My immediate aim in writing my piece on the twenty traits of Continental philosophy was to counter Chomsky’s, and Searle’s, deprecation of potential rivals such as Foucault, and now Zizek. The traits I set out are not unique to Zizek or to post-structuralists, but are also descriptively pertinent to their predecessors, to varying degrees. It is evident that Zizek, Foucault, Deleuze etc were deeply indebted to earlier Continental thinkers (Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty) in a way that Chomsky is not, and are of the same family. One could have added Wittgenstein to this list, but he lends himself both to Continental and to analytic readings (as does Feyerabend).

A twenty-first trait of Continental Philosophy is therapy (this was suggested by Kalle Jonasson): Deleuze’s Nietzschean notion of the philosopher as “doctor-patient” of civilisation.

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