Jump to content
xmaratx

why only analytic philosophy is philosophy?!

Recommended Posts

Following Leiter´s blog, reading Glock and Sokal...under pressure from my professor though who´s trying to point to me, that those things that I´m engaged in are just trash... I simply dunno what to do...I don´t know where I stand...studying philosophy at master level doing Foucault, Deleuze I feel myself to be completely lost facing such statements that:

 

"does sentences from books/authors that you are reading have truth value? if yes, it´s philosophy, if not its arts of whatever, but not science, so not philosophy"

 

"postmodern, structuralists and french philosophers are just blabering etc." meant Derrida and Deleuze especially

 

just adding several links that I wish you to comment:

 

http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2009/12/provably-nonsense-part-i.html

 

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1983/oct/27/the-word-turned-upside-down/

 

http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/toys/randomsentence/write-sentence.htm

 

and

 

http://www.cs.cornell.edu/w8/~andru/cgi-perl/civs/results.pl?id=E_520bd5632b7ff3cb

 

does anyone of you have similar exp. or issues about this topic?

 

The thing is, that I´m really desperate what does this all mean to me and to those things that I´m interested in, so I´m not doing philosophy and reading stuff that has no sense??? Facing simple fact that if it is not analytic, it´s not scientific and science only can say something to our lives?!!

Don´t get me wrong, I just don´t know how to explain, does somebody understand? What is your position and opinion? Is somebody here interested primarely in analytic philosophy? I´ve read that discussion about division continental/analytic and still just I cannot tell...I´m totally lost and trying to find my way out of this...

 

thx for any comment...

 

just another link:

 

http://www.bu.edu/partisanreview/archive/2001/2/bauerlein.html

Edited by xmaratx
new link added

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, thats not philosophy. go to comp lit.

 

edit: i tried to pull that shit as an undergrad too. suck it up and learn what professors want to teach. when you are a grad student, you shop around for professors who share your interests.

 

another hoop to jump thru.

Edited by retired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeah, thats not philosophy. go to comp lit.

 

edit: i tried to pull that shit as an undergrad too. suck it up and learn what professors want to teach. when you are a grad student, you shop around for professors who share your interests.

 

another hoop to jump thru.

 

I see your point and thanks..., but that´s not just one person and not only according to this situation that I would like to know opinions and views from ppl attending this forum you know...honestly, as I see it, majority of debaters in here are from U.S.A. and reading your debates around here is astonishing time to time for me because at my university (Czech republic), things are different...faculty staff is divided into:

 

- analytic philosophy/philosophy of language (the biggest part)

 

- ancient philosophy (three persons)

 

- phenomenology (two)

 

- medieval philosophy (two)

 

and that´s it...and to be perfectly clear, it´s not different on other universities/faculties...also the system, classes etc. are completely different and it´s hard to explain (I´ve given question about literature according to themes to my final exams at this forum and got no reply suggesting that nobody has similar experience; just for example), but willing to do things that I´m interested in is one thing, but to be all the time confronted with opposite is really hard to go by...as an undergraduate on other faculty I´ve been doing Foucault and french philosophy of the 20th century, coming to graduate level on other university and faculty gave me pretty hard time...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised you're still getting that shit at the masters level. But I'll just echo "retired"s advice that in picking a masters program, you have to shop around for professors with similar interests. I've heard that from every single person I've asked.

 

However, if you haven't already, you should check out Wittgenstein. He's pretty much the reason why almost no living philosopher believes in the dogmatic beliefs that are causing you so much grief - that statements must have truth values. He began as one of the logical positivists in the Vienna circle, but later in life he broke from them and demonstrated - amazingly well - that no statement can have an absolute truth value, and even if it could the laws that govern logical systems cannot themselves have truth values.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summary of my view on the debate: There is a lot of windbaggery on both sides (assuming that they're even stable to begin with... which is quite an assumption) about how the other side just doesn't get it. This seems like a pretext for laziness to me. It's pretty easy to get away with not reading something if you've proclaimed in advance that it's worthless, and, as scholars are keen to pump up their own reputations and modes of thought while inventing excuses for their ignorance, this tends to happen quite a lot. I see it as a weakness, but, as academics have very fragile egos, it's often best to tiptoe lightly around that. But, even so, there is some merit to the complaints, even if the reasons for and extent to which people lodge them are specious. For example, it's just true that a lot of Theory people write horribly for no reason. It's also true that some of what they write is just non-sense. And so on. It would take a little bit longer than I want spend to unpack all of those complaints and deal with them, but there is at least a grain of truth to them. I wouldn't dismiss the complaints without investigating them, but I think it's quite a jump to go from "bad writing" to "worthless nothingness" like many people want to do.

 

After years of studying a mix of Continental philosophy, critical and literary theory, and Latin America, I will be starting an analytic philosophy program this fall -- quite the switch. I am doing this for two reasons: first, I want to expand my philosophical horizons; second, it's necessary to get a good job in philosophy at the university level. I am taking the following approach to this program and it'll be my advice to you:

- Don't let anti-Continental stuff turn you off to it forever and realize that this attitude isn't universal. Keep reading the philosophy that interests you even if it isn't your official coursework.

- Be open to analytic philosophy. Let your professors teach you what they know, and be glad to have the opportunity to learn a field from experts. You don't have to agree with them, but at least you can competently disagree after learning what they think.

