Download Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very by Simon Critchley PDF

By Simon Critchley

During this enlightening new Very brief advent, Simon Critchley indicates us that Continental philosophy features a certain set of philosophical traditions and practices, with a compelling variety of difficulties all too usually missed by way of the analytic culture. He discusses the guidelines and techniques of philosophers corresponding to Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida. He additionally introduces key innovations akin to existentialism, nihilism, and phenomonology, by means of explaining their position within the Continental tradition.

The excellent advisor for somebody attracted to the nice philosophers, this quantity explains in lucid, user-friendly language the cut up among Continental and Anglo-American philosophy and the significance of acknowledging Continental philosophy.

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Ayer eloquently demonstrates the gulf that separates analytic from Continental philosophers with the following reminiscence from his autobiography: it might have been expected that Merleau-Ponty and I should find some common ground for discussion. We did indeed attempt it on several occasions, but never got very far before we began to wrangle over some point of principle, on which neither of us would yield. Since these arguments tended to become acrimonious, we tacitly agreed to drop them and meet on a purely social level, which still left us quite enough to talk about.

That is, there is a Promethean temptation in Kantian and Fichtean idealism, where the human being turns into some replica of God, creating from nothing (it is worth recalling that Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein (1819), was subtitled The Modern Prometheus, where something monstrous stalks the scientific rationalism of the Enlightenment). To show some of the implications of this thought in the Continental 27 Origins of Continental Philosophy between Fichtean idealism, which is nihilistic because it offers tradition, let me give a couple of further examples.

Husserl held to a psychologistic account of logic and arithmetic until Frege persuaded him otherwise. It is the critique of psychologism, as well as the categorical rejection of any attempt to reduce philosophy to empirical science, that unites Frege’s philosophy of language and Husserl’s phenomenology. So, by this account, the origins of analytic philosophy have the same historical vintage as the origins of Continental philosophy, have a similar geographical source in German-speaking Central Europe, and share a common philosophical enemy.

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