Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans. Archaeology, which studies past human cultures through investigation of physical evidence, is thought of as a branch of anthropology in the United States and Canada, while in Europe, it is viewed as a discipline in its own right or grouped under other related disciplines, such as history; the abstract noun anthropology is first attested in reference to history. Its present use first appeared in Renaissance Germany in the works of Otto Casmann, their New Latin anthropologia derived from the combining forms of the Greek words ánthrōpos and lógos. It began to be used in English via French Anthropologie, by the early 18th century. In 1647, the Bartholins, founders of the University of Copenhagen, defined l'anthropologie as follows: Anthropology, to say the science that treats of man, is divided ordinarily and with reason into Anatomy, which considers the body and the parts, Psychology, which speaks of the soul.
Sporadic use of the term for some of the subject matter occurred subsequently, such as the use by Étienne Serres in 1839 to describe the natural history, or paleontology, of man, based on comparative anatomy, the creation of a chair in anthropology and ethnography in 1850 at the National Museum of Natural History by Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau. Various short-lived organizations of anthropologists had been formed; the Société Ethnologique de Paris, the first to use Ethnology, was formed in 1839. Its members were anti-slavery activists; when slavery was abolished in France in 1848 the Société was abandoned. Meanwhile, the Ethnological Society of New York the American Ethnological Society, was founded on its model in 1842, as well as the Ethnological Society of London in 1843, a break-away group of the Aborigines' Protection Society; these anthropologists of the times were liberal, anti-slavery, pro-human-rights activists. They maintained international connections. Anthropology and many other current fields are the intellectual results of the comparative methods developed in the earlier 19th century.
Theorists in such diverse fields as anatomy and Ethnology, making feature-by-feature comparisons of their subject matters, were beginning to suspect that similarities between animals and folkways were the result of processes or laws unknown to them then. For them, the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was the epiphany of everything they had begun to suspect. Darwin himself arrived at his conclusions through comparison of species he had seen in agronomy and in the wild. Darwin and Wallace unveiled evolution in the late 1850s. There was an immediate rush to bring it into the social sciences. Paul Broca in Paris was in the process of breaking away from the Société de biologie to form the first of the explicitly anthropological societies, the Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, meeting for the first time in Paris in 1859; when he read Darwin, he became an immediate convert to Transformisme, as the French called evolutionism. His definition now became "the study of the human group, considered as a whole, in its details, in relation to the rest of nature".
Broca, being what today would be called a neurosurgeon, had taken an interest in the pathology of speech. He wanted to localize the difference between man and the other animals, which appeared to reside in speech, he discovered the speech center of the human brain, today called Broca's area after him. His interest was in Biological anthropology, but a German philosopher specializing in psychology, Theodor Waitz, took up the theme of general and social anthropology in his six-volume work, entitled Die Anthropologie der Naturvölker, 1859–1864; the title was soon translated as "The Anthropology of Primitive Peoples". The last two volumes were published posthumously. Waitz defined anthropology as "the science of the nature of man". By nature he meant matter animated by "the Divine breath". Following Broca's lead, Waitz points out that anthropology is a new field, which would gather material from other fields, but would differ from them in the use of comparative anatomy and psychology to differentiate man from "the animals nearest to him".
He stresses. The history of civilization, as well as ethnology, are to be brought into the comparison, it is to be presumed fundamentally that the species, man, is a unity, that "the same laws of thought are applicable to all men". Waitz was influential among the British ethnologists. In 1863 the explorer Richard Francis Burton and the speech therapist James Hunt broke away from the Ethnological Society of London to form the Anthropological Society of London, which henceforward would follow the path of the new anthropology rather than just ethnology, it was the 2nd society dedicated to general anthropology in existence. Representatives from the French Société were present. In his keynote address, printed in the first volume of its new publication, The Anthropological Review, Hunt stressed the work of Waitz, adopting his definitions as a standard. Among the first associates were the young Edward Burnett Tylor, inventor of cultural anthropology, his brother Alfred Tylor, a geologist. Edward had referred to himself as an ethnologist.
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Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought, it is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties; as a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors. Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, attention, intelligence, motivation, brain functioning, personality; this extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, other areas.
Psychologists of diverse orientations consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science" in that medicine tends to draw psychological research via neurology and psychiatry, whereas social sciences most draws directly from sub-disciplines within psychology. While psychological knowledge is applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts psychology aims to benefit society; the majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings.
Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas such as human development and aging, sports and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law. The word psychology derives from Greek roots meaning study of soul; the Latin word psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century. The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 in The Physical Dictionary which refers to "Anatomy, which treats the Body, Psychology, which treats of the Soul."In 1890, William James defined psychology as "the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions". This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior.
Since James defined it, the term more connotes techniques of scientific experimentation. Folk psychology refers to the understanding of ordinary people, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals; the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of psychology. In Ancient Egypt the Ebers Papyrus mentioned thought disorders. Historians note that Greek philosophers, including Thales and Aristotle, addressed the workings of the mind; as early as the 4th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders had physical rather than supernatural causes. In China, psychological understanding grew from the philosophical works of Laozi and Confucius, from the doctrines of Buddhism; this body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting. It frames the universe as a division of, interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power.
An ancient text known as The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine identifies the brain as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on yin–yang balance, analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria. Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the Qing Dynasty with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi, Liu Zhi, Wang Qingren. Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and insomnia, advanced a theory of hemispheric lateralization in brain function. Distinctions in types of awareness appear in the ancient thought of India, influenced by Hinduism. A central idea of the Upanishads is the distinction between a person's transient mundane self and their eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher
Oklahoma State University–Stillwater
Oklahoma State University is a public land-grant and sun-grant research university in Stillwater, Oklahoma. OSU was founded in 1890 under the Morrill Act. Known as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, it is the flagship institution of the Oklahoma State University System. Official enrollment for the fall 2010 semester system-wide was 35,073, with 23,459 students enrolled at OSU-Stillwater. Enrollment shows. OSU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with highest research activity; the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls' athletic heritage includes 52 national championships, a total greater than all but three NCAA Division I schools in the United States, first in the Big 12 Conference. Students spend part of the fall semester preparing for OSU's Homecoming celebration, begun in 1913, which draws more than 40,000 alumni and over 70,000 participants each year to campus and is billed by the university as "America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration." On December 25, 1890, the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature gained approval for Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College, the land-grant university established under the Morrill Act of 1862.
It specified. Such an ambiguous description created rivalry between towns within the county, with Stillwater winning out. Upon statehood in 1907, "Territorial" was dropped from its title; the first students assembled for class on December 14, 1891. Classes were held for two and one-half years in local churches until the first academic building known as Old Central, was dedicated on June 15, 1894, on the southeast corner of campus, which at the time was flat plowed prairie. In 1896, Oklahoma A&M held its first commencement with six male graduates; the first Library was established in Old Central in one room shared with the English Department. The first campus building to have electricity, Williams Hall, was constructed in 1900. With its turreted architecture it was referred to as the "Castle of the Prairies". One of the earliest campus buildings was a barn, used as part of an agricultural experiment station, served by a large reservoir pond created in 1895; the barn burned in 1922, but the pond and remodeled in 1928 and 1943, is now known as Theta Pond, a popular campus scenic landmark.
In 1906, Morrill Hall became the principal building on campus. A fire gutted the building in 1914, but the outside structure survived intact, the interior was reconstructed; the first dormitory for women was completed in 1911. It contained a kitchen, dining hall, some classrooms, a women's gymnasium, it is now houses the Gardiner Art Gallery. By 1919 the campus included Morrill Hall, the Central Building, the Engineering Building, the Women's building, the Auditorium, the Armory-Gymnasium and the Power Plant. At the beginning of World War II, Oklahoma A&M was one of six schools selected by the United States Navy to give the Primary School in the Electronics Training Program known as Naval Training School Elementary Electricity and Radio Materiel. Starting in March 1942, each month a new group of 100 Navy students arrived for three months of 14-hour days in concentrated electrical engineering study. Cordell Hall, the newest dormitory, was used for housing and meals. Professor Emory B. Phillips was the Director of Instruction.
ETP admission required passing the Eddy Test, one of the most selective qualifying exams given during the war years. At a given time, some 500 Navy students were on the campus, a significant fraction of the war-years enrollment; the training activity continued until June 1945, served a total of about 7,000 students. Kamm, a future professor and president of Oklahoma State University. During some of the war years, the Navy had a Yeoman training activity for WAVES and SPARS on the campus. Much of the growth of Oklahoma A&M and the campus architectural integrity can be attributed to work of Henry G. Bennett, who served as the school's president from 1928 to 1950. Early in his tenure Dr. Bennett developed a strategic vision for the physical expansion of the university campus; the plan was adopted in 1937 and his vision was followed for more than fifty years, making the university what it is today, including the Georgian architecture that permeates the campus. The focal point of his vision was a centrally located library building, which became a reality when the Edmon Low Library opened in 1953.
