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Keywords:

  • analytic philosophy;
  • Anglo-American philosophy;
  • being;
  • Continental philosophy

Abstract

This article argues that there is ultimately a very close convergence between prominent conceptions of being in mainstream Anglo-American philosophy and mainstream postmodern Continental philosophy. One characteristic idea in Anglo-American or analytic philosophy is that we establish what is meaningful and so what we can say about what is, by making evident the limits of sense or what simply cannot be meant. A characteristic idea in Continental philosophy of being is that being emerges through contrast and interplay with what it is not, with what has no being at all and so is beyond sense. The two traditions consequently conceive being in significantly related ways. As a result, what the Continental tradition gets at with “the meaning of being as such and in general,” and how it gets at it, has much in common with what the Anglo-American tradition gets at, and how it gets at it, by establishing “what can be meaningfully said.”