Monday, November 28, 2011

Emerging Trends in Continental Philosophy,

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2011.11.35 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Todd May (ed.), Emerging Trends in Continental Philosophy, 252 pp., vol. 8 of Alan D. Schrift (ed.), The History of Continental Philosophy (8 vols.), University of Chicago Press, 2010, 2700pp., $800.00 (cloth), ISBN 978022670461.

Reviewed by Emanuela Bianchi, New York University

The eighth and final volume of Alan D. Schrift's monumental and immensely valuable series, The History of Continental Philosophy, attempts the almost impossible task of identifying and tracking the current continental philosophy scene, and specifically surveying developments over the last fifteen years. As with any historical project that begins to merge with present-day concerns, what is of lasting or canonical significance is difficult to discern as contours or identifiable movements of wave or backlash have not yet quite emerged. Accordingly, the volume is bound to frustrate any practicing philosopher who will inevitably find glaring lacunae in relation to his or her own partial and particular perspective -- for each of us involved in the philosophical enterprise (and especially the typically engagée continental philosophical enterprise) naturally finds our own areas of concern the most pressing, for why else would we work on them? It is a tricky task, then, to review a book that may in fact be of the greatest value to those approaching the discipline from the outside, whether as students or as scholars in other disciplines, from within continental philosophy. Nonetheless, in its breadth, and in the mostly astute strategies of the authors faced with this almost impossible task, the volume covers a great deal of important ground for anyone who wishes to discern in broad brushstrokes the multiple facets of continental philosophy today.

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