Pragmatism and the Analytic-Continental Split

This conference at the University of Sheffield starts tomorrow, and runs until Friday.

A common story told about academic philosophy in the 20th and 21st centuries is that is divided into two opposed camps, usually called ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ philosophy. This conference proposes to assess a third, and often overlooked, philosophical tradition, ‘pragmatism’, in the light of this division. In pragmatism, we hope to discover novel approaches to the issues that divide the analytic and continental traditions.

Typically, analytic and continental philosophies are differentiated according to origins, methodologies, styles, and concerns. Analytic philosophy emerged in the early 20th century with British thinkers such as Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore. It was presented as a split from a broader philosophical tradition which included Kant and Hegel, and was labelled ‘continental’ with the inclusion of figures such as Husserl, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger…

This conference asks how pragmatism might allow the analytic and the continental traditions of philosophy to engage in new and useful ways. Perhaps relating pragmatism to analytic and continental philosophy can provide new suggestions regarding the methodologies, styles, roles, and topics that we think should govern philosophy. Perhaps attention to the links which classical pragmatism has to both sides might further dissolve the divide. Perhaps, as some pragmatists have hoped, pragmatism sits at the end of the development of both continental and analytic philosophy. Or perhaps a rejection of pragmatism by both traditions might forge new links between them.

The conference website is here.

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