Explore BrainMass

Continental versus analytical philosophy.

Briefly describe the methods and ideas of continental philosophy. Use one of the thinkers in this tradition as your example.

Briefly describe the methods and ideas of analytical philosophy. Use one of the thinkers in this tradition as your example.

Briefly compare continental with analytical philosophy, relate one of them to Plato's or Aristotle's ideas, and discuss which method you use to acquire knowledge in your own life.

Solution Preview

Continental philosophy is a philosophical perspective originated on the European continent and was at its most dominant in the 19th and 20th centuries. English philosophers used the term to describe philosophers on the European continent whose philosophical worldview opposed what the English would have called "analytic philosophy." Continental philosophy argued that philosophy could not be studied as science was studied. It is impossible to take an issue, decision or action and study it in a vacuum. Continental philosophers argued that culture, historical context, time and language are all intermixed with philosophy. All of these variables impact philosophical questions and cannot be divorced from the question being studied.

Continental philosophy is actually an umbrella under which numerous specific philosophies exist. Some of these include phenomenology, existentialism, and structuralism. Because it covers so many smaller branches continental philosophy can be hard to pin down, however it tends to have the following characteristics. First it rejects the idea that natural science is the most exact science for understanding our life and the world around us. Second, they claim that experience is equally important as scientific observation in determining the nature of life. They add the each individual's experience is colored by the time ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion regarding continental and analytical philosophy. The primary philosophers of each position are discussed as well as their primary methods and ideas. Over 800 words of original text along with links to informative websites for further research.