- Use it to improve your philosophical writing and thinking. Analytic philosophy tends to pride itself on philosophical clarity and logic, perhaps to a fault sometimes. But this can be good for people raised in the Continental tradition because it can force us to think about our ideas in different ways and spot errors that we might otherwise have missed.

 

I think that if you learn what you can from your current program, continue studying your current interests, and think seriously about faculty at future programs you might attend, then you'll be as well off as you can be in this situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Philosophy is divided into continental and analytical philosophy. Deleuze, Derrida, and others are part of continental, which are usually discussing "truth values". (So the discussion of does it have truth value is kind of absurd). Analytical is logic.

 

Philosophy is also (separately) divided into:

-metaphysics

-religion

-politics

-theory of knowledge/epistemology

-ontology/being

 

Deleuze said philosophy is where concepts are created (and defeated). They then go into art and/or science, where they function.

 

Pick whatever description you like, but please note, post-structuralism/-modernism may be "shit" to people (hold no truth value), but it's still philosophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

plenty of analytically-trained philosophers have admired those on the other side of the divide. rorty is a big defender of derrida, for example. and although john searle thought philosophers like derrida were abject nonsense, he held that foucault was a different caliber thinker altogether. for an analytically-tinged re-explanation of foucault, see dreyfus and rabinow's 'beyond structuralism and hermeneutics'. for an analytical reappropriation of marx, see g.a. cohen's 'karl marx's theory of history: a defence', and the 'non-bullshit marxism'-camp more generally. for analytical re-explanations of hegel and heidegger, check out the pittsburg heideggereans - namely robert brandom and john mcdowell. recall that american pragmatism - dewey, wittgenstein, rorty - is analytical yet profoundly anti-foundationalist (refer to these videos featuring hilary putnam:

&
). zizek is a big enlightenment guy who believes deeply in simple examples and everyday coherence (though he doesn't always succeed in living up to this professed standard). deleuze and derrida and lacan may be difficult to understand, but i still think they're all saying something non-artistic and worth reading. when we consider that habermas is often thrown in with the continentals and feyerbrand throw in with the analyticals, i don't think the divide holds much water anymore.

 

here's a long conversation i'd recommend watching between two analytical philosophers - richard rorty and donald davidson:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8442907408947441860

 

rorty says decisively at 39m:36s,

 

the way i think of it - this is the line i've been pressing for 20 years, ever since i wrote 'mirror of nature' - is that frege and russell, as it were, reverted to kant's picture of what philosophy was - namely, it did something with *form* instead of *content*: it rose above the empirical, or it rose above the historical, or it rose above something, and you know, it had 'conceptual analysis' or something. and the reason there's this great big analytic/continental gap is that for the rest of the philosophical world kant is sort of dead - hegel and nietzsche took his place. so when they think of being a philosopher, they think hegel-marx-nietzsche. and of course you gotta read kant, because hegel is unintelligible without kant, but still: you don't want to do what kant thought philosophy was. and the anglophones *do* want to do what kant thought philosophy was. and sometimes i think that we need both within the same discipline; sometimes i think, no, we anglophones are caught in a time-lag, that the rest of the world moved on, that we let frege and his heirs re-kantian-ize us.

 

davidson then asks, "what is the huge difference that you see between kant and the post-kantians?", to which rorty replies,

 

i think the huge difference is kant had a scheme-content distinction; hegel and dewey didn't. that is, for hegel, scheme was always turning into content, like for dewey, means are always fading into ends, and vis versa. for both him and hegel, scheme and content were both temporary, arbitrary, sociologically-, historically-determined considerations. i think that's still sort of anathema to most anglophone philosophers. they want there to be a philosophical method - no, maybe not a method - a philosophical activity characterized by being on the scheme side, if you like. and it seems to me that everything that's happened to break down all the kantian distinctions in the course of the development of analytic philosophy, as it were, cut the meta-philosophical ground out from under analytic philosophy. so the anglophone world is sort of doing a kind - you know, it still in its public rhetoric goes on and on about 'clarity of concepts' and 'conceptual confusion' and 'we'll clear up your concepts for you' - back at home, they don't feel there are such things as 'concepts' to be clarified: they're 'alternative uses of words'. so at the end of the dialectic that followed the linguistic turn, we had no room for kant-style philosophy, but as a disciplinary matrix, we still look to kant for giving us a sense of our place in culture, our relation to the other disciplines and so on.

_

 

http://reason.com/archives/2000/02/01/reality-principles-an-intervie

http://redelephant.wordpress.com/2006/04/18/rorty-on-deconstruction-pragmatism/

Edited by Lazzarone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there was a lengthy exchange between derrida and searle, by the way, which sort of epitomizes the (myth of the) analytical-continental divide. one philosopher who studies types of communication summed it up this way (here: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/philos/dascal/papers/divide.html),

 

Searle has raised the analytic requirement of a precise language to the status of a “principle of expressibility" (whatever can be thought can be expressed clearly and precisely); he has also privileged the role of “constitutive rules" in his account of how language functions; he employs and demands strictly logical arguments for supporting or refuting any philosophical thesis; and the aim he consistently pursues is the construction of philosophical theories. Derrida, on the other hand, fears the emasculation of thought that may result from the insistence on clarity and precision; he privileges metaphorical language, revels at playing with words, produces texts where associative and analogical links rather than deductive ones prevail, and is mostly concerned with deconstructing philosophical theories. Under these conditions, their confrontation is prima facie poised to be a dispute – and a rather virulent one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...