I've been looking forward to reading Adrian Moore's The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics (Cambridge, 2011) since I saw its announcement last year. I'm now reading it, and will write more about it in the coming weeks. What attracted me to the book was its attempt to treat the analytic and continental traditions on equal footing -- to treat, with respect and charity, Quine and Lewis and Derrida and Deleuze and many others.
Of course good intentions have to be cashed out by quality philosophy, and so, after I read the Preface and Intro, I skipped to the end to read the Deleuze chapter, thinking that might eating this part of the pudding would give me the proof of its quality. And the quality is very good indeed, as I hope to be able to show in future posts. Today I just wanted to reproduce a striking passage from the Preface:
There would, I think, be justification in the publication of this book if it made a significant contribution to overcoming the absurd divisions that still exist between -- to use the customary but equally absurd labels -- 'analytic' and 'continental' philosophy. I do not deny that there are important differences between these. Nor do I have any scruples about the fact that I am an analytic philosopher. But I unequivocally distance myself from those of my colleagues who disdain all other traditions. The 'continental' philosophers whom I discuss in Part Three of this book are thinkers of great depth and power; they are knowledgeable about philosophy, science, politics, and the arts; their work is rigorous, imaginative, and creative; and it is often brutally honest. I despair of the arrogance that casts them in the role of charlatans. Perhaps, if I were asked to specify my greatest hope for this book, it would be that it should help to combat such narrow-mindedness. Or, if that seemd too vague a hope, then it would be that the book should help to introduce analytic philosophers to the work of one of the most exciting and extraordinay of these 'continental' philosophers: Gilles Deleuze.