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Thinking the Analytic/Continental Divide

Lecturers: Jack Reynolds and George Duke

Originally Taught: Summer School 2008

Twentieth century philosophy saw the emergence of two dominant traditions in Western philosophy: an “analytical school”, influenced by the logical advances of Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein and a “continental school”, in large part originating out of the phenomenological research of Husserl and Heidegger. Although the founders of these schools were guided by many common concerns and much recent work has suggested a rapprochement, the divergence in theoretical orientation of the traditions has often tended towards a degree of mutual incomprehension and a lack of dialogue more suggestive of two disciplines than a single discipline containing diverse viewpoints.

The course will be structured around a series of canonical conversations/confrontations between representatives of the analytical and continental traditions. It is anticipated that a critical consideration of these encounters will not only facilitate a better understanding of the historical and theoretical background of the divide but also a considered assessment of its relevance for current work in philosophy.

Monday: Introduction - The Analytical and Continental Divide (Reynolds and Duke)
Tuesday: Husserl and Frege (Duke)
Wednesday: Russell’s Critique of Bergson/Popper’s Critique of Marx (Reynolds)
Thursday: Carnap’s Critique of Heidegger (Duke)
Friday: Derrida and Searle (Reynolds)

Recommended Readings:
C. G. Prado, ed., A House Divided: Comparing Analytic and Continental Philosophy (Humanity Books, 2003)