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On the Structure of Twentieth-Century Philosophy

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It makes sense to ask from time to time where we are in the philosophical discussion. This article reviews the debate in the twentieth century. Michael Friedman has recently argued that the split between Continental and analytic philosophy is due to the inability, because of war, to carry forward a genuine debate begun by Heidegger and Carnap around the time of Heidegger's public controversy with Cassirer at Davos in 1929. I, however, argue that there was not even the beginning of a genuine debate between Heidegger and Carnap. I argue further that the split between analytic and Continental philosophy originated earlier, in the analytic attack on idealism at the beginning of the century. And finally I argue that the differences among analytic philosophy, Continental philosophy, and pragmatism, the third main current of twentieth-century philosophy, can be traced to differing reactions to Kant.

Keywords: Anglo-American analytic philosophy; Carnap; Cassirer; Continental philosophy; Friedman; Heidegger; pragmatism; structure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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