This is a follow-up to the question "What is the difference between analytical and continental philosophy?". Even if the distinction should be retired, it still gets used, and those of us outside the profession don't have a sense of what the terms mean. It would still be useful to give us a sense of what the (stereotyped, misleading) distinction is supposed to be. What is the flavor of the rhetorical differences between the two? Do the two address different sorts of question? (This is the characterization I've gotten from philosopher friends: continental figures make up grand sweeping theories about everything, whereas analytic figures try to answer one small question at a time, more like the method of contemporary science.) Who are some of the major figures claimed by either side?

Like others, I believe that this popular dichotomy is in many ways morepernicious than helpful. Nonetheless, it might be helpful to make thefollowing observations. The Western philosophical tradition has itsroots in Ancient Greece. After the European rediscovery of Aristotleduring the Crusades, this tradition continued in Europe and eventuallyin the United States and Europe's other former colonies. In the early twentiethcentury, this tradition broke into two distinct styles of approachingphilosophical questions: the so-called Analytic or Anglo-Americantradition (influenced by philosophers Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein,Moore, Carnap, and Quine, some of whom, as has already been observed,are neither Anglo nor American) and the so-called Continental traditionthat continued in continental Europe (whose foundational figure is the19th century German philosopher Hegel, and which also includes suchphilosophers as Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre).

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