Contemporary Philosophy

What is contemporary philosophy:

Contemporary philosophy is that which covers the philosophical currents that emerged between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, up to the present.

These currents are characterized by search for answers to a series of social, political and economic concerns.

Contemporary philosophy should not be confused with modern philosophy, since the latter was developed in a stage prior to the 19th century, and which distinguishes it from contemporary philosophy, whose central theme of study and analysis is the human being and reason.

Among the predecessor philosophers of contemporary philosophy we can mention Immanuel Kant (German idealism), Aguste Comte (positivism), Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (dialectical materialism), among others.

The philosophical currents that emerged in this period called contemporary philosophy have emerged in the midst of important historical events and their social consequences, among which the two world wars can be mentioned.

Hence, contemporary philosophy seeks to answer, to a large extent, various questions about social issues and the actions that human beings must carry out in order to achieve the common good.

In fact, contemporary philosophers have been in charge of institutionalizing their philosophical currents, in such a way that their studies are available to everyone in order to deepen their importance and analysis.

Likewise, in contemporary philosophy two main approaches are recognized: analytical philosophy and continental philosophy, from which other philosophical branches emerge.

See also modern philosophy.

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Main currents of contemporary philosophy

Below are the currents that have emerged from the two main approaches of contemporary philosophy that are analytical philosophy and continental philosophy.

analytical philosophy

Analytic philosophy was developed at the beginning of the 20th century after the works and analyzes carried out by prominent philosophers such as Bertrand Russell, George Edward Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Gottlob Frege, several members of the Vienna Circle, Saul Kripke, Donald Davidson, among others. others.

A large number of these philosophers carried out their work from the universities, therefore, they had extensive academic knowledge. However, previously, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many philosophers established their positions outside the academy.

Analytic philosophy was conceived, in large part, by Anglo-Saxon philosophers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries.

This philosophical branch was characterized by focusing especially on the analysis of language and knowledge through logical development and its justification. For this reason, analytical philosophy has been the end of scientific research.

Likewise, it shows opposition to idealism, dialectics and various positions of continental philosophy. Even she is skeptical about metaphysics.

During the 20th century, new philosophical currents derived from analytical philosophy emerged, such as:

  • Logical positivism: also known as logical empiricism is a branch of philosophy that takes human experiences as responsible for the formation of ideas and knowledge.
  • Philosophy of language: branch of philosophy that studies language, especially what is meaning, the use of language and its interpretation.
  • Philosophy of mind: branch of philosophy that studies the mind and is related to epistemology.
  • Epistemology: branch of philosophy that studies the methods and validity of scientific knowledge.
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mainland philosophy

Continental philosophy is composed of philosophical branches that contrast with analytical philosophy, and that were developed between the 19th and 20th centuries in continental Europe.

Continental philosophy is characterized by being speculative, rejecting scientism, lacking analysis and, to a certain extent, continuing with the postulations of Immanuel Kant.

Its main thinkers include Edmund Husserl, Jean Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Michael Foucault, Albert Camus, Jacques Derrida, Giles Deleuze, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Claude Lévi-Strauss, among others.

Some of the philosophical branches that belong to continental philosophy are:

  • Phenomenology: idealistic philosophical current that studies and describes the phenomena of consciousness as they are shown.
  • Existentialism: philosophical current that is concerned with giving an answer to the fundamental problems of the human being.
  • Structuralism: philosophical approach that focuses on the analysis of language, culture and society.
  • Hermeneutics: branch of philosophy that is concerned with understanding human events considering the context in which they occur. It can also be understood as the Theory of Truth, according to the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer.

See also Philosophy.