Monday, March 2, 2009

Best Continental Philosopher?

Who is the most important Continental philosopher in the 20th century?
Husserl
Heidegger
Agamben
Arendt
Badiou
Baudrillard
Blanchot
Bataille
Beauvoir
Benjamin
Derrida
Deleuze
Foucault
Gadamer
Irigaray
Butler
Kristeva
Lacan
Lyotard
Levinas
Merleau-Ponty
Nancy
Ricoeur
Sartre
Adorno
Habermas
Scheler
Schutz
Bergson
Zizek
  
pollcode.com free polls

14 comments:

Roman Altshuler said...

Somebody voted Kristeva? Seriously? I mean, she's great and all, but if you consider factors like influence on others, staying power, etc, she's a bit of a blip...

Vancouver Philosopher said...

I don't know. I would have gone with Butler in that department.

You need to update at the Ends of Thought!!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought: Badiou and Zizek are still writing and their influence won't be properly felt until the mid 21st Century. so I think both those thinkers are not in the 'Best Philosopher of the 20th' category..

Vancouver Philosopher said...

Dear Anonymous,

I feel your concerns. However, there is significant work drawing from these people that merit, in my opinion, an estimation of their work. I think that Butler's influence is clearly felt for feminism in the tradition of cultural critique., and she is still living. Kristeva also comes to mind. Given that there are more philosophers than ever before in recorded history, we can have a better idea of living philosophers that have a current influence than in previous decades.

Best,

Ed

pensum said...

Cut the root and the whole tree dies, trim a branch and it will grow another--Using this simple criteria it would seem to me that, though there are other lineages represented (Bergson for example) Husserl is the main root of most of those on your list. That said i think a very strong argument could be made for someone missing from your list and often overlooked for his historical importance and far-reaching influence in not only philosophy but psychology, art and literature as well: Alexandre Kojève. His lectures were attended by Raymond Queneau, Georges Bataille, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, André Breton, Jacques Lacan and Raymond Aron. He also influenced Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida.

Vancouver Philosopher said...

The problem with such a survey is the inevitable limitation of the website not allowing more than 30 entries, and the eclectic manner in which such a survey was constructed. There's also no Meinong, Natorp etc.

Anonymous said...

Since framing a poll around a forgone conclusion(Heidegger) maybe a more interesting question would have been: "Who is the most underrated" , "When will they shut up about...", or a "My guilty pleasure is..."

Vancouver Philosopher said...

Perhaps, Anonymous....perhaps.

Husserl and Heidegger are my guilty pleasures alongside meta-ethics.

Anonymous said...

It´s pleasing to see how few votes Gadamer and Levinas get. There is hope for continental philosophy after all.

Ashley said...

I think Levinas and Gadamer are interesting thinkers actually. I'm bewildered by Levinas' insistence that philosophy abandon ontology, especially ethics.

Anonymous said...

Deleuze is in second place, which I like. Again, Heidegger has had an immense influence on the 20th Century, and Deleuze is starting to rival it.

Of course I agree that both Badiou and Zizek are currently influencing thinking all over the world, but the full extend of their influence won't be measured until decades from now.

Anonymous said...

Why is Freud not on this list? His work is indispensable to more than a few thinkers on this list.

It would be nice to have a 19th century best of list.
Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Marx...and then a 21st century list could be fun. Nancy, Zizek, Badiou, Sloterdijk, Stielger, Hamacher, Ronell, Butler, Delanda, Hardt, Ranciere, Cixious, Zupancic

Carbondale Chasmite said...

Dear most recent Anon,

The comment thread does explain it all. Moreover, I'm VP and have become Cardondale Chasmite. Moreover, I am unsure that Freud is a philosopher per se. Freud could be considered someone that is into mythmaking for human behavior. I'm unsure myself of his affects, and am content to have people like Kristeva representative of philosphical appropriations of him to the point they improve upon his misogyny.

Carbondale Chasmite said...

Dear most recent Anon,

The comment thread does explain it all. Moreover, I'm VP and have become Cardondale Chasmite. Moreover, I am unsure that Freud is a philosopher per se. Freud could be considered someone that is into mythmaking for human behavior. I'm unsure myself of his affects, and am content to have people like Kristeva representative of philosphical appropriations of him to the point they improve upon his misogyny.