20th century philosophy  

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"Twentieth-century philosophy has often been pictured as divided into two camps, analytic and continental. Encounters between Analytic and Continental Philosophy challenges this depiction by examining encounters between some of the leading representatives of either side. Starting with Husserl and Frege's fin-de-siècle turn against psychologism, it turns to Carnap's 1931 attack on Heidegger's metaphysics (together with its background in the Cassirer-Heidegger dispute of 1929), moving on to Ayer's 1951 meeting with Bataille and Merleau-Ponty at a Parisian bar, followed by the 'dialogue of the deaf' between Oxford linguistic philosophers and phenomenologists at the 1951 Royaumont colloquium, leading up to the Derrida-Searle controversy. Careful study shows that it is implausible to assume the existence of a century-old 'gulf' between two sides of philosophy. Vrahimis argues that miscommunication and ignorance over the exact content of the above encounters must to a large extent be held accountable for any perceived gap."

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The 20th century brought with it upheavals that produced a series of conflicting developments within philosophy over the basis of knowledge and the validity of various absolutes. With classical certainties thought to be overthrown, and new social, economic, scientific, ethical, and logical problems, 20th-century philosophy was set for a series of attempts variously to reform, preserve, alter, abolish, previously conceived limits.

New studies in philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and epistemology furthered seemingly antagonistic tendencies in accounting for consciousness and its objects, as expressed in the profound differences between analytic and continental philosophy, both of which had foundations in place at the beginning of the century. Advances in relativity, quantum, and nuclear physics, generative sciences like cognitive science, cybernetics, genetics, and rich literary output, and the emergence of the motion picture as an art form greatly enriched philosophical subject matter.

Just as profoundly, historical events such as the World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the near collapse of European parliamentary democracy in the 1930s and 1940s, the Holocaust, the use of atomic weapons on Imperial Japan, continued colonial violence, the foundation of the United Nations, the elaboration of new doctrines of human rights, the Vietnam War, the failure of revolutionary sentiment in 1968, the collapse of the Soviet Union and its client states, continuing inequities in global development and civil society, the resurgence of "fundamental" religious identity in Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu contexts, and seemingly irrepressible if intermittent genocidal activity called into question many philosophical doctrines on human rationality and created ever sharper demands on moral, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Philosophical schools

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