Contemporary Western philosophy  

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Contemporary philosophy in the Western world, for the sake of brevity and for the purposes of this article, is defined as themes and projects in the history of philosophy conducted within the last four decades. In addition to classical problems in philosophy, scientific and technological achievements and socio-political developments in world events have introduced new problems and ideas for philosophical debate.


Postmodern philosophy

Postmodern philosophy is a new and complex trend of thought. Beginning as a critique of Continental philosophy, it was heavily influenced by phenomenology, structuralism and existentialism, including the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger. It was also influenced to some degree by the later Ludwig Wittgenstein's criticisms of traditional philosophy, including earlier analytic philosophy. Postmodern philosophy is skeptical of many of the values and bases of analytic philosophy; for instance a postmodernist might disavow that the complex system of meanings embodied in normal or philosophical language could be represented in logical annotation (some might even disavow any traditional notion of "meaning" altogether).

Contemporary philosophers

Popular philosophy

Philosophy has re-entered popular culture through the work of authors such as Alain de Botton. This trend is reinforced by the recent increase in films with philosophical content. Some films, such as Fight Club, eXistenZ, The Matrix trilogy, Little Miss Sunshine, and Waking Life have philosophical themes underpinning their overarching plots. Other films attempt to be overtly philosophical, such as I ♥ Huckabees.

A number of philosophers have also increasingly drawn on film rather than literature to illustrate philosophical and theoretical views. Slavoj Žižek illustrates some contemporary philosophy concepts in his film documentary The Pervert's Guide to Cinema.

See also

filmosophy, anti-philosophy, Slavoj Žižek, twentieth-century French philosophy

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