Letter: Philosophical ethics

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The Independent Online
Sir: Ray Monk, in his review of Michael Dummett's new book Origins of Analytical Philosophy (7 August), returns to a favourite theme of his, the need for a rapprochement between Anglo-Saxon philosophy and continental thought. But what makes the gap unbridgeable between many continental philosophers, their acolytes and analytic philosophy, has nothing to do with agreement or difference over basic philosophical issues or over the legacy of Frege and Husserl. It is a matter of intellectual ethics.

In English-speaking philosophy it is still considered, thankfully, de rigueur to state your theses and back them up by argument in such a way that your peers can show you where you are wrong. To use mystification either as a defensive weapon or

as a cheap way of appearing 'deep' is still bad form. For all the in-

sights of Heidegger and Adorno and the intellectual brilliance of Derrida and Lacan, their intellectual style corrupts and evidence of its cor-

ruption is to be seen in those

areas of Anglo-Saxon academic life where post-structuralism and post- modernism has taken root.

Yours faithfully,


Department of Philosophy

University of Wales

Lampeter, Dyfed