Despite recent loud claims to the contrary, there is a significant difference between two modern styles of doing philosophy: so-called analytic philosophy tends to be structured around rigorous arguments, is often dry, and concerns itself mostly (though not always) with matters that are rather arcane and of little social significance. “Continental” philosophy, by contrast, is frequently written in a more engaging, essay-type style, and its practitioners tend to be interested in pressing political and social matters. Unfortunately, it is also often (though not always) rather obfuscatory in language, and occasionally downright nonsensical.
In a forthcoming book for Chicago Press I suggest that it is actually significantly more difficult than one would think to make precise sense of the idea of progress even in science (which doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, of course!). But for now I have explored a specific aspect of the charge that philosophy doesn’t make progress, in two essays that appeared recently at The Philosophers’ Magazine online.