I have responded to comments over at the Ends of Thought blog. I like Roman a lot. He's been a good interlocutor in the past, and with that said, I respectfully think he tells a very oversimplified story about Continental philosophy. I argue for a principle of charity that is hermeneutic in nature since so many of the ways of the writing of Continental philosophy is tied to particular pedagogic aims. It is unfair to say that Continental philosophy is all bad, especially how it is framed. That's just a one-sided engagement that would never honestly see what is at work in a particular text. How about some examples?
Caputo writes texts that deconstruct themselves or Levinas avoiding epistemic frameworks altogether in order to describe how such a view would "reduce the other to the same." Irigaray uses language to avoid the gendered speech of Romance languages and alludes to the symbolism and metaphor of things like angels and mucous to talk about something that has never existed before (a wholly developed living subjectivity of women liberated from power structures). Could analytics buy into Irigaray's use of figurative expression, Levinas' avoidance of all Western discourses that subsume difference into the same, or Caputo's heuristic deconstructionistic style? There's a point sometimes to the ambiguity. Or my particular favorite, Heidegger's move to change our understanding of language to a form of poetics. These are all points worthy of our consideration as philosophers. We need not stray away from Heidegger, Irigaray, Levinas or Caputo to see if they have anything to say. It's about time that analytic philosophers learned to read hermeneutically, not the other way around.
The example of Irigaray is interesting. The New APPS blog did not comment on Margaret Whitford's contributions to philosophy but only listed her as doing work on Irigaray. Irigaray is an awesome styled thinker. As I noted earlier, her writing is Nietzschean and provocative in its own way. It would never sate the appetite of your typical analytic, however, nor the basis of her writings stemming from Lacan. It would be as dismissed as easily as women have been in this profession. It is one thing to shore up and be honest about one's personal biases and taste. It is another to think that there is no redeeming value in the strategies of engagement some Continental writers have taken up.