Against Analysis, Beyond Postmodernism

In what follows I offer a parodic brief against analytic style philosophy just as it is that style characteristic of professional philosophy of science. I discuss the ad hoc resilience and sophisticated disdain variously operative in analytic discourse, including reviews of the maverick rhetoricism of the late Paul Feyerabend and others towards a critique of the postmodern condition in science and philosophy. What I name continental style philosophical thinking primarily regards the historical and expressly hermeneutic style of thinking found in the reflections on science characteristic of Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger. Other continental approaches to the philosophy of science growing out of the phenomenological critiques of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty may be expected to be more congenial to analytic sensibilities as suggested by the recent resurgence of interest in the common roots of continental and analytic style philosophic thinking in Husserl and Frege. An approach combining both hermeneutic and phenomenological styles with a sensitivity to the themes of mainstream or analytic philosophy of science is characteristic of the essays and books of, for one important example, Patrick A. Heelan, but also Joseph Kockelmans and Ted Kisiel, Robert Crease and Joseph Rouse, and so on - among rather not a lot of others. Although scholars advocating continental approaches to the philosophy of science routinely refer to traditional adherents of analytic style philosophy of science, there is no reciprocal recognition on the part of analytical philosophers of science. And as a result there is no received tradition of continental scholarship within the professional establishment of the philosophy of science. Thus the philosophy of science remains an analytic discipline, with continental perspectives excluded by the sovereign expedient of disregard, an absence of critical reference which effects the professional annihilation of scholarship. It is this factor that accounts for - that commands - the mixed style of the present essay.
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