The analytic-continental divide in philosophical practice: An empirical study

Metaphilosophy 52 (5):668-680 (2021)
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Philosophy is often divided into two traditions: analytic and continental philosophy. Characterizing the analytic-continental divide, however, is no easy task. Some philosophers explain the divide in terms of the place of argument in these traditions. This raises the following questions: Is analytic philosophy rife with arguments while continental philosophy is devoid of arguments? Or can different types of arguments be found in analytic and continental philosophy? This paper presents the results of an empirical study of a large corpus of philosophical texts mined from the JSTOR database (n = 53,260) designed to find patterns of argumentation by type. Overall, the results suggest that there are no significant differences between the types of arguments advanced in analytic and continental philosophy journal articles. The findings, therefore, provide no empirical support to the hypothesis that the divide between analytic and continental philosophy has to do with the place of argument in these traditions.

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