more from Simon Critchley

Single Idea 6845

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 1. Continental Philosophy]

Full Idea

In continental philosophy there is a pernicious tendency to explain everything in terms of 'one big thing', such as the 'death drive' (Freud), 'being' (Heidegger), 'the real' (Lacan), 'power' (Foucault), 'the other' (Levinas), or 'différance' (Derrida).

Gist of Idea

Continental philosophy has a bad tendency to offer 'one big thing' to explain everything


Simon Critchley (Interview with Baggini and Stangroom [2001], p.197)

Book Reference

Baggini,J/Stangroom,J: 'New British Philosophy' [Routledge 2002], p.197

A Reaction

From a fan of this type of philosophy, this is a refreshing remark, because if pinpoints a very off-putting feature. Each of these 'big things' should be up for question, not offered as axiomatic assumptions that explain everything else.