Contemporary philosophers-analytic as well as continental-tend
to feel uneasy about Ernst Tugendhat, who, though he positions
himself in the analytic field, poses questions in the Heideggerian
style. Tugendhat was one of Martin Heidegger's last pupils and his
least obedient, pursuing a new and controversial critical
technique. Tugendhat took Heidegger's destruction of Being as
presence and developed it in analytic philosophy, more specifically
in semantics. Only formal semantics, according to Tugendhat, could
answer the questions left open by Heidegger.
Yet in doing this, Tugendhat discovered the latent "hermeneutic
nature of analytic philosophy"-its post-metaphysical dimension-in
which "there are no facts, but only true propositions." What
Tugendhat seeks to answer is this: What is the meaning of thought
following the linguistic turn? Because of the rift between analytic
and continental philosophers, very few studies have been written on
Tugendhat, and he has been omitted altogether from several
histories of philosophy. Now that these two schools have begun to
reconcile, Tugendhat has become an example of a philosopher who, in
the words of Richard Rorty, "built bridges between continents and
Tugendhat is known more for his philosophical turn than for his
phenomenological studies or for his position within analytic
philosophy, and this creates some confusion regarding his
philosophical propensities. Is Tugendhat analytic or continental?
Is he a follower of Wittgenstein or Heidegger? Does he belong in
the culture of analysis or in that of tradition? Santiago Zabala
presents Tugendhat as an example of merged horizons, promoting a
philosophical historiography that is concerned more with dialogue
and less with classification. In doing so, he places us squarely
within a dialogic culture of the future and proves that any such
labels impoverish philosophical research.
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