I know, the expression "analytic philosophy" is not something perfectly clear-cut, nor it is devoid of variations and multiplicity. The same can be said about "continental philosophy". But, for the sake of simplicity, let's pretend that the typical today's " "Western" philosopher places him/herself in the camp of analytic philosophy or in that of continental philosophy, in a mutually exclusive way. Also, I intend the distinction in a stylistic and methodological sense, not in a geographical sense.

So, my question is:

Are most Western philosophers analytic nowadays?

I'm interested not only in an answer about "English-speaking" authors, but also about all authors, no matter whether they write in English or not.

The question could be extended to not-necessarily-Western philosophers, but I'm no longer sure the analytic/continental distinction makes sense for them.

  • 1
    Most philosophers in the continental Europe are continental (no pun intended). Asian and Latin American philosophers are also far less likely to be analytic. I cannot think of a source that did some kind of statistics on it, so take this as anecdotal impression.
    – Conifold
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


The 2009 philpapers.org survey, which surveyed 3226 philosophers (the majority of whom were either philosophy faculty or philosophy PhD holders), has relevant data. One question was about the participants' "tradition". The answers were:

  • Analytic: 2486
  • Continental: 315
  • Both: 38

The participants were mostly from the English-speaking world.

  • and does not include Eastern traditions. See philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/32400/… Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 6:41
  • 5
    This survey is not relevant, I am afraid, see its materials and methods. Not only were 86 out of 99 philosophy departments surveyed from English speaking countries, but the remaining 13 "were chosen in consultation with the editor of the Gourmet Report and a number of other philosophers, on the grounds of their having strength in analytic philosophy comparable to the other 86 departments". Questions were also drawn almost exclusively from analytic tradition. It is a wonder they got any continental philosophers responding at all.
    – Conifold
    Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 8:14
  • 2
    True. But why would non-analytic philosophers, who are not even targeted, be interested in answering predominantly analytic philosophy questions when even the survey organizers say that it is "not clear how much can be learned by requiring (for example) specialists in Anglocentric philosophy to answer questions drawn from Asian philosophy or vice versa"? There also seem to be discrepancies between the numbers at the link and in Bourget-Chalmers paper, the latter says that the target group was "1,972 philosophers" (perhaps they counted grad students, not just "target faculty").
    – Conifold
    Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 22:30
  • 1
    I agree that there is probably a selection bias here.
    – E...
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 1:16
  • 1
    Here is one reference I found on my phone. digressionsnimpressions.typepad.com/digressionsimpressions/2015/…
    – Dcleve
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 15:53

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