As everyone knows, there is supposed to be a large difference between analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. The problem is of course that nobody has any clear idea of what analytic philosophy and continental philosophy are. We’re all very good at spotting clear instances of analytic philosophy (e.g. anything by David Lewis) and continental philosophy (e.g. anything by Lacan). But it’s very hard to spot any distinction of content between analytic and continental philosophy. For almost every doctrine espoused by continental philosophers, there is some analytic philosopher who has given mind-numbingly dull step-by-step arguments for that conclusion.
Two examples from the most recent literature in philosophy are pragmatic encroachment into knowledge and relativism about truth. According to advocates of pragmatic encroachment (such as myself, John Hawthorne, and Jeremy Fantl and Matthew McGrath), what distinguishes knowledge from true belief is not just a matter of traditionally epistemic factors. One needs to take into account the putative knower’s practical situation as well; I think a similar thesis is true about other epistemic notions. The idea that ordinary epistemic notions are “impure” in this way does not seem like a traditionally analytic conclusion. According to relativists about truth, two people can disagree, and both be correct, since the truth of certain kinds of claims is relative to an evaluator. Both of these theses are ones that are usually associated with figures in the continental tradition (the former perhaps somewhat more Germanic, and the latter somewhat more French). An example from classic literature is skepticism about meaning facts. Different arguments for skepticism about determinate meaning-facts are central to both traditions (e.g. compare Derrida’s Of Grammatology with Chapter 2 of Quine’s Word and Object).