Thursday, March 08, 2007

Knowing me, knowing you...

Julian Baggini writes about the passing of Jean Baudrillard and, along the way, has some thoughts about the often over-emphasised difference between 'analytic' (or Anglo-American, -- despite the Australians, for example, being prime exponents...) and 'continental' philosophy. One thing he said made me smile.

It's certainly true that France is a philosophically foreign country: they do things differently there. You could say they adopt a different style, but that would be to imply that Anglo-American philosophy has any style at all, when most of its arid writing is actually the literary equivalent to Alan Partridge's sports-causal fashion collection. What our breed of philosophy has is a method, and with it supposed rigour.

There is indeed something of the Partridge (or perhaps the Clarkson) about some philosophers I know. All a bit 'M&S jacket and jeans', if you see what I mean. Not sure that translates directly into writing (or thinking) style, but Baggini certainly has a point.

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