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The Idea of Continental Philosophy$
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Simon Glendinning

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624706

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624706.001.0001

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The Continental Perspective on the Idea

The Continental Perspective on the Idea

(p.91) 5 The Continental Perspective on the Idea
The Idea of Continental Philosophy

Simon Glendinning

Edinburgh University Press

From around the start of the 1970’s many non-analytic philosophers in the English-speaking world began to use the title “Continental Philosophy” to identify their own area of interest and expertise. In this chapter the development of this trend of self-identification is discussed and explained. The basic argument is that in the English-speaking world there were (and still are) a number of professional philosophers with a serious interest in teaching courses and pursuing research on texts by authors whose work was (and largely remains) not at all well regarded by most mainstream analytic philosophers. Prior to the 1970s courses on such work went under a diverse range of titles. However, in the 1970s a growing number of people started to changeover to the Continental title in order to include in their own teaching and writing the new movements that were coming to be known as ‘post-structuralism,’ ‘postmodernism’ and ‘French feminism’. “Continental philosophy”, analytic philosophy’s already-to-hand catch-all category, provided a convenient title for courses and writings covering both the old and the new.

Keywords:   Self-identification, ‘post-structuralism’, ‘postmodernism’, ‘French feminism’, catch-all category

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