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Taylor Carman

Why do you say, “Gabriel here tacitly assumes that extending a tradition always must involve a form of continuation such that no essential features of the tradition are undermined”? I don’t see how his criticism of the book commits him to any such general assumption or principle. His objection is very specifically to the editors’ use of the term “existentialism,” which he maintains – correctly, I think – is both historically and conceptually confused.

Taylor Carman

“(For the record Gabriel doesn’t frame the review in terms of the contrast between analytic / continental – so what I am doing is kind of uncharitable.)”

You’re right about this. I really think the Continental / analytic frame is a red herring (if a frame can be a herring) and should be dropped.


you should take this up with Babette Babich
Nov 27
Night of Philosophy again. Only analytic philosophy needed last year.
Only analytic philosophers need apply this year.
So neat.

Thomas Nadelhoffer


A genuine question: Have you read the volume?

Taylor Carman

Yes, but — why preface a question by calling it “genuine”?

Chris Stephens

In his review, Gabriel writes "Another weakness of the book is editorial. There are frequent mistakes which could easily have been repaired, such as the repeated claim that homo sapiens has been around "for some 250,00 years" (p. 27, 29)"

If you're going to be the kind of reviewer that's picky about this kind of thing (I guess he doesn't like that she says "some 250,000 years" rather than, what, "300,000"? Then you should at least be aware (or perhaps the weakness of his own review is "editorial" as it were,) that it isn't "homo sapiens" its "Homo sapiens". ("Homo" should be capitalized). Churchland gets it right. Gabriel gets it wrong.

Not that I'm completely unsympathetic with his remarks about existentialism. But I agree that this framing often seems to keep him from engaging with the articles on their own terms.

Like Taylor, though, I'm not sure it's about the "continental/analytic divide" - he happily praises works like Jenaan Ismael's that are squarely in the analytic tradition.

eric Schliesser

Good point about the reference to Jenan's book, Chris. Even so, Modern continental phioosophers are often happy to cité analytic metaphysics and philosophy of science; that is compatible With resenting intellectual appropiation of their tradition(s).

Michael Kremer

Chris Stephens: the point is, as Gabriel says, editorial. There is a missing zero in "250,00" (yes, that actually occurs in the book, and yes that would be nitpicking if it were a critique of the author, but it is here a criticism of the press and the copy-editors -- ok, it's still nit-picking).

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