Phenomenology in North America and “Continental” Philosophy
In any description of phenomenology in North America, it is important to distinguish it from “Continental” philosophy since the lines between them are too often blurred or non-existent in many minds. Continental philosophy is really a catch-all designation for much of what goes on in European philosophy today as well as in its American spin-offs, and it includes quite a heterogeneous set of approaches, philosophical and marginally so: Hegelianism, Marxism, neo-Nietzscheanism, critical theory (both literary and socio-political as in the Frankfurt School, e.g., Habermas), psychoanalysis (e.g., Lacan, Irigaray), existentialism, structuralism, post-modernism, feminism, etc.— even pragmatism in the version developed by Richard Rorty. Phenomenology is also included in depictions of Continental philosophy and is indeed usually assigned a founding role in it; but even in that major role it is only one strand, and hence should not be equated with it. It should also be noted that “Continental philosophy” is often used simply to make a distinction from “Anglo-Saxon” philosophy, which is typically equated with “analytic” philosophy. One way to clarify matters is to refer to the “core-concepts” delineated elsewhere in this volume, whereby one can determine what is strictly phenomenological from other approaches.
KeywordsMajor Work Phenomenological Research Book Series Continental Philosophy Hermeneutic Phenomenology
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