Must Analytic Philosophy and Continental Philosophy be at odds?

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RamistThomist

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The analytic school (mostly Anglo-American) prizes linguistic precision. The continental school prizes depth, ontology, often at the expense of precision.

This might be somewhat autobiographical, but I've been reading heavily in the analytic school for the past year. I appreciate how it got me to see through an argument and think clearly, but I got overwhelmed with all of the symbolic notations and wondered how is this relevant to anybody.

I used to read big in the continental guys until about 3 years ago. Really heavy into Hegel and others, until the Lord got me straightened out. I like how Continental philosophy bridges easily into literature and so one can bring in Dostoevsky and others, but many Continental guys are Marxists.

Are there any philosophers who can "bridge the gap?"
 
Rorty would be the closest I could think of. He was an analytical philosopher who delved into continental philosophy but take him with a grain of salt.
 
I always read Wolterstorff as primarily analytical. The only time he really delves into Continental stuff is his book Divine Discourse, where he deals with Derrida and Ricoeur.

My own take is analytical is good for clarifying language and continental is good when dealing with reality.
 
I couldn't agree more. Analytical philosophy gives us tools to use in dealing with huge issues that continental philosophers are interested in. But both are important in the grand scheme of of things.
 
A couple thoughts here:

1) Don't be too hard on Marxism until you've read Ellul. Ellul is, arguably, a post-Marxist critical theorist whose goal is to edify the church, and much of his work is rather prophetic, but his method is entirely in the Marxist tradition. It's just that he has a different set of priorities than classical Marxism.

2) Analytic philosophy is often an attempt to speak very precisely about uninteresting subjects. Continental philosophy, on the other hand, is trying to say something interesting but can't find the right vocabulary. To put it a different way, Continental philosophy asks interesting questions that it can't answer, while analytic philosophy asks uninteresting questions that it can.

3) Wittgenstein might actually be an example of someone who has a foot in both camps (he was probably an existentialist who never happened to write on the subject). Walker Percy's essays on philosophy may also be a bridge between philosophy of language and existentialism.
 
A couple thoughts here:

1) Don't be too hard on Marxism until you've read Ellul. Ellul is, arguably, a post-Marxist critical theorist whose goal is to edify the church, and much of his work is rather prophetic, but his method is entirely in the Marxist tradition. It's just that he has a different set of priorities than classical Marxism.

2) Analytic philosophy is often an attempt to speak very precisely about uninteresting subjects. Continental philosophy, on the other hand, is trying to say something interesting but can't find the right vocabulary. To put it a different way, Continental philosophy asks interesting questions that it can't answer, while analytic philosophy asks uninteresting questions that it can.

3) Wittgenstein might actually be an example of someone who has a foot in both camps (he was probably an existentialist who never happened to write on the subject). Walker Percy's essays on philosophy may also be a bridge between philosophy of language and existentialism.

I've read Milbank on Marx and was sort of impressed. For a while I was interested in G. Cole and Guild Socialism.

Per (2), that's exactly my thought. That's why I respect guys like Jamie Smith and Merold Westphal. They make continental philosophy intelligible.

(3). I thought that Wittgenstein was a bridge as well.
 
I always liked continental philosophy because it seemed to dig deep into what it means to be human. I always liked analytical philosophy because it helps you deal with specific problems.
 
So this guy is a Christian and a Marxist Philip?

No. He's a post-Marxist. He was a young Marxist who became a Christian, served in the French resistance, and served temporarily as Mayor of Bordeaux before becoming a philosopher. His methodology is critical theory in the tradition of Marxists such as Lukacs and Benjamin, but his theses are at odds with Marx, as he takes the fall very seriously. So he ends up being as critical of Marxism as he is of other forms of Babel-building. If he has a position, it could best be described as Christian anarchism. His critique of technology and social control is really fascinating.
 
So this guy is a Christian and a Marxist Philip?

No. He's a post-Marxist. He was a young Marxist who became a Christian, served in the French resistance, and served temporarily as Mayor of Bordeaux before becoming a philosopher. His methodology is critical theory in the tradition of Marxists such as Lukacs and Benjamin, but his theses are at odds with Marx, as he takes the fall very seriously. So he ends up being as critical of Marxism as he is of other forms of Babel-building. If he has a position, it could best be described as Christian anarchism. His critique of technology and social control is really fascinating.

Thanks. I will have to look him up.
 
I always liked continental philosophy because it seemed to dig deep into what it means to be human. I always liked analytical philosophy because it helps you deal with specific problems.

Analytic helped me with examining contrary truth claims. And for getting my thoughts straight. In terms of specific "ontology" or stuff like that, I didn't see it delivering too much (except for Plantinga on Possible Worlds Semantics).

I teach English, and for Continental Philosophy the line between literature and philosophy is not a sharp one.
 
So this guy is a Christian and a Marxist Philip?

No. He's a post-Marxist. He was a young Marxist who became a Christian, served in the French resistance, and served temporarily as Mayor of Bordeaux before becoming a philosopher. His methodology is critical theory in the tradition of Marxists such as Lukacs and Benjamin, but his theses are at odds with Marx, as he takes the fall very seriously. So he ends up being as critical of Marxism as he is of other forms of Babel-building. If he has a position, it could best be described as Christian anarchism. His critique of technology and social control is really fascinating.

That's really close to my own views. From about 2008-2012, I really wrestled with post-Marxist critiques of consumerism and globo-capitalism. I more or less accepted Milbank's Radical Orthodoxy. I've backed off Milbank a good bit but I still think some of the critiques hold.
 
I teach English, and for Continental Philosophy the line between literature and philosophy is not a sharp one.

One of my goals is to teach a whole course on Christian existentialism with about fifty percent literature (Dostoevsky, Percy, Marcel).
 
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