Does Frankfurt School belong to analytical or to continental philosophical tradition?

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    Continental; see Critical Theory: the sources are Hegel, Marx, dialectic. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 10:20
  • Shouldn't the opposite of "analytical" be "synthetical", and the opposite of "continental" be "oceanic", or "archipelagic"? After all, old Wittgenstein was born in Austria, which is not an English-speaking island, and F. H. Bradley had to take a ferry whenever he wanted to feel a continent under his feet. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 12:24
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    For an overview of the "continental" sources of "analytical" philosophy, see Michael Dumemtt, Origins of Analytical Philosophy (1993), and here for a review. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 13:41
  • Continental in the lineage of Hegel, Marx, Freud, though such classifications are usually untrustworthy. They did apply more "empirical" sociological research methods than any of the aforementioned. Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


It may help to ask the question, what motivated the founding of the Frankfurt School?

  1. The failure of a Revolution https://libcom.org/files/Failure%20of%20a%20Revolution_%20German%20-%20Sebastian%20Haffner.pdf

Above a very interesting historical account by Sebastian Haffner

  1. And the work of a gentleman by the name of Dr. Sigmund Freud, and I can highly recommend a very careful reading of Freud’s masterpiece https://www.stephenhicks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/FreudS-CIVILIZATION-AND-ITS-DISCONTENTS-text-final.pdf

Then you will be well prepared to study the work of the Frankfurt School in my opinion

Continental philosophy.

PS To be more explicit, the Frankfurt School was trying to answer the question (at least at the beginning) of this: since all signs pointed to a socialist (let’s say Marxist) revolution in Germany, why then did the revolution fail?

We have to remember the psychiatrist Erich Fromm was brought into the Frankfurt School for a reason. He was a psychoanalyst. Later on Herbert Marcuse carried the torch of Freud for the School. His “Eros and Civilization” https://gonzaga.academia.edu/JoanBraune

It is interesting to note that Freud himself was analytic. One undergoes “analysis”. Though the word is used by Freud in a slightly different context.

  • Is there a special reason for you omitting the leading figures -Horckheimer and Adorno - completely and making it look like Fromm and Macuse were the main proponents? Because, well, they weren't, both woth regards to the importance within the Institut für Sozialforschung and to the philosophical impact of the Frankfurt School, may it be within the time or over generations.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 18:59

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