I realize that these terms are vague and inexhaustive, but nevertheless there seems to still exist quite a bit of discussion about the "continental/analytic" distinction in philosophy. While at times the issue seems to be little more than academic bickering, it points to a pressing question about philosophy's place in today's world. From what I understand, empirical-minded analytic philosophers tend to think that vague issues dealt with by continental philosophy can be better expressed through, say, art, while continental thinkers argue that analytics are better off just doing math or science. Who's to be believed, if anyone?

I really do think that it is time we got over this distinction. Since many people called "analytic" by those who are fond of the distinction were born, lived or wrote on the continent in questiion, and many of those dubbed "continental" live and work on other continents, it is at least misleading. Things get worse when you actually pay attention to the content of texts, the methods of anaysis, the kinds of arguments offered. There just is no clear way of drawing the distinction. The closest one can come, I think, is to talk about literary style, which is a pretty superficial way to carve up philosophy. Even then you fail to get a clear cut. What you find are clusters defined by mutual approval within and and a certain amount of disdain between. Let's get over it. Worrying about this supposed distinction not only discourages people from taking seriously the work of people they should take seriously, but it also implicates an exhaustiveness that excludes African and Asian philosophy.

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