Philosophy Hurts Your Head

The blog of a cranky Philosophy PhD Student from Newcastle, Australia.

Analytic/Continental Musings

Posted by Sam D on August 17, 2007

After the AAP 2007 there has been a great deal of discussion in certain circles concerning how it was run and and this has led to the odd comment regarding how philosophers treat their colleagues when they are working from a alternative viewpoint. If I hadn’t been there myself I would never have believed that someone could be ridiculed for being a Wittgensteinian. I was not in the room at the time, so I don’t know for sure that this happened, but after that week it seems plausible to me. I shudder to think what this crowd would make of my defense of Kripke’s Meaning Scepticism. I have never seen more assumptions in the one place in my entire life.

It does seem to throw into sharp relief the Analytic/Continental divide that exists in our community, one that is perpetuated by a profound case of pretending that the other side does not exist. I had no idea that ignoring a philosophical problem was a legitimate way to defend your own theories against it. It is no wonder the The Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy has its own conference.
This had been rolling around in my head for a while, and when I noticed that rather than just the Philosophers Carnival, we now have a Postmodern Philosophers carnival, I saw the divide manifest in a completely different medium. I can’t help but think that some of this is not very constructive. More philosophers from both side of the fence need to make a concerted effort to engage with each other and I hope the new carnival can help facilitate this.

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One Response to “Analytic/Continental Musings”

  1. Edward said

    The AAP 2007 Abstract Booklet says it dedicated 5 talks to Kierkegaard, the most talks for a continental. It’s a good sign, although the rest of the talks were mostly analytic.

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