Volume 13, Issue 2, 2010
A Genealogy of the Analytic-Continental Divide
The conventional view is that analytic philosophy has dominated American philosophy departments since 1950 and that continental philosophy and pragmatism have been marginalized almost out of existence due to philosophical inferiority or McCarthyist persecution. But a precise historical treatment of transformations in the field shows that this is, in fact, the golden age of continental philosophy and pragmatist scholarship, that McCarthyism had nothing to do with pragmatism’s fall from dominance, and that the shape of the field depends more on larger academic-historical trends. However, McCarthyism likely had lasting effects on analytic control of powerful qualifying institutions.