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.

  • 3
    Good question. I'd like to know the answer too.
    – Cerberus
    Jun 13, 2011 at 0:55
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    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? Jun 13, 2011 at 8:04
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    @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, 2011 at 13:02
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    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, 2011 at 0:42
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    As philosiology puts it: "Every once and a while, you may encounter a philosopher who claims that they are neither an analytic or continental philosopher—they are both (or they are category-less, or whatev). This is false. What they are really saying is, “I’m a very peaceful continental philosopher who hasn’t really been burned by an analytic philosopher or tasted the bitter drink of discord yet.” I have never heard an analytic philosopher claim this. Analytic philosophers love distinctions too much." ;-)
    – DBK
    Mar 8, 2012 at 13:57

4 Answers 4


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.
  • Joseph, are there particular works of Badiou or Laruelle that you would recommend?
    – Jon
    Jan 29, 2013 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, 2013 at 22:51
  • I'll definitely look into those. Thanks for the recommendations
    – Jon
    Feb 5, 2013 at 19:38

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.


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.


Badiou and Laruelle are working in the traditions of so-called Continental Philosophy. it is a vast tradition that includes many movements and schools. Nowadays, Laruelle's international reception is growing with dozens of titles a year translated and published in English by such publishing houses as Polity Books, Edinburgh University Press, Continuum, Palgrave Macmillan, Columbia University Press, Urbanomic/Sequence and others. Warwick University in England is very involved with Laruelle. Warwick Symposium on the Non-Philosophy of François Laruelle ... www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/philosophy/news/?newsItem... Feb 18, 2010 - News, seminars, reading groups and other events in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Symposium on the Non-Philosophy of Laruelle | Speculative Heresy https://speculativeheresy.wordpress.com/.../symposium-on-the-non-philosophy-of-lar... Feb 8, 2010 - A whole mess of events and CFPs to announce: Warwick Symposium on the Non-Philosophy of Francois Laruelle The Warwick University ... I myself have been working in meta-philosophical critique and analyzed the methods of the so-called two 'types' of philosophy (apology I am not allowed to post another link) also see my work, IF you wish, on Academia-Edu where I am in the top 0.5% of academics - https://independent.academia.edu/UlrichdeBalbian

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