Contemporary European Philosophy

Philosophie Européenne Contemporaine

Europäische Philosophie der Gegenwart

Filosofia Européia Contemporânea

Nythamar de Oliveira

20th-Century European philosophy has been characterized by the return to and critical appropriations of given strands of modern philosophy (notably Cartesian rationalism, British empiricism, and German idealism, and especially the lasting contributions by Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard). It has been argued that the seminal works of Gottlob Frege and other logicians and philosophers of mathematics led to the decisive emergence of the analytical philosophy of language and the schools of phenomenology at the threshold of the 20th century in Europe. Although this has been somewhat a geographical rather than properly conceptual division of labor, the opposition between (British) analytical and Continental philosophy has been sustained even by those who either problematize or refuse such an opposition. By all criteria, both currents have elaborated on a radical critique of traditional metaphysics and of the modern conceptions of subjectivity, consciousness and representation, and have shared a common interest in the philosophy of meaning and language, as well as in the related problems of intersubjectivity and of a post-Kantian return to fundamental questions of ontology and logic. In effect, although the philosophy of language does emerge as a new paradigm in the20th-century, both ontology and subjectivity remain within the creative, conceptual horizon of the new landscape that still characterizes Contemporary European Philosophy even today. On the other hand, it would certainly be unfair to classify the various strands, trends and schools of 20th-century European thought as though they could be confined to exclusive, self-contained sets, since many other possible combinations would allow for equally fair, imaginable classifications. In a work in progress, Tractatus practico-theoreticus, in which I deal with contemporary approaches to the classical problem of articulating theoria and praxis and offer a moral epistemological counterpart to the first part of a trilogy on modern philosophical anthropology (Tractatus ethico-politicus, Edipucrs, 1999), I have suggested a fourfold mapping of 20th-Century European philosophy as follows:

1. Analytical philosophy, logical positivism, and philosophy of language: G.E. Moore, B. Russell, L. Wittgenstein, G.E.M. Anscombe, G. Ryle, A.N. Whitehead, R. Carnap, E. Cassirer, K. Popper, M. Schlick, O. Neurath, A.J. Ayer, H. Albert, P. Strawson, J.L. Austin, J. Hintikka, M. Dummett, K.O. Apel, E. Tugendhat, D. Henrich, S. Blackburn, W. Carl

2. Phenomenology, Lebensphilosophie, hermeneutics, existentialism, poststructuralism, and deconstruction: E. Husserl, W. Dilthey, H. Bergson, M. Heidegger, M. Scheler, K. Jaspers, J. Ortega y Gasset, M. de Unamuno, M. Buber, F. Rosenzweig, K. Löwith, N. Hartmann, G. Marcel, G. Bachelard, H. Plessner, A. Gehlen, N. Berdyaev, A. Camus, M. Merleau-Ponty, J.-P. Sartre, E. Mounier, M. Foucault, E. Levinas, G. Bataille, G. Deleuze, H.-G. Gadamer, P. Ricoeur, M. Henry, J.F. Lyotard, H. Jonas, J. Derrida, G. Vattimo, R. Schürmann, M. Frank, D. Janicaud, J.L. Nancy, P. Lacoue-Labarthe, E. Alliez

3. Marxism and social philosophy: A. Gramsci, G. Lukács, C. Schmitt, W. Benjamin, T.W. Adorno, M. Horkheimer, E. Bloch, H. Arendt, L. Strauss, L. Althusser, C. Lefort, C. Castoriadis, I. Berlin, J. Habermas, N. Bobbio, T. Negri, O. Höffe, W. Kersting, A. Wellmer, A. Honneth, J. Baudrillard, J. Elster, B. Barry, T. Pogge, G. Agamben

4. Gender and cultural studies, feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, psychoanalysis, structuralism, and interdisciplinary studies: S. Freud, C.G. Jung, F. de Saussure, J. Lacan, S. Beauvoir, C. Lévi-Strauss, R. Barthes, S. Weil, H. Cixous, L. Irigaray, J. Kristeva, N. Sarraute, S. Hall, P. Gilroy, C. Ruthner, W. Müller-Funk, A. Millner, E. Morin, R. Major, M.M. Roberts, T. Mizuta, G. Pollock, G. Griffin, C. von Braun, E. Sotelo, R. Bernasconi

Selected Bibliography:

Apel, K.-O. et al. Un siècle de philosophie 1900-2000, Paris: Gallimard, 2000.

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Bernstein, Richard J. Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985.

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Böhmer, Gernot. Einführung in die Philosophie. Weltweisheit, Lebensform, Wissenschaft. Suhrkamp, 1994.

Bubner, Rüdiger. Modern German Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Couloubatsis, Lambros. Aux origines de la philosophie européenne, Paris, Bruxelles: De Boeck, 1994.

Critchley, Simon. A companion to continental philosophy. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1998.

de Oliveira, Nythamar. On The Genealogy of Modernity: Foucault’s Social Philosophy. Nova Science, 2003.

---------. Tractatus ethico-politicus. Edipucrs, 1999.

---------. Tractatus practico-theoreticus. Edipucrs, 2007 (forthcoming)

Dallery, Arleen. The Question of the Other: Essays in Contemporary Continental Philosophy. Albany: SUNY Press, 1989.

Descombes, Vincent. Modern French Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Dews, Peter. The Limits of Disenchantment: Essays on Contemporary European Philosophy. Verso, 1996.

Folscheid, Dominique. La philosophie allemande, de Kant à Heidegger, Paris: PUF, 1993.

Habermas, Jürgen. Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985.

Habermas, Jürgen, and Jacques Derrida. Philosophy in a time of Terror: Dialogues with J. Habermas and J. Derrida, interviewed by Giovanna Borradori. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Hirschberger, Johannes. Geschichte der Philosophie. Bd. I: Altertum und Mittelalter. Bd. II: Neuzeit und Gegenwart. Komet, 2000.

Kaplan, Gisela. Contemporary Western European Feminism. New York Univ., 1992.

Mattei, Jean-François (ed.) Encyclopédie philosophique universelle. Les Œuvres philosophiques. Dictionnaire, 2 tomes, Paris: PUF, 1992.

Pareyson, Luigi. Prospettivi di folosofia contemporanea. Milano: Murria, 1993.

Vattimo, Gianni. Les aventures de la différence. Paris: Minuit, 1985.

von Speck, Johannes. Philosophie der Gegenwart. Grundprobleme der grossen Philosophen. Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972.

West, David. An Introduction to Continental Philosophy. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996.

Williams, Caroline. Contemporary French Philosophy. Continuum, 2001.

Related Links:

Department for Contemporary European Philosophy and Gender Studies (Bulgaria)

Center for European Studies (Vanderbilt)

Center for Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology (Louvain)

SPEP : Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosopohy (USA)

US Philosophy Graduate Schools Friendly to Continental Philosophy

Cultural Studies Resources

Crossroads in cultural studies

Feminism in Europe

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