Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

17 Mar 2022 08:52 - 08 Dec 2022 06:36
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    • book by Simon Critchley. I love this series, perfect for amateurs like me to get up to speed in an area. Especially for something like continental philosophy which is a field rife with snobbery, this book aims to make it accessible.
    • In Chapter 7, I extend the discussion of the relation between a scientific and hermeneutic conception of the world by taking up the problem of scientism versus obscurantism. The fact that so much philosophy in the Continental tradition can be said to respond to a sense of crisis in the modern world, and to attempt to produce a critical consciousness of the present with an emancipatory intent, goes some way to explaining its most salient and dramatic difference from much analytic philosophy, namely its anti-scientism. Its critique of scientism resides in the belief that the model of the natural sciences cannot and, moreover, should not provide a model for philosophical method, and that the natural sciences do not provide human beings with their primary and most significant access to the world. One finds this belief expressed in a whole range of Continental thinkers, such as Henri Bergson, Husserl, Heidegger, and the philosophers associated with the Frankfurt School from the 1930s onwards. This worry about scientism is legitimate, but in recent decades it has also risked being conflated with an anti-scientific attitude. This is the risk of obscurantism. In my view, the two poles that are to be avoided in philosophy are scientism and obscurantism, which reflect pernicious tendencies within both analytic and Continental philosophy, as the debate between Carnap and Heidegger eloquently shows. As an alternative to the two extremes of scientism and obscurantism, present in both analytic and Continental philosophy, I propose a ‘third way’ between these two extremes.
    • I'm trying to locate the WS guys, who are definitely anti-scientism, but also anti-pomo-nihilism and are pretty refreshingly non-obscure – they always seem like they are striving for clarity, will give them that much.
    • What is Continental Philosophy? Continental philosophy is the name for a 200-year period in the history of philosophy that begins with the publication of Kant's critical philosophy in the 1780s. This led on to the following key movements: 1. German idealism and romanticism and its aftermath (Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schlegel and Novalis, Schleiermacher, Schopenhauer) 2. The critique of metaphysics and the ‘masters of suspicion’ (Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Henri Bergson) 3. Germanophone phenomenology and existential philosophy (Husserl, Max Scheler, Karl Jaspers, Heidegger) 4. French phenomenology, Hegelianism, and anti-Hegelianism (Kojève, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Georges Bataille, de Beauvoir) 5. Hermeneutics (Dilthey, Gadamer, Ricoeur) 6. Western Marxism and the Frankfurt School (Lukacs, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas) 7. French structuralism (Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, Althusser), poststructuralism (Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze), post-modernism (Lyotard, Baudrillard), and feminism (Irigaray, Kristeva)