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The Idea of Continental Philosophy

Simon Glendinning

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The idea of Continental Philosophy has never been properly explained in philosophical terms. In this short and engaging book Simon Glendinning attempts finally to succeed where others have failed – although not by giving an account of its internal unity but by showing instead why no such account can be given. Providing a clear picture of the current state of the contemporary philosophical culture Glendinning traces the origins and development of the idea of a distinctive Continental tradition, critiquing current attempts to survey the field of contemporary philosophy.


Chapter One: Starting Points - An Initiation into Philosophy - Interpreting Philosophy Today - A Working Distinction: Works of and Works in
Chapter Two: A Meeting of (Some) Minds: Phenomenology at Large - A Wide-Angled View - Only a Continental philosopher would say that! - Reading the Other
Chapter Three: The Usual Suspects - Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) - An 'A' List of Continental Philosophers - Movements in the Stream - A Map of Continental Philosophy
Chapter Four: The Analytic Perspective on the Idea - Ryle and the Gulf-Seekers - Hare on Schooling Philosophers - Warnock on Expelling the Alien
Chapter Five: The Continental Perspective on the Idea - Chickening Out - An All-American Story - A Classic Problem
Chapter Six: The (B)end of the Idea - Reaching an End - Enders and Benders - Continental Philosophy Today
Appendix: Continental Philosophy in Britain since 1986.

About the Author

Simon Glendinning is Fellow in European Philosophy at the European Institute at LSE. His interests lie primarily in the phenomenological movement in Europe and its relation to phenomenological philosophy from the English-speaking world. As well as numerous articles, he is the author of On Being With Others: Heidegger – Derrida – Wittgenstein (Routledge, 1998), and editor of Arguing with Derrida (Blackwells, 2001) and the Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy (EUP, 1999).


Despite its consistently mild tone, Simon Glendinning’s The Idea of Continental Philosophy is a provocative and uncompromising work. It is to be admired for this.

- Jack Reynolds, La Trobe University, International Journal of Philosophical Studies