Several of us at NewAPPS (Protevi, Lance, Cogburn, maybe Jeff Bell) are explicitly committed to overcoming the analytic vs continental divide. (I see more value in ongoing rival schools and traditions of philosophy.) And as a group, we try not to be mean or sectarian about any way of doing philosophy (although most of us have strongly felt judgments, and we allow ourselves to provoke debate). So, it should come as no surprise that we regularly return to the topic (see Catarina Dutilh Novaes here and my own plugs for Schlick here and earlier here). But Jeff Bell's terrific post on Abe Stone's brilliant analysis the origins of the split, takes the discussion to a more important level. On Stone's reconstruction Heidegger and Carnap understood Husserl and each other quite well, and both offered conflicting approaches to the responsible use of language in response to Husserl's philosophy. In Stone's hands, the difference between Heidegger and Carnap (and their followers) is, thus, fundamentally ethical (in a Kantian sense). Now, some other time I want to return to Stone's motives for disclosing Carnap's "brief hints."
In the history of philosophy, "the nothing itself nothings," has, of course, a dubious status as either brilliant ridicule or very uncharitable reading. But as Stone has taught us, in context that sentence is a very charitable reading of Heidegger. No, the real insult to Heidegger occurs near the end of Carnap's (1931) paper [I have linked to an English translation]. Carnap ends his paper (which is rarely read, but often cited) with a two-fold insult to Heidegger: first, "Metaphysicians [that is, Heidegger] are musicians without musical ability." (Cf. Heidegger's Stimmen in "What is Metaphysics?") Second, Carnap THEN GOES ON TO PRAISE NIETZSCHE and his poetry. To say this as a serious joke: Heidegger's lecture courses on Nietzsche are a response to Carnap's two-fold insult.
But Carnap's praise for Nietzsche as (the right sort of) philosophical-metaphysical poet (cf. Heidegger's treatment of Nietzsche as a Metaphysician of being), should remind us that Carnap's writings as such are not the source of the way we are used to thinking of the split between analytic vs continental. (From an analytic point of view, Nietzsche belongs to 'them'--of course, that's been changing.) To understand the historic roots to the way we have been taught to think about the split, we must turn (as Gregory Arnold Frost has been urging us) to Ernest Nagel's two-part "Impressions and Appraisals of Analytic Philosophy," in JPhil 1936 (here and here). But about that gripping story (homo-erotic cults, ethnic and religious discrimination, esoteric teachings, etc) much more next week.