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I am interested to find out work done in this direction by prominent philosophers in each tradition.

My paradigm cases would be Richard Rorty on the analytic side and Alain Badiou on the continental side. (That said, I know little about Badiou's efforts at reconciliation - so if anyone could elaborate on those I would be very grateful.)

I know that on the analytic side (on which I find myself deeply entrenched) there is very little ongoing effort at achieving reconciliation with or understanding of our continental counterparts - and most continental philosophy is dismissed as no more than whimsical lexicography. So, as a subquestion, I would also be interested to find out how analytic philosophers are regarded on the continental side.

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Good question. I'd like to know the answer too. –  Cerberus Jun 13 '11 at 0:55
As one who is "deeply entrenched" on the so-called "continental" side of philosophy, I'm not entirely sure I even know what or whom to regard as "analytic" philosophy. Rorty and Russell are obvious candidates, but I'm not sure who else would merit the label. What do you consider as the hallmark or indicator of an analytic philosopher? –  Cody Gray Jun 13 '11 at 8:04
@Cody That is hard to answer. The hallmark of an analytic philosopher is a sceintific/logical approach, a distaste for terminological flamboyance and an emphasis on precision and rigour. I think the Wiki on Analytic philosophy is very good: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_philosophy –  Chuck Jun 14 '11 at 13:02
Ironically, the analytic thing was started by a continental European, i.e. Frege. I agree with @Chuck re: the hallmark & also that the wiki article is a good one. –  boehj Jun 15 '11 at 0:42
Charles Taylor. See Philosophical Papers, Vols. I and II. In a deep and perhaps less obvious way, I would also mention Robert Brandom. –  user209 Jun 16 '11 at 6:01
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3 Answers

First, I should point out that a lot of social movements and struggles already do unite continental and analytic thinkers. Also, I should note that 'analytic' and 'continental' are extremely difficult to define conceptually.

Finally, there is a somewhat pejorative dimension to these terms in certain contexts at this point, as without a well-defined theoretical context they mean almost nothing.

With those qualifications in mind, the analytic and the continental can indeed be said to sketch out planes of thought, which I would see as perhaps intersecting in a few intriguing places.

  • Alain Badiou, with his strong interest in overturning the excesses of the linguistic and postmodern turn, could be considered a contender here. Zizek probably belongs here in this sense as well, since he also tends to function as a gadfly for the deconstructionists et al.
  • François Laruelle, in my opinion, answers to the terms of your question. He calls his enterprise "non-philosophy", and he argues that all philosophy suffers from a defect owing to its "decisional" structure; yet he further argues that philosophy is blind to this defect. It is in a way a Godelization of philosophy. His work is very dense and incredibly rewarding. He is just beginning to become known in the United States owing to several new translation efforts.
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Joseph, are there particular works of Badiou or Laruelle that you would recommend? –  Jon Jan 29 '13 at 22:17
@Jon Philosophies of Difference by Laruelle might not be the worst place to look for this; also I would definitely recommend looking at The Non-Philosophy Project. For Badiou, Being and Event is the master work, but Metapolitics in particular I would see as addressing certain issues that would intersect with the analytic-continental divide such as it is. –  Joseph Weissman Jan 29 '13 at 22:51
I'll definitely look into those. Thanks for the recommendations –  Jon Feb 5 '13 at 19:38
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Ian Hacking is great. Read his Historical Ontology. The intro explains how he went from being an analytic philosopher interested in the history of probability to looking at Foucault and Derrida and the genealogy of styles of thought.

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Most of these answers seem to be pointing towards "continental" philosophers who have contributed to "analytic" discussions.

Since I'm more familiar with the analytic segment, I'll point towards a philosopher or two who is analytically trained but does research on "continental" figures.

First, there is Kris McDaniel, a younger philosopher at Syracuse University who has written on Hegel and Heidegger. See his CV for links to some of his papers.

Then, I also know that Graham Priest (famous as a proponent for dialetheism, the view that there are true contradictions) has done some work on Hegel's logic and on Marx. See for example his "Dialectics and Dialetheism".

Of the two Graham Priest is certainly the more famous. Both have, however, done a decent amount to bring continental figures into the discussions of analytic philosophers.

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