Jason Stanley (Rutgers) comments, and makes a number of sensible points (including ones he's made here in the past). He is surely right that the continuity between, say, David Lewis and Aristotle or Leibniz or Hume is much greater than that between au courant European thinkers like Zizek and any of the major historical figures in Western philosophy. One thing that occurs to me in reading Jason's essay is that a perhaps distinctive development in philosophy over the last 150 years has been the emergence of specifically anti-philosophical theorists, i.e., theorists who want to repudiate central aspects of philosophy's (purportedly) traditional concerns: one sees this in Marx and Nietzsche, and in different ways, in Dewey and Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Rorty was a minor synthesizer of this line of anti-philosophical thought, though he was too often read as attacking "analytic" philosophy, rather than as repudiating the entire philosophical tradition going back to Socrates and Plato. Perhaps part of what is happening is that in other parts of the humanities, the anti-philosophical theorists (those who repudiate metaphysics and epistemology as meaningful or fruitful activities, or, in any case, ones that philosophers have distinctive tools for addressing) are taken to represent philosophy, and thus insofar as contemporary Anglophone philosophy, in its professionalized form, is more closely aligned with the tradition than the anti- theorists, it seems beside the point?
Signed comments from readers on all these issues are welcome.
UPDATE: I suppose, predictably, the IHE article is bringing all kinds of interesting characters out of the woodworks (though there are several interesting commnets too, some also posted below here). My favorite is the one that comes to the defense of Carlin Romano without actually responding to any of the detailed evidence that Mr. Romano has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to philosophy. 'Tis also a shame that some commenters appear to have read Jason as attacking Nietzsche, which he was not doing at all.
REMARKABLY the disgraced ID apologist Steve Fuller shows up in the comments to attack the discipline that has expelled him. At the same time, some of the comments by self-identified "analytic" philosophers are becoming embarrassingly parochial, in ways that will just confirm the worst suspicions of colleagues in other fields. There is also the suggestion that philosophy should look to the sciences for its more congenial home--except, of course, scientists generally have an even lower opinion of philosophy than most humanists!
Alan Thomas (ethics), formerly at the University of Kent, has become (as of this month) Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Tilburg Hub for Ethics and Social Philosophy at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands.
I've posted a shortish essay on the subject at the National Humanities Center's "On the Human" blog, and there are already some terrific and interesting comments from many philosophers, including Ralph Wedgwood, Peter Kail, Gilbert Harman, Nick Zangwill, Michael Ridge, Paul Bloomfield, Jessica Berry, Joshua Knobe, Maude Clark & David Dudrick, and Paul Katsafanas, among others. Most take issue with the argument for moral skepticism (no surprise there!), though some raises interesting issues about the interpretation of Nietzsche. I will reply to the comments (or at least to some main themes in the comments, since they raise so many good and interesting issues, it would take a book to do them all justice) in a week or two. More comments are welcome ("On the Human" requires that you use your name and the comments are moderated for relevance etc.).
Finally, Rick Trainor, the much-maligned Principal of King's College, London, has agreed to do a series of posts about his plans for KCL and what he sees as the future role of philosophy in the modern British university. (I've invited Daniel Coleman to do commentary, but have not yet heard back from him.)
...featuring, of course, a famous philosopher, in this case Jonathan Dancy (Texas & Reading) on a nationally-syndicated talk show. The appearance of his daughter-in-law on the same show (go about 30 seconds in) awhile back may have something to do with this. But, who knows, this could open up a whole new niche for talk show hosts: soon we'll have Christine Korsgaard discussing Kant with Leno, and Derek Parfit 'climbing the mountain' with Letterman.
(Thanks to Scott Goldstein for the pointer. And, no, this is not an April Fool's joke, at least as far as I can tell!)
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)