Man and World

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 199–215 | Cite as

The origins and crisis of Continental philosophy

  • Anthony J Steinbock


When contemporary continental philosophy dismisses, with the discourse of post-modernism, the role of origin, teleology, foundation, etc., it is forsaking its own style of thinking and as a consequence is no longer able to discern crises of lived-meaning or to engage in the transformation of historical life. I address this crisis by characterizing continental philosophy as a particular style of thinking, generative thinking. I then examine the meaning and origins of philosophical thinking by drawing, for strategic reasons, on Jacques Derrida's essay “Cogito et histoire de la folie.” For not only has the very question of “origins” come under fire through various post-modern readings of Derrida, but Derrida's own point of critique concerning Western Metaphysics depends upon a specific understanding of origin that I call origin-originating. In the final section of this paper. I interpret the crisis within continental philosophy as a forgetting the “point” of origin-originating within the generative structure of experience.


Historical Life Generative Structure Final Section Political Philosophy Philosophical Thinking 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony J Steinbock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondale, CarbondaleUSA

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