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Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2011

The Dialogue between Analytic and Continental Philosophy

Nenad Miscevic
Pages 5-22

The Continental-Analytic Rift: A Guide For Travellers And Bridge-Builders

The paper explores the rift between continental and analytic style of doing philosophy, looking at the following main philosophical thesis that arguably characterize the continental turn, from Hegel to post-structuralists: first, the anthropological and historical is deeply ontological (Hegel, Heidegger). Second, the central element of human mind is a-rational, it is either will, desire or affect (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche). Third, the basic reality of the world is akin to this a-rational element of human mind (Nietzsche). Fourth, the cognitive style, the language-style and the method of studying a given domain of philosopher investigates should follow the language-style and the manner of domain itself. In particular, for a-rational domains, the cognitive style and the linguistic expression should minimize the use of traditional rationalist methods of enquiry and presentation in favor of more literary ones. Fifth, philosophy has reached its end, so that philosophers should abandon the traditional philosophical reflection in favor of participating in more concrete theoretical and political practices (Marx, poststructuralist “Theory”). Any future building of continentalanalytic bridges has to take into account the complexity of the rift, and the impact of the five theses on the contemporary continental thought.

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