Article

Contemporary Continental Political Thought

Stephen K. White

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199238804
Published online September 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199238804.003.0027

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Contemporary Continental Political Thought

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“Continental philosophy” is generally understood as a contrast term for “Anglo-American analytic philosophy.” On its face, we seem to have a distinction rooted in geography, the continent in question being Europe. What is the relationship between Continental philosophy and Continental political philosophy—more frequently called Continental political thought (CPT)? There is the common postulation that modern Western social life, despite its many achievements, carries within it a certain “malignancy.” A tool frequently used by CPT is a skepticism of Enlightenment universalism in relation to ethical and political life. Given CPT's postulation of some sort of malignancy in modern Western society, it is hardly surprising that there is usually also sustained attention given to the possibility of some transformation that will overcome or at least combat more effectively the danger or harm that malignancy carries with it.

Keywords: Continental philosophy; Continental political philosophy; Continental political thought; Europe; malignancy; universalism; political life; transformation; social life

Article.  10103 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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