Another major addition to the campus during the Bennett years was the construction of the Student Union, which opened in 1950. Subsequent additions and renovations have made the building one of the largest student union buildings in the world at 611,000 sq ft. A complete renovation and further expansion of the building began in 2010. On May 15, 1957, Oklahoma A&M changed its name Oklahoma State University of Agricultural and Applied Sciences to reflect the broadening scope of curriculum offered. Oklahoma Gov. Raymond Gary signed the bill authorizing the name change passed by the 26th Oklahoma Legislature on May 15, 1957. However, the bill only authorized the Board of Regents to change the name of the college, a measure they voted on at their meeting on June 6. However, the name was shortened to Oklahoma State University for most purposes, the "Agricultural & Applied Sciences" name was formally
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
Edith Stein, was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She is canonized as a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church, she is one of six co-patron saints of Europe, she was an atheist by her teenage years. Moved by the tragedies of World War I, in 1915 she took lessons to become a nursing assistant and worked in an infectious diseases hospital. After completing her doctoral thesis from the University of Göttingen in 1916, she obtained an assistantship at the University of Freiburg. From reading the works of the reformer of the Carmelite Order, Teresa of Ávila, she was drawn to the Catholic faith, she was baptized on 1 January 1922 into the Roman Catholic Church. At that point, she wanted to become a Discalced Carmelite nun, but was dissuaded by her spiritual mentors, she taught at a Catholic school of education in Speyer. As a result of the requirement of an "Aryan certificate" for civil servants promulgated by the Nazi government in April 1933 as part of its Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, she had to quit her teaching position.
She was admitted to the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Cologne the following October. She received the religious habit of the Order as a novice in April 1934, taking the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1938, she and her sister Rosa, by also a convert and an extern sister, were sent to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, for their safety. Despite the Nazi invasion of that state in 1940, they remained undisturbed until they were arrested by the Nazis on 2 August 1942 and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they died in the gas chamber on 9 August 1942. Stein was born in Lower Silesia, into an observant Jewish family, she was the youngest of 11 children and was born on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Hebrew calendar, which combined to make her a favorite of her mother. She was a gifted child who enjoyed learning, in a home where her mother encouraged critical thinking, she admired her mother's strong religious faith. By her teenage years, Stein had become an atheist.
Though her father died while she was young, her widowed mother was determined to give her children a thorough education and sent Stein to study at the University of Breslau. In April 1913 Stein arrived in Göttingen in order to study for the summer semester with Edmund Husserl. By the end of the summer she had decided to pursue her degree in philosophy under Husserl and chose "Empathy" as her thesis topic, her studies were interrupted in July 1914 because of the outbreak of World War I. She served as a volunteer wartime Red Cross nurse in an infectious diseases hospital at Märisch-Weisskirchen in 1915. In 1916, Stein moved to Freiburg. Shortly before receiving her degree she agreed to become Husserl's assistant. After her dissertation entitled Zum Problem der Einfühlung was awarded on 3 August 1916, which made her a doctor of philosophy with the summa cum laude honor, she began working independently as Husserl's assistant. In his 2007 thesis, "The Philosophical Contributions of Edith Stein", John C.
Wilhelmsson argues that Stein influenced the work of Husserl during this period. She became a member of the faculty at the University of Freiburg, where she worked as a teaching assistant to Husserl, who had transferred to that institution; because she was a woman, Husserl did not support her submitting her habilitational thesis to the University of Freiburg in 1918. Her other thesis, Psychische Kausalität, submitted at the University of Göttingen the following year, was rejected. While Stein had earlier contacts with Roman Catholicism, it was her reading of the autobiography of the mystic Teresa of Ávila during summer holidays in Bad Bergzabern in 1921 that prompted her conversion. Baptized on 1 January 1922, dissuaded by her spiritual advisers from seeking entry to the religious life, she obtained a position to teach at the Dominican nuns' school in Speyer from 1923 to 1931. While there, she translated Thomas Aquinas' De Veritate into German, familiarized herself with Roman Catholic philosophy in general, tried to bridge the phenomenology of her former teacher, Husserl, to Thomism.
