For compendious recent surveys of the entire Continental philosophical tradition beginning with Kant and German idealism, see Simon Critchley and William Schroeder (eds), A Companion to Continental Philosophy (Blackwell, Oxford, 1998) and Simon Glendinning (ed.), The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1999). I have expanded material from the Introduction to the Blackwell’s Companion in drafting this book. Chapter 7 of this book appeared in a different form in the Times Higher Education Supplement, 6 February 1998, under the title ‘Dare to Think’. For helpful single-volume summaries of the Continental tradition, see Robert Solomon, Continental Philosophy Since 1750 (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988) and David West, An Introduction to Continental Philosophy (Polity Press, Cambridge, 1996). For anthologies containing extracts from primary texts, see Richard Kearney and Mara Rainwater (eds), The Continental Philosophy Reader (Routledge, London, 1996) and Karen Feldman and William McNeill (eds), Continental Philosophy: An Anthology (Blackwell, Oxford, 1997).
The argument of Chapter 1 was suggested to me by three books: Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life (Blackwell, Oxford, 1995), Stephen Toulmin, Cosmopolis (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 1990), and John Cottingham, Philosophy and the Good Life (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998). Also, on the question of the relation of science to the meaning of life, Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground was frequently on my mind, a text which is a better introduction to philosophy than most.
The argument of Chapter 2 was strongly influenced by Michael Dummett’s Origins of Analytical Philosophy (Duckworth, London, 1993) and Frederick Beiser’s The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1987). For an overview of the shape and progress of German idealism and romanticism, see the six essays in ‘The Kantian Legacy’ in the Blackwell Companion to Continental Philosophy. See also Steven Crowell’s essay on ‘Neo-Kantianism’ in the same volume. For a very useful overview of German romanticism and idealism and their relevance for contemporary philosophy, see the work of Andrew Bowie, especially Aesthetics and Subjectivity (Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1990). John Stuart Mill’s essays on Bentham and Coleridge, discussed in Chapter 3, can be found in Utilitarianism and Other Essays (Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1987). On the question of two cultures, see Stefan Collini’s very helpful introduction to The Two Cultures (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998).
Chapter 4 begins by mentioning Rorty and Cavell. The best introduction to their work is their own writings; see Rorty’s now classic book, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1980) and Cavell’s wonderfully rich The Claim of Reason (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979). On the question of tradition and on much else, see Husserl’s classic The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Northwestern University Press, Evanston, 1970) and the ‘Introduction’ to Heidegger’s Being and Time (Blackwell, Oxford, 1962).
Turning to Chapter 5, for a helpful discussion of nihilism before Nietzsche, see Michael Gillespie’s Nihilism Before Nietzsche (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 1995). On nihilism in Nietzsche, see Mark Warren, Nietzsche and Political Thought (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1988) and Keith Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche as a Political Thinker (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994). For my own thoughts on how to respond to nihilism, see Very Little … Almost Nothing (Routledge, London, 1997).
For the Heidegger-Carnap controversy discussed in Chapter 6, Carnap’s essay can be found under the title ‘The Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language’, in Logical Positivism, ed. A. J. Ayer (Free Press, Glencoe, 1959). The most accurate translation of Heidegger’s ‘What is Metaphysics?’ can be found in Pathmarks, ed. William McNeill (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998). The interesting ‘Postscript’ and ‘Introduction’ to ‘What is Metaphysics?’ can also be found in the same volume. The ‘Yellow Brochure’ can be found in Otto Neurath, ‘The Scientific Conception of the World’ (1929) in Empiricism and Sