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  1. #11
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    The essential difference between continental philosophy and analytical philosophy as I see it is in the methodological difference: continental philosophy is phenomenological and analytical philosophy is rational.

    Analytical philosophy or traditional philosophy or what you would call just "real" philosophy claims to seek truth but is really only centered around one first principle, despite how many legitimate and substantive attacks have been made to disprove it (i.e. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations). Rationality = Reality, in their point of view and this is their truth. They never moved past Hegel, in that respect.

    Continental philosophy claims to seek truth based on a phenomenological methodology that started with Husserl or, arguably, Nietzsche. Their approach to truth is based on finding a pattern within a certain realm of phenomena and building on those patterns to create a system that is less than purely logical. It's not hard logic, but there is a consistency to it. The biggest difference for them is that reality =\= pure rationality. Though they to rely quite heavily on this method of phenomenology, it is essentially the phenomena, the metaphysical event, that is their first principle.

    The extent to which they stray from this phenomenological first principle depends on the philosopher. To get a real representation of thinkers who totally embrace the first principles in their respective traditions, I'd say look at Immanuel Kant or Ludwig Wittgenstein for analytical and Emmanuel Levinas or Martin Heidegger for the continental.

    The thinkers you mention such as Lyotard, Derrida, or Foucault certainly belong in the continental tradition, but I've found that they do stray a bit from the phenomenological foundation so I can see where your original question is coming from.

    But to answer your question directly, continental philosophy may appear to be speculative poetry, but I wouldn't say that it is, even for the examples you listed. It's not purely logical, but it's not speculative either.

  2. #12
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Mere Poetry

    Poets create religion; prophets abuse religion; and priests do it to death.

    While philosophers envy fertile poets, and damn them with faint praise, calling their work, "mere poetry".

    When it is poets who inform the great religions of the world, leaving philosophers in their wake.

  3. #13

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    Its all sophistry. Its not even original.

  4. #14
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    I see analytical philosophy as admirably precise but also shallow, in that it gets hung up on a certain brand of logical rigor while strongly resisting, and in many cases outright refusing to look at its underlying assumptions and whatever realms of inquiry that would open up. As a result, for all of its claims of dissolving pseudo-problems (which it has certainly done), analytical philosophy is at the same time perpetually getting hung up on the most trivial issues, many of which have clear and simple solutions in continental philosophy.

    One of the goals of analytical philosophy was to bring philosophy back in line with real, everyday life, but the world of logic, propositions, and self-conscious attention to grammar is a far cry from the world that we human beings live in. In real life, even when we're busy doing analytical philosophy, a great deal more is going on than rigorous logic; in fact, rigorous logic is perhaps the biggest metaphysical delusion of all, in that no one has clear numbers, structures, and categories before them when they're thinking about things; what's really going on is not some sort of lucid apprehension of universal truth but a simple act of expression, and this faculty of expression, if we can call it that, is constantly bending, twisting, and disregarding the rules of analytical philosophy. The fact is that reality isn't encapsulated in a tidy little formula, and if it were to be, it wouldn't even be reality: it would be some sort of transcendent apprehension of perfect truth that we, as real beings, can't even comprehend. Nor does that keep reality from having a voice. Reality is talking right now, very loud and clear over anything that grammatical analysis has to say, and by reality, I simply mean everything that I'm saying and which analytical philosophy has chosen to keep silent about. Call that nonsensical if you like, but that only expresses your discomfort with that which you've failed to rationalize.

    So rather than saying that continental philosophy is nothing more than poetic, I would say that analytical philosophy is nothing more than reasonable, and make that the subject of a trial in the court of discussion.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
    I see analytical philosophy as admirably precise but also shallow, in that it gets hung up on a certain brand of logical rigor while strongly resisting, and in many cases outright refusing to look at its underlying assumptions and whatever realms of inquiry that would open up. As a result, for all of its claims of dissolving pseudo-problems (which it has certainly done), analytical philosophy is at the same time perpetually getting hung up on the most trivial issues, many of which have clear and simple solutions in continental philosophy.

    One of the goals of analytical philosophy was to bring philosophy back in line with real, everyday life, but the world of logic, propositions, and self-conscious attention to grammar is a far cry from the world that we human beings live in. In real life, even when we're busy doing analytical philosophy, a great deal more is going on than rigorous logic; in fact, rigorous logic is perhaps the biggest metaphysical delusion of all, in that no one has clear numbers, structures, and categories before them when they're thinking about things; what's really going on is not some sort of lucid apprehension of universal truth but a simple act of expression, and this faculty of expression, if we can call it that, is constantly bending, twisting, and disregarding the rules of analytical philosophy. The fact is that reality isn't encapsulated in a tidy little formula, and if it were to be, it wouldn't even be reality: it would be some sort of transcendent apprehension of perfect truth that we, as real beings, can't even comprehend. Nor does that keep reality from having a voice. Reality is talking right now, very loud and clear over anything that grammatical analysis has to say, and by reality, I simply mean everything that I'm saying and which analytical philosophy has chosen to keep silent about. Call that nonsensical if you like, but that only expresses your discomfort with that which you've failed to rationalize.

    So rather than saying that continental philosophy is nothing more than poetic, I would say that analytical philosophy is nothing more than reasonable, and make that the subject of a trial in the court of discussion.
    100% Agree. Really well put. I want to bold everything, but I won't.

  6. #16
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i like ingenue's responses. a lot of continental philosophy works to combat the finality of other forms of philosophy. it opens up a space for intuition, for us to recognize "abstract machines" and be able to see, through tracing their linkages, objects in process take shape, emerge, create a kind of liquid silhouette. while more recent projects work on opening up the discourse of the academy and fostering a kind of resistance at the site of the subject, in general the continental style works to recognize and introduce into discourse new conceptual meanings/mappings that deal with culture not entirely as it is but as it could be. the literalist kind of anti-interpretation of analytic philosophy to me feels like a kind of sensate anchoring, prizing implementational truth over the possibilities of meaning.

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