I want to start by saying that Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews is a wonderful resource, for which the whole profession is indebted to Gary Gutting who runs it so well. I am also a member of the editorial board, but have responsibility, as it were, for only a limited number of topics. But something has gone wrong when absolute nonsense like this appears in a review, in this case of a book on Derrida by Jason Powell; the review is by Professor Nancy Holland at Hamline University. After noting some "weakness in the account of...analytic philosophy in the U.S. context," she offers this example:
One wonders, for instance, about the statement that philosophy in America "has the role of legitimating the US government and the scientific enterprise" leading to the suggestions that analytic philosophy "has as its telos the establishment of a universal culture for a static, totalitarian universal civilization" (pp. 124-125). Intriguing, and possibly even largely justified, but surely in need of much more argument.
"Intriguing, and possibly even largely justified"? How about sophomoric prattle befitting a bad undergraduate's blog? Since "analytic philosophy" does not even exist, how can it have a telos--let alone the telos in question? Since most so-called "analytic philosophy" is consumed by other philosophers, how does "it legitimate the US government"? (When was the last time you saw an "analytic" philosopher on Fox?) And how exactly is it that "analytic" philosophers like Alvin Plantinga, George Bealer, Hilary Putnam, Michael Rea, and John McDowell, among many others, are "legitimating...the scientific enterprise"? (Maybe the author was thinking of that famous "analytic philosopher" Descartes who was interested in "legitimating" the scientific enterprise?)
In any review, there is room for reasonable disagreement about many matters. But NDPR, as an exemplary on-line service, really should not publish irresponsibly silly comments like those in Professor Holland's review.