Archives For writing in philosophy

Author Information: Peter Wolfendale, University of Warwick,

Editor’s Note: Originally posted on 16 July 2013 at Thanks to Peter Wolfendale for his generosity for allowing me to repost his essay. I made minor edits. Shortlink:

I’ve read a couple interesting posts over the last few days on the topic of the analytic/continental divide.

The first was Jon Cogburn’s post ( linking to Ray Brassier’s talk on Sellars’ Nominalism at the Matter of Contradiction conference in London in March (the video [please see below] unfortunately cuts out before the Q&A that I was involved in). Jon presents some interesting remarks on the ‘divide’ from the perspective of someone with analytic training who has subsequently attempted to enter the world of continental philosophy, at least in its American form (the centre of which seems to be SPEP [Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy]).

The second was Roman Altshuler’s post ( on the importance of dialog between continental and analytic philosophy. Roman’s post is a fantastic contrast to Jon’s insofar as it seems to come from the opposite direction: someone with loosely continental training coming to analytic work later, albeit from a European perspective (in which the ‘divide’ is configured quite differently). In addition, the comments on Roman’s post raise some very interesting issues, such as the problems caused by differences in the way Area of Specialization/Area of Competence distinctions are configured between the traditions (i.e., thematics vs. history). This is something that causes me serious headaches when trying to put my own CV together. I usually find discussions of the divide to be severely worn and uninteresting, but these were exceptions and are very worth reading. Continue Reading…