Analytic and continental philosophy: Explaining the differences

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


A number of writers have tackled the task of characterizing the differences between analytic and Continental philosophy. I suggest that these attempts have indeed captured the most important divergences between the two styles but have left the explanation of the differences mysterious. I argue that analytic philosophy is usefully seen as philosophy conducted within a paradigm, in Kuhn's sense of the word, whereas Continental philosophy assumes much less in the way of shared presuppositions, problems, methods and approaches. This important opposition accounts for all those features that have rightly been held to constitute the difference between the two traditions. I finish with some reflections on the relative superiority of each tradition and by highlighting the characteristic deficiencies of each.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-304
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytic
  • Continental
  • Kuhn
  • Paradigm


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