The Cultural Politics of Analytic Philosophy: Britishness by Thomas L. Akehurst

By Thomas L. Akehurst

The Cultural Politics of Analytic Philosophy examines 3 generations of analytic philosophers, who among them based the fashionable self-discipline of analytic philosophy in Britain. The e-book explores how philosophers reminiscent of Bertrand Russell, A.J. Ayer, Gilbert Ryle and Isaiah Berlin believed in a hyperlink among German aggression within the 20th century and the nineteenth-century philosophy of Hegel and Nietzsche. Thomas L. Akehurst therefore identifies during this political critique of continental philosophy the origins of the highly major faultline among analytic and continental proposal, a facet of twentieth-century philosophy that continues to be poorly understood. The booklet additionally uncovers a tripartite alliance in British analytic philosophy, among country, political advantage and philosophical approach. In revealing this constitution at the back of the assumptions of convinced analytical thinkers, Akehurst demanding situations the normal knowledge that sees analytic philosophy as a semi-detached narrowly educational pursuit. to the contrary, this crucial publication means that the analytic philosophers have been espousing a countrywide philosophy, one they believed operated in concord with British pondering and the British values of liberty and tolerance.

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They have affected history in a way that we analytical philosophers haven’t . . 60 The target isn’t identified explicitly, but as we will see in Chapter 4, Nazism was central to Hare’s thinking in this period. Hare’s colleague G. J. 61 The plausibility of the link to Nazism in these quotations, both from colleagues of Ryle, can only be strengthened by Ryle’s claim. Nicola Lacey has argued that such a view was general within Oxford, in particular: [t]he second, and more elusive, aspect of Oxford philosophy’s Englishness had to do with the Allied victory in the war .

58 Ryle expressed the same sentiments in his review of Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies. Indeed, Ryle goes further than most in arguing that, from the point of view of philosophers, Popper is wasting his time. Nor is it news to philosophers that Nazi, Fascist and Communist doctrines are descendants of the Hegelian gospel. They may therefore wonder whether Dr. Popper is not flogging a dead horse in exposing once again the motives and fallacies of Hegel. 59 By 1947, so established is it among analytic philosophers that Hegel lies at the root of totalitarianism, that Ryle thinks Popper is wasting his breath in lecturing to his colleagues.

Among their number was Ernest Barker, reprising his critique of Nietzsche and other ‘romantic’ philosophers, first aired during World War I. 37 Philosophers once again took sides, both for and against Hegel and idealism (though once again it was difficult to find anyone willing to defend Nietzsche38). A debate was carried out at length and at times in bad temper, between E. F. Carritt for the prosecution and T. M. 39 The defenders of idealism were, however, not numerous and not all as whole-hearted as Knox.

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