Continental Philosophy: ‘working in’ and ‘working on’.

I do not know if the distinction working-on and working-in are as separate as the author insists. Practically. I’d like to think many of my concerns in Continental philosophy are motivated out of something beyond and in tradition. I am concerned about normativity and themes in ethics—something both the Analytic and Continental tradition both make claims about—but take up these questions by working on Scheler by working in Continental philosophy.

Also, it may be a little unfair to the phenomenologist if she doesn’t know about Badiou. One doesn’t need to know all areas within Continental philosophy since the category itself was imposed from the outside by others that knew nothing about the concerns of those within Continental philosophy. Continental philosophy is an umbrella term and logically there are some schools within Continental philosophy that are not logically consistent with other parts. In my experience, a phenomenologist will certainly know about Merleau-Ponty, even if they did specialize on Husserl. It’s when we demand competency in the entire thing from specialists in Continental philosophy that it gets a little unfair. But the label was unfair to begin with.

Jacob Archambault

Many philosophers – and I think this is more the case as we survey younger and younger generations of philosophers – wish we could simply move past the so-called analytic-continental divide, and tend to view the whole division as a byproduct of misunderstanding, or even of a the politico-cultural situation of philosophers of a previous generation. Frankly, we disdain the division, and vacillate between wishing the distinction no longer existed and acting as though it in fact no longer did:[1] that is, we pretend to be ‘over it’.

That this is a pretense, however, is shown up in the structures governing the advancement of work that purports to promote dialogue between, or work across, these traditions.

The model followed in nearly all such attempts – and paradigmatically, in the structuring of pluralistic or continental-friendly departments – is that of attempting to achieve numerical proportionality between those working ‘on’ analytic…

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One thought on “Continental Philosophy: ‘working in’ and ‘working on’.

  1. Ed, you are a “fusion thinker,” and that’s ok. But, I hate to break it to you, it doesn’t seem that you can turn the “fusion” off. Or at least, it’s really really hard for you to do so–or perhaps you lack the interest. Continental is cool with that. Analytic is only cool with that when it cloaked in analytic styles.

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