Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nulty, Timothy J. Review of Jack Reynolds, et al., eds. POSTANALYTIC AND METACONTINENTAL. NDPR (January 2010).

Reynolds, Jack, James Chase, James Williams, and Edwin Mares, eds.  Postanalytic and Metacontinental: Crossing Philosophical Divides.  London: Continuum, 2010.

This important book is one of the better anthologies currently available on the relationship, or lack thereof, between the typically disparate traditions of analytic and continental philosophy. The anthology contains essays that offer broader general assessments of methodological differences between traditions as well as a number of very good essays on specific points of convergence or divergence between the traditions. The editors and authors are to be commended for their diligence in avoiding two common mistakes when characterizing these traditions -- either an essentialism which denies the possibility of meaningful dialogue between traditions or a deflationary view prone to ignoring important methodological and substantive differences between analytic and continental philosophy. Indeed, the editors, in their introduction, offer strong considerations for rejecting both of these characterizations while providing examples of their prevalence in the literature. This anthology is a valuable resource for those currently engaged in comparative work and for those who want to understand these two traditions beyond the usual superficial and frequently unjustified characterizations. In what follows, I will provide a brief summary of each of the major sections first and then return to examine in greater detail some of the chapters. . . .

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