She visited Husserl and Heidegger at Freiburg in April 1929, the same month that Heidegger gave a speech to Husserl on his 70th birthday. In 1932 she became a lecturer at the Catholic Church-affiliated Institute for Scientific Pedagogy in Münster, but antisemitic legislation passed by the Nazi government forced her to resign the post in 1933. In a letter to Pope Pius XI, she denounced the Nazi regime and asked the Pope to denounce the regime "to put a stop to this abuse of Christ's name." As a child of the Jewish people who, by the grace of God, for the past eleven years has been a child of the Catholic Church, I dare to speak to the Father of Christianity about that which oppresses millions of Germans. For weeks we have seen deeds perpetrated in Germany which mock any sense of justice and humanity, not to mention love of neighbor. For years the leaders of National Socialism have been preaching hatred of the Jews.... But the responsibility must fall, after all, on those who brought them to this point and it falls on those who keep silent in the face of such happen
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting; such neurons have been directly observed in primate species. Birds have been shown to have imitative resonance behaviors and neurological evidence suggests the presence of some form of mirroring system. In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex and the inferior parietal cortex; the function of the mirror system in humans is a subject of much speculation. Some researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology consider that this system provides the physiological mechanism for the perception/action coupling, they argue that mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, for learning new skills by imitation.
Some researchers speculate that mirror systems may simulate observed actions, thus contribute to theory of mind skills, while others relate mirror neurons to language abilities. Neuroscientists such as Marco Iacoboni have argued that mirror neuron systems in the human brain help us understand the actions and intentions of other people. In a study published in March 2005 Iacoboni and his colleagues reported that mirror neurons could discern whether another person, picking up a cup of tea planned to drink from it or clear it from the table. In addition, Iacoboni has argued that mirror neurons are the neural basis of the human capacity for emotions such as empathy. However, there are scientists who express skepticism about the theories being advanced to explain the function of mirror neurons. In a 2013 article for Wired, Christian Jarrett cautioned that:...mirror neurons are an exciting, intriguing discovery – but when you see them mentioned in the media, remember that most of the research on these cells has been conducted in monkeys.
Remember too that there are many different types of mirror neuron. And that we're still trying to establish for sure whether they exist in humans, how they compare with the monkey versions; as for understanding the functional significance of these cells … don't be fooled: that journey has only just begun. To date, no accepted neural or computational models have been put forward to describe how mirror neuron activity supports cognitive functions; the subject of mirror neurons continues to generate intense debate. In 2014, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B published a special issue devoted to mirror neuron research. In the 1980s and 1990s, neurophysiologists Giacomo Rizzolatti, Giuseppe Di Pellegrino, Luciano Fadiga, Leonardo Fogassi, Vittorio Gallese at the University of Parma placed electrodes in the ventral premotor cortex of the macaque monkey to study neurons specialized in the control of hand and mouth actions. During each experiment, the researchers allowed the monkey to reach for pieces of food, recorded from single neurons in the monkey's brain, thus measuring the neuron's response to certain movements.
They found that some neurons responded when the monkey observed a person picking up a piece of food, when the monkey itself picked up the food. The discovery was sent to Nature, but was rejected for its "lack of general interest" before being published in a less competitive journal. A few years the same group published another empirical paper, discussing the role of the mirror-neuron system in action recognition, proposing that the human Broca's region was the homologue region of the monkey ventral premotor cortex. While these papers reported the presence of mirror neurons responding to hand actions, a subsequent study by Pier Francesco Ferrari and colleagues described the presence of mirror neurons responding to mouth actions and facial gestures. Further experiments confirmed that about 10% of neurons in the monkey inferior frontal and inferior parietal cortex have "mirror" properties and give similar responses to performed hand actions and observed actions. In 2002 Christian Keysers and colleagues reported that, in both humans and monkeys, the mirror system responds to the sound of actions.
Reports on mirror neurons have been published and confirmed with mirror neurons found in both inferior frontal and inferior parietal regions of the brain. Evidence from functional neuroimaging suggests that humans have similar mirror neurons systems: researchers have identified brain regions which respond during both action and observation of action. Not these brain regions include those found in the macaque monkey However, functional magnetic resonance imaging can examine the entire brain at once and suggests that a much wider network of brain areas shows mirror properties in humans than thought; these additional areas include the somatosensory cortex and are thought to make the observer feel what it feels like to move in the observed way. The most common theory behind the origin of mirror neuron is the genetic account which suggests that the mirrorness of mirror neurons is due to heritable genetic factors and that the genetic predisposition to develop Mirror neuron evolved because they facilitate action understanding.
The other theories as to the origin of mirror neurons include Associative Learning and Exaptation. The first animal in which researchers have studied mirror neurons individually is the macaque monkey. In these monkeys, mirror neurons are found in the inferior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobule. Mirror neurons are believed to mediate the understanding of other animals' beh
Continental philosophy is a set of 19th- and 20th-century philosophical traditions from mainland Europe. This sense of the term originated among English-speaking philosophers in the second half of the 20th century, who used it to refer to a range of thinkers and traditions outside the analytic movement. Continental philosophy includes German idealism, existentialism, structuralism, post-structuralism, French feminism, psychoanalytic theory, the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and related branches of Western Marxism, it is difficult to identify non-trivial claims that would be common to all the preceding philosophical movements. The term continental philosophy, like analytic philosophy, lacks clear definition and may mark a family resemblance across disparate philosophical views. Simon Glendinning has suggested that the term was more pejorative than descriptive, functioning as a label for types of western philosophy rejected or disliked by analytic philosophers. Nonetheless, Michael E. Rosen has ventured to identify common themes that characterize continental philosophy.
First, continental philosophers reject the view that the natural sciences are the only or most accurate way of understanding natural phenomena. This contrasts with many analytic philosophers who consider their inquiries as continuous with, or subordinate to, those of the natural sciences. Continental philosophers argue that science depends upon a "pre-theoretical substrate of experience" and that scientific methods are inadequate to understand such conditions of intelligibility. Second, continental philosophy considers these conditions of possible experience as variable: determined at least by factors such as context and time, culture, or history, thus continental philosophy tends toward historicism. Where analytic philosophy tends to treat philosophy in terms of discrete problems, capable of being analyzed apart from their historical origins, continental philosophy suggests that "philosophical argument cannot be divorced from the textual and contextual conditions of its historical emergence".
Third, continental philosophy holds that human agency can change these conditions of possible experience: "if human experience is a contingent creation it can be recreated in other ways". Thus continental philosophers tend to take a strong interest in the unity of theory and practice, see their philosophical inquiries as related to personal, moral, or political transformation; this tendency is clear in the Marxist tradition, but is central in existentialism and post-structuralism. A final characteristic trait of continental philosophy is an emphasis on metaphilosophy. In the wake of the development and success of the natural sciences, continental philosophers have sought to redefine the method and nature of philosophy. In some cases, this manifests as a renovation of the traditional view that philosophy is the first, foundational, a priori science. In other cases, it is held that philosophy investigates a domain, irreducibly cultural or practical, and some continental philosophers doubt whether any conception of philosophy can coherently achieve its stated goals.
The foregoing themes derive from a broadly Kantian thesis that knowledge and reality are bound and shaped by conditions best understood through philosophical reflection rather than empirical inquiry. The term continental philosophy, in the above sense, was first used by English-speaking philosophers to describe university courses in the 1970s, emerging as a collective name for the philosophies widespread in France and Germany, such as phenomenology, existentialism and post-structuralism. However, the term can be found at least as early as 1840, in John Stuart Mill's 1840 essay on Coleridge, where Mill contrasts the Kantian-influenced thought of "Continental philosophy" and "Continental philosophers" with the English empiricism of Bentham and the 18th century generally; this notion gained prominence in the early 20th century as figures such as Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore advanced a vision of philosophy allied with natural science, progressing through logical analysis; this tradition, which has come to be known broadly as "analytic philosophy", became dominant in Britain and the United States from 1930 onward.
Russell and Moore made a dismissal of Hegelianism and its philosophical relatives a distinctive part of their new movement. Commenting on the history of the distinction in 1945, Russell distinguished "two schools of philosophy, which may be broadly distinguished as the Continental and the British respectively", a division he saw as operative "from the time of Locke". Since the 1970s, many philosophers in the United States and Britain have taken interest in continental philosophers since Kant, the philosophical traditions in many European countries have incorporated many aspects of the "analytic" movement. Self-described analytic philosophy flourishes in France, including philosophers such as Jules Vuillemin, Vincent Descombes, Gilles Gaston Granger, François Recanati, Pascal Engel. Self-descr