Doing Philosophy in Style: A New Look at the Analytic/Continental Divide

Philosophy Compass 7 (12):919-942 (2012)
Questions of style are often deemed of marginal importance in philosophy, as well as in metaphilosophical debates concerning the analytic/Continental divide. I take issue with this common tendency by showing how style – suitably conceived not merely as a way of writing, but as a form of expression intimately linked to a form of life – occupies a central role in philosophy. After providing an analysis of the concept of style, I take a fresh look at the analytic/Continental division by examining the various stylistic differences between philosophers on each side. Despite these differences, I argue, both sides of the divide suffer from a common stylistic deficiency, and if this deficiency were rectified the gulf separating the two traditions may not appear as insurmountable as it presently does. To show this, I draw principally from the philosophy of religion, a field that has recently experienced a renewal in both the analytic and Continental traditions
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2012.00526.x
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