Chapter

The Usual Suspects

Simon Glendinning

in The Idea of Continental Philosophy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780748624706
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671885 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624706.003.0003
The Usual Suspects

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One way of disrupting the idea that there is a distinctive “Continental” tradition in philosophy is to get a vivid sense that what typically gets grouped together as such is a highly eclectic and disparate series of intellectual currents that could not possibly form a coherent tradition. The aim of this chapter is to give just such an overview. All “the major Continental philosophers” from Kant to Žižek are introduced through summary paragraphs of their major works and ideas. This is followed by an overview of the major intellectual currents that can sensibly be discerned in this eclectic collection such as phenomenology, existentialism, critical theory, structuralism and post-structuralism. None of this is intended to suggest that there is, after all, a “Continental” tradition but to make perspicuous quite how implausible that idea really is.

Keywords: Continental tradition; phenomenology; existentialism; critical theory; structuralism; post-structuralism; Immanuel Kant; Slavoj Žižek

Chapter.  11994 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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