuralism, etc) that flourished on the European Continent, and as a style or mode of philosophical pedagogy practiced in some British and American philosophy departments, as contrasted with the majority methods. It's now possible to study figures in the continental tradition at "analytical" departments, but they differ in the way such study is carried out (particularly at the undergraduate level). For example, analytic philosophy courses and clusters tend to be topic-oriented, rather than author- or movement-focused, although that is obviously an illustrative simplification.

I propose a substantial re-write of this article taking the broader perspective, although finding stuff online that can be linked through wikipedia will be a chore, so if you've got anything good, post it here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.247.91.53 (talk) 20:13, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

This is exactly right. On these grounds, I would say that this page is in clear violation of POV standards. It only presents the viewpoint of Continental philosophy common to members of the SPEP, the society mentioned in the article itself. Unfortunately, I don't have the expertise to correct the problem, but I believe it should be marked POV. For an alternative perspective, one could start with Brian Leiter's influential statement, the many posts from his blog (e.g.), and then the various responses to Leiter. So, if there are no objections, I will add the relevant template? — The Hanged Man (talk) 21:00, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Where in the article, exactly, is the "clear violation of POV standards"? The opening sections of the article present a very Leiterian approach, including an extensive definition drawn largely from Michael Rosen (who, among other things, co-edited with Leiter the Oxford Handbook on this subject). If anything, the above comments are more POV (in the sense of SPEP-scaremongering) than anything in the article! 271828182 (talk) 22:57, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Since no one has substantiated the charges of NPOV violation, the concerns raised in this discussion have been addressed, and the tag seems to be inviting drive-by know-nothing editing, I am removing the NPOV tag. 271828182 (talk) 16:24, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Non-analytical family traits of continental philosophy[edit]

Let me quote: "First, continental philosophers generally reject scientism, the view that the natural sciences are the only or most accurate way of understanding phenomena. This contrasts with analytic philosophers, many of whom have considered their inquiries as continuous with, or subordinate to, those of the natural sciences. Continental philosophers often argue that science depends upon a "pre-theoretical substrate of experience", a form of the Kantian conditions of possible experience, and that scientific methods are inadequate to understand such conditions of intelligibility."

Kant believed that natural sciences are the most accurate way of understanding phenomena. Kantian philosophy in a broad sense is equated with "continental philosophy". The term "pre-theoretical" does not have any recognized meaning. Kantian philosophy is a theory. Furthermore, nobody really knows what the "substrate of experience" is. It is true that Kant thought that knowledge depends on certain a priory conditions. But so do analytic philosophers. Analytic philosopher value analytic thinking, i.e. logic, very highly. They reject the notion that knowledge can be achieved illogically. Therefore, they presuppose a priori that knowledge and logic must go hand in hand. Kant didn't believe that scientific methods were inadequate to understanding the conditions of experience. He posited his philosophy as a scientific theory of understanding the a priori conditions of experience.

So this whole introductory portion is just plain wrong. And it goes on in this fashion:

"Second, continental philosophy usually considers these conditions of possible experience as variable: determined at least partly by factors such as context, space and time, language, culture, or history. "

Kant never believed that these conditions are variable. I don't know any idealistic philosopher who holds that the necessary conditions for experience are variable. Furthermore, Kant didn't believe that space and time are "variable". What does he mean, variable in time? So the properties of space and time change with time? Doesn't sound logical to me. Finally, he provides no sources whatsoever for this view.

Finally, he sums up this anti-continental-philosophy ideology in the following way: "Ultimately, the foregoing distinctive traits derive from a broadly Kantian thesis that the nature of knowledge and experience is bound by conditions that are not directly accessible to empirical inquiry." The conditions of experience can indeed be accessed by empirical inquiry. They should be present in any empirical data. Otherwise they wouldn't be necessary conditions of experience. Again, this is plain false, it is neither Kantian nor does it derive from his philosophy.

I really don't think that this article can be saved. The term "continental philosophy" has not clear meaning other than a pejorative designation of a group of European philosophers. In this sense it could be defined and maintained in the wikipedia.

Zt3hnuio (talk) 19:22, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

The parts you are complaining about are well-sourced -- in fact, in some cases you are dismissing direct quotes from Simon Critchley and Michael E. Rosen, written in scholarly works published by Oxford University Press. Also, n.b. the adverb "directly" in "directly accessible". Kant does not think we can perceive pure space, or pure causality. 271828182 (talk) 03:22, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Wrong, Kant believed that we experience any phenomenon in space and time. Therefore, space and time are always perceived in experience. Space and time are directly accessible in all data of experience. Let me quote Kant: "But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion), an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skilful in separating it." In the first chapter: "I. Of the difference between Pure and Empirical Knowledge" http://philosophy.eserver.org/kant/critique-of-pure-reason.txt

Consequently, the necessary conditions of experience form part of the sensory data and can be distinguished from the sensuous impressions. Therefore, the conditions of experience are accessible to empirical inquiry. So your reference clearly did not understand Kantian philosophy. A secondary quote about Kant must be neglected, if Kant himself says differently.

Kant on the natural sciences:

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION, 1781 "We very often hear complaints of the shallowness of the present age, and of the decay of profound science. But I do not think that those which rest upon a secure foundation, such as mathematics, physical science, etc., in the least deserve this reproach, but that they rather maintain their ancient fame, and in the latter case (physical science), indeed, far surpass it. The same would be the case with the other kinds of cognition (metaphysics), if their principles were but firmly established..."

The critique of pure reason was written by Kant in order to provide a scientific theory of metaphysics comparable with the advances in the physical sciences. The natural sciences were seen as a model for scientific reasoning and progress by Kant. So no, your quotes completely misrepresent Kantian philosophy. The natural sciences were highly esteemed by Kant.

Zt3hnuio (talk) 09:22, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Finally, your source does not support your statement. This is what your source says:

"Continental philosophers usually identify such conditions with the transcendental subject or self: Solomon 1988, p. 6, "It is with Kant that philosophical claims about the self attain new and remarkable proportions. The self becomes not just the focus of attention but the entire subject-matter of philosophy. The self is not just another entity in the world, but in an important sense it creates the world, and the reflecting self does not just know itself, but in knowing itself knows all selves, and the structure of any and every possible self."

Solomon is wrong to assume that Kant was the first to make the self the subject-matter of philosophy. Descartes really started these kind of reflections. The "Cogito" argument stands out in this way. Furthermore, the self is not the entire subject-matter of philosophy according to Kant. Again, an absurd misrepresentation of his philosophy. But, most importantly, this statement does not support the following conclusion:

"Ultimately, the foregoing distinctive traits derive from a broadly Kantian thesis that the nature of knowledge and experience is bound by conditions that are not directly accessible to empirical inquiry."

This whole chapter is neither supported by the cited source nor is it in agreement with Kantian philosophy. The gist of this article is that the separation between continental and analytic philosophy is based on the rejection of Kantian epistemology by analytic philosophers and that continental philosophers have embraced Kant. I submit to you that many so called "continental philosophers", for example most marxists, reject Kantian epistemology. Marxists are materialists if they adhere to the philosophy of their master, Marx. Nevertheless Marxism is regarded as "continental philosophy". Zt3hnuio (talk) 10:17, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. Your inference from:
"the necessary conditions of experience form part of the sensory data and can be distinguished from the sensuous impressions."
to
"Therefore, the conditions of experience are accessible to empirical inquiry."
is, beyond being a non sequitur, a fundamental distortion of Kant. I could quote to you from any number of places in the KrV (say, the beginning of the Transcendental Deduction) to make it clear that Kant does not think empirical research is the way we understand the transcendental categories, but your truculent, quasi-Leninist tone makes it clear you are just a tiresome soapboxer, editing in bad faith, and marshaling captious quotes from Kant to conceal your axe-grinding. This section of the article is not a commentary on Kant, it is an overview of some characteristic themes in continental philosophy (some of which Kant probably would disagree with). The points are supported by reference sources written by established, recognized experts, published by the most respected university presses: in short, it is verifiable material from reliable sources. As per the pillars of Wikipedia, you have no grounds to remove it. 271828182 (talk) 10:31, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Again, the question is not whether empirical research is the best way to understand transcendental categories. The question is whether these categories are accessible to empirical inquiry, because this is what you originally said. I proved with the above quote from Kant that they are accessible. So your argument is a red herring. This section does indeed comment on Kantian philosophy and the comments are factually wrong. The prime source on Kantian philosophy is Kant, no one else. Your personal attacks on my person do not contribute to your position. Your reference have been proven to be wrong on several accounts. You failed to address the marxism topic as well as the position on natural sciences. This is also completely wrong. Finally, one of your sources doesn't even support the last statement, so you are misrepresenting both your sources as well as Kantian philosophy Zt3hnuio (talk) 20:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I am not interested in arguing with you over the correct interpretation of Kant or Marx; this is not the place for such a discussion, and you would normally have to pay me for such an honor. This section is supported by direct quotes from Critchley, Rosen, and Solomon. They are reliable sources. For the purposes of Wikipedia, that is the end of discussion. 271828182 (talk) 08:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I have made some minor edits to neutralize your concerns that the article could be read (by cantankerous time-wasters) as misrepresenting Kant. Again, note that this section is based on verifiable commentary by experts. 271828182 (talk) 08:50, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I you don't want to talk about Kant or Marxism then delelete all references to Kant or Marxism your inclution to the article. Kant is the prime source of Kantian philosophy not Rosen or Solomon. Therefore, I delted all references to Kant or Marxism from your inclusion to the present article. If you don't want to argue and defend your point of view, then stop editing wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zt3hnuio (talkcontribs) 19:34, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I am happy to talk about Kant and Marxism, but that is my day-job (and, as I said, there at least I am paid). But Wikipedia is not a forum for philosophical chit-chat. It is an encyclopedia for verifiable content. It doesn't matter that you think (incorrectly) that Rosen, Critchley, and Solomon have gotten Kant and Marx wrong. The content in question is verifiable. The citations are given. That is all the argument and defense my view needs. 271828182 (talk) 06:46, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

This is no reasonable discussion. You are spamming the talk page. It does matter what Kant actually says. Kant is the primary source on Kant and not Rosen, Critchley, ... completely insignificant philosophers. Finally, your sources don't even support your statements about Kant and Marx. I am going to revert your recent changes and then report your behaviour to Wikipedia for monitoring. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zt3hnuio (talkcontribs) 08:41, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I always found it hard to understand what Kant actually thought (and wrote), so User 271...has a point. I think User:Zt3hnuio simply does not understand/accepts the way Wikipedia works (or even maybe doesn't work) --Radh (talk) 19:00, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Zt3hnuio is persistently misunderstanding the content of this section. It is not a commentary on Kant; it concerns continental philosophy, which has appropriated Kantian notions for its own ends, some of which do not fit within Kant's own intentions. (I tweaked some of the phrasing to forestall such a misunderstanding.) The sources are directly quoted. The material is verifiable content, written by experts on the topic, directly addressing the topic (which is, again, continental philosophy -- not Kant). By all means, involve other editors and admins .... perhaps they will have better luck explaining how Wikipedia works (or how to read carefully) to Zt3hnuio. 271828182 (talk) 00:01, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm late for discussion, but I must say I agree with Zt3hnuio. These definitions of continental philosophy are (spoken softly) weird. Philosopher12 (talk) 16:37, 10 April 2012 (UTC)