Is the Royaumont Colloquium the Locus Classicus of the Divide Between Analytic and Continental Philosophy? Reply to Overgaard

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (1):177 - 188 (2013)
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In his recent article, titled ‘Royaumont Revisited’, Overgaard challenges Dummett's view that one needs to go as far back as the late nineteenth century in order to discover examples of genuine dialogue between ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ philosophy. Instead, Overgaard argues that in the 1958 Royaumont colloquium, generally judged as a failed attempt at communication between the two camps, one can find some elements which may be utilized towards re-establishing a dialogue between these two sides. Yet, emphasising this image of Royaumont as a kind of battleground between ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ philosophy obscures the plurality of philosophical approaches involved. Royaumont was the meeting point of more than two philosophical traditions, as can be shown by the divergent interests of its participants. Thus, though the potential for rapprochement between Oxford ‘linguistic philosophy’ and a certain strand of phenomenological thought may indeed be found among the discussions that took place during the colloquium, one should keep in mind that such rapprochement took place in the context of a meeting between, among others: continental ‘analytics’, Anglophone non-‘analytics’, French historians of philosophy, ‘analytic’ opponents of Oxford philosophy, Franciscan phenomenologists, and Oxonians who called their work ‘phenomenology’.

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Andreas Vrahimis
University of Cyprus


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