Analytical Vs. Continental Philosophy

Some people view analytic philosophy as superior to continental philosophy, perhaps because analytic philosophy is based on reason while continental philosophy is considered opinion or speculation.

But those people are looking for certainty in their beliefs, and insofar as analytic philosophy is certain it is merely tautology, in that all certain truths within it are merely isomorphisms or rearrangements of base axioms, such as those of the meanings of words and Aristotelian syllogisms, because insofar as one truth strictly derives from another truth without any further input from ontology/observation the latter is necessarily only a reflection of the former; and insofar as analytic philosophy is not certain it can easily mislead, because language is so dynamic that words can easily be put together to manipulate thought, producing one spin or another, depending on how one arranges words to create concepts. A concept can appear reasonable because the incompleteness of the definitiveness of the notion, or the other possibilities to the situation, are made subtle/covert by the craftiness of its articulation. As such, sometimes a contradicting concept to a compelling concept can appear equally compelling because of the crafty arrangement of the words of its expression in a different sequence.

So analytic philosophy reduces to uninteresting tautology and arguments that are compelling yet non-strict in a way that entails they could just as likely be sophistry as sound. By contrast, continental philosophy actually makes statements about the larger world and life, sometimes very deep/profound statements. While the author could be wrong or right and the text’s correctness can’t be determined purely analytically, it’s interesting, and you can apply judgement and evaluation to it on levels of sense beyond the merely logical, especially if you read many different continental philosophers and compare their views in order to gain perspective. Also, the statements of continental philosophy are not necessarily just speculation or opinion on the basis of their not being logically or empirically proven; they can be keen/apt/astute/insightful, even if still having an essential “subjectivity” to their (so-called) “claims.”

It is not strictly because of the dynamicism of language and its potential to lead or mislead thought that the incompleteness of an argument or the alternate possibilities involved are made covert; it is human intention and craftiness that result in this, even partly on unconscious levels, because the intention of the author is to convince the reader of his position and to look good, and the ability to wield words effectively comes naturally to us, so much so that we hardly even know how we do it. Of course, some authors may simply articulate their thoughts honestly without any clever use of phraseology to side-step the weaknesses of their positions, but the thought-elements of chains of reasoning themselves are somewhat analogous to words in how they can be dynamically arranged to lead or mislead someone (including the thinker himself). Both those things, the clever phraseology and potentially misleading chains of thought-elements, are semantical in nature.

As a side note, I think it’s more this chronic slipping of indefinitiveness through the seams in phraseology that makes certain philosophical positions more trendy or modern, or tearing down of or more compelling than other positions, than actual legitimacy or truth; so, contrary to popular opinion, I don’t believe that philosophy actually progresses over time; I think it merely changes its inclinations based on who made the last and more cleverly constructed argument. It’s much like debate in this respect, in that who wins the debate generally has little to do with who’s actually right and a lot more to do with who’s the stronger debater.

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