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Confessions of a Sceptical Francophile

  • Roger Scruton (a1)

In post-war France we have witnessed an upsurge in philosophical and quasi-philosophical literature, much of it nonsense and all of it radically politicised. What is the explanation of this? I advance the thesis that the post-1968 literary scene expresses a bid for a new kind of social membership, and that it is the hunger for membership that explains not only the intellectual structure of this literature but also its world-wide influence. I also suggest that there survives in this literature both an intellectual agenda and a historical memory, in which the war-time experience of France is all-important. In the course of my argument I try to explain the radical difference between analytical philosophy, which permits its practitioners to have unorthodox (i.e. non-left-wing) political views, and a particular post-war French intellectual tradition, which has until recently allowed no such deviation from its tacit norms.

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Timothy Williamson , The Philosophy of Philosophy (Oxford, Blackwell, 2007

The Shrink from Hell’, in Michael Grant ed., The Raymond Tallis Reader (London, Palgrave, 2000)

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  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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