My question is similar to this one and this one, but with a slightly different spin.

I am interested in knowing who are some analytically trained philosophers who write on historically "continental" figures. I have in mind philosophers like Kris McDaniel who were trained in the analytic tradition but who also write on "continental" figures like Hegel and Heidegger.

I find the way McDaniel presents the views of these philosophers far more approachable given my training than reading the primary texts or secondary literature written by people without analytic-style training.

Are there more philosophers like McDaniel who do this sort of thing? That is, are there any more (reasonably) contemporary philosophers who have analytic training (or at least write in a similar style) who write on typically "continental" figures?

An ideal answer to this question will provide me with the name of a philosopher, what that philosopher works on, and ideally some suggestions of what are good articles to read by this philosopher.

[Disclaimer: I don't want to offend anyone. I'm not trying to push this whole "divide" nonsense. I'm simply looking for ways to see what the "other side" is up to in a way that will make sense to me given my own philosophical background.]

  • 4
    I suppose one more person I can think of is Graham Priest, who does some work on Hegel (in particular Hegel's logic).
    – Dennis
    Jan 26, 2013 at 22:12
  • I've found the political thought of Hannah Arendt and the theology of Simone Weil useful. Oct 3, 2014 at 4:02

6 Answers 6


I'd recommend Simon Glendinning's On Being With Others: Heidegger, Derrida, Wittgenstein as a nice example of the genre; Glendinning treats of a fairly narrow question (the refutations of skepticism about other minds) from a variety of perspectives-- besides the three authors listed in the subtitle, he also brings Austin and McDowell into the mix. In doing so, he introduces the thought of Heidegger and Derrida to an audience he assumes will be more familiar with the analytic side of things.


Try A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism (2007). Here is the Worldcat Link. It follows the tradition after Kant from Hegel through Derrida, and argues that it has involved a debate between realism and anti-realism paralleling that among analytic philosophers, but in different terms.

Also, while I'm at it, you might look at several reviews by Ian Hacking (Canadian Philosopher of Science) of Michel Foucault.


Hubert Dreyfus and John Haugeland have written on issues in philosophy of mind/AI stuff from a Heideggarian point of view.

John McDowell and Robert Brandom are both into Hegel.

Dan Zahavi and Shaun Gallagher are both contemporary phenomenologists who also actually know something about cognitive science and are in dialogue with more mainstream philosophy of mind.

John Richardson writes analytic-y things about Nietzsche.


Dutch analytical philosopher Herman Philipse publishes mostly on epistemology and has a very clear, argumentative style of writing. He wrote a critical interpretation of Heidegger. Herman Philipse, Heidegger's philosophy of being: a critical interpretation


I think it would depend greatly on what issues you are interested in studying, but there's quite a bit of well-written philosophy on and by continental figures. In my view, the better stuff tends to be historically grounded and built on interpreting figures rather than offering novel views.

For Hegel scholarship from an analytic direction, I would recommend the work of Kenneth Westphal. For understandable Hegel that is not necessarily in conversation with analytic philosophy but is roughly comprehensible, I would recommend Allen Wood's Hegel's Ethical Thought, Beiser's Hegel, and Merold Westphal's Truth and Method in Hegel's Phenomenology. For worthwhile but more difficult forays into Hegel, I would suggest Peperzaak's volume Modern Freedom.

There's an analytic interpretation of Husserl that is quite interesting and in conversation with Zahavi and others.

There's some Heidegger work by Dreyfus and a few others -- but note that in this case there's largely two wholly different conversations going on.

One of the more interesting non-analytic "post-Modern philosophers" you can look at is Rorty. He was the president of the APA and did some Hegel work before he decided philosophy was a conceit.

There's less on Foucault and Derrida. There are several reasons for this. For instance, the theme of the death of the author has not really been seen as important to analytic discussions of meaning nor has the idea of the impossibility of the gift. A strong barrier is that their writing style is often not prone to presentation as a traditional argument.

For a very readable philosopher who was continental, I would say Paul Ricoeur is clear enough as a writer to not need any translation for analytics to read.


Check out Analytical Thomism. John Haldane is its key proponent. See also the introduction to Paterson & Pugh's book on Analytical Thomism, Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue.

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