In this otherwise very nice Al Jazeera tribute to Gadamer, Spanish philosopoher Santiago Zabala writes:
Although analytic philosophy continues to control many philosophical departments in the United States and the United Kingdom by allying itself with private scientific corporations, Gadamer gave us the tools to respond to this technocratic age - by inviting us to respect and learn from others' interpretations of classic texts and authors.
I don't even know what to make of the claim that an alliance with "private scientific corporations" is the reason that analytic philosophy is preponderant in the United States and the United Kingdom. I mean it's an almost inexplicably weird thing to believe.
The link in the quote is to an attack on analytic philosophy by Zabala. The most surreal part of that article is the statement that analytic philosophers refusing to address the question of being has "reduced students to simple consumers of the information transmitted by the professor." Unfortunately, this gets it exactly backwards.
One of the nice things about analytic philosophy is how seeing philosophy in entirely dialectical/argumentative terms helps to create classrooms where the professor and the figures being studied are of necessity challenged by students at every step.* Of course there are other real problems with the tendency to see all of philosophy this way, but reducing students to consumers of information is simply not one of them.
For that matter, see the nuanced discussion of the virtues and vices of analytic and continental philosophical traditions in THIS POST by Daniel Sacilotto (hat tip to Levi Bryant for flagging it).
Even though pluralists like Paul Livingston, Lee Braver, and A.W. Moore are huge inspirations to me, and I hope that the path they trod is something that the rest of us will be able to follow, I also think that a lot would be lost if the two traditions completely merged. In particular, it should be possible to overcome the most dysfunctional aspects of the division without a kind of Borg like scenario, where for example we are only allowed to appreciate Deleuze to the extent that we can find the same arguments and positions in analytic philosophers. This would not only be philosophically destructive, but a rather monstrous act of intellectual vandalism to boot. What's nice about the glam rock holy trinity of Braver, Livingston, and Moore is they do not do this at all. They bring back genuine treasure from their deep forrays into the other camp. But the gargantuan amount of work to do this might make it a model that is not easy to replicate. . .
More speculatively, it may just be a general fact about the geography of virtue that characteristic strengths carry with them characteristic weaknesses.** Analytic philosophy tends to see the history of philosophy as a history of positions and arguments while continental philosophy tends to see it in terms of texts produced by great thinkers more along the lines of historians of art. There are strengths and weakness of both perspectivies. I know that it is possible to benefit from both.
*Contrariwise, a friend of mine who studied philosophy in Spain has told me that the ethos of the Spanish college classroom preclude students from challenging the material or professors. The emphasis tends to be so resolutely on the history of philosophy rather than actually doing philosophy thateven most of the professors themselves do not feel credentialed to philosophize. One of my friend's professors actually belonged to a school of Spanish thought that maintained that there had never been and could never be any such thing as Spanish philosophy.*** I'm sorry if I am producing a caricature here myself. I should note that my friend's philosophical study in Spain was wonderful and helped determine his life course. He's currently rocking out as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins in their language program.
**Graham Harman suggests somewhere that the most morally relevant feature of a person are the characteristic behaviors that others let them get away with. I think that this holds because what the person gets away with are usually the vices tied to their characteristic virtues (one could and maybe should express this in a more Heideggerian vein, every revealing of some virtues is necessarily also a concealing of others). So perhaps by having two traditions with different characteristic weaknesses, other strengths can come to the fore. I think this is suggested by Sacilotto's meditations. But I'd be really interested in what anyone else thinks.
***Shades of Heidegger's weird late criticism of attempts to do philosophy in French. Apparently "il y a" is too ontic, especially when compared to the German "es gibt" which is properly ontological .****
****I'm not making this up, it's in Four Seminars, which at least has the virtue of containing in one sentence everything one might find problematic about Heidegger's thinking post-Kehre.]