Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mark Lance's "Queering" the Analytic/Continental Divide

As pointed out by N.J. Jun on a previous thread, Mark Lance's thread is quite good. It suggests the divide is more damaging to the concept of rankings in general. I do have reservations, however, about the comment that someone just trained in, say, phenomenology has received bad training. Lance assumes a lot about an ideal world in which it is only the analytic and Continental philosophies that require synthesis.

When approached by someone else on the thread about various other regional and historical philosophies, there is an unfriendly tone.

I should just say that I've been living in this distinction for a while and would welcome its dissolution. However, it has to be dissolved for the right reasons over and against simply feigning tolerance for what has been around for a long time. These analytics have been fighting battles against Continentals for a great while. There is a long line of conflict stretching back to when Ryle reviewed Being and Time. This is to say nothing of the fact that I don't even know about LGBT philosophy, Latin-American political thought or Native-American philosophy, nor will I likely know more about them any time soon. I've been forced to specialize and read a lot about phenomenology and ethics. The dissertation will take time, and when applying for jobs all that time and research goes into specializing even more. I don't have the time to go off and read about an environmental ethics based off some Native-American conception of nature. I wouldn't know if I could learn from it one way or the other---that's the point! That's why the best inference suggests that we ought to be pluralistic.

We cannot know for certain where we can learn from, and hopefully we can find some common language to cross the threshold of why I ought to learn from this outside tradition... to the point that it is no longer even called an "outside" tradition. Thus, the openness of experience and to the world in general must be maintained for reasons above and beyond thinking that we have a sense of what could be "good philosophy" prior to its articulation. I will someday form a hiring committee and I will look for the philosopher of biology capable of teaching social/political and has an interest in medieval thought. I will write the job ad as wide as possible to catch someone that might somehow fit everything the search committee is looking for. I just hope that Kukla and Lance might see that someday.

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