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Would you consider Judith Butler a philosopher in the continental tradition, and for what reason? I was recently derided for making that suggestion. I know the continental/analytic dichotomy is crude, so feel free to give a non-binary answer.

  • Welcome to Philosophy.SE! I would suggest that you rather ask for (textually supported) reasons why Judith Butler may be considered to belong rather to the continental tradition than to the analytical one. As it stands, the question explicitely asks for mere opinions, which would be a bad fit for this site, see the help center. – Philip Klöcking May 31 '16 at 11:22
  • Thanks. I edited the post. Let me know if it needs to be edited further. – LubosMotl May 31 '16 at 11:35
  • See Judith Butler: her "origins" are with Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Luce Irigaray, Jacques Derrida and thus definitively not in the analytic tradition. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 31 '16 at 11:43
  • Certainly not analytic, but I wasn't sure how exhaustive the dichotomy is. – LubosMotl May 31 '16 at 11:44
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    For sure is very "crude"... It amounts to saying Anglo-American vs German-French. A little bit more informative is to speak of "analytic tradition" vs "phenomenological-existentialist" and "structuralist" traditions, that does not prevents to have an American philosopher like JB to be post-existentialist or post-structuralist, as well as recognize the fact that the grand-father of the analytic tradition was a German: Frege (that influenced Husserl, the father of phenomenology). – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 31 '16 at 12:37
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Judith Butler is a post-structuralist feminist. See Judith Butler: her "origins" are with Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Luce Irigaray, Jacques Derrida.

This places her squarely in the "continental" stream of thought. Specifically, that's going to put her pretty close to Derrida. Despite the phrasing, there's also not much of a difference between structuralists and post-structuralists so you could also call her a structuralist without losing too much meaning.

Even though she's from the US, there's not really any way to consider her an analytic philosopher -- either based on influences or writing style. She is most definitively not in the analytic tradition.

For more about her positions see http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-gender/


For more on the divide, how it works, and why we think she's a thoroughly continental figure.

What is the origin of the Continental vs. Analytic divide?

Do some continental philosophers deliberately obfuscate their writing? Why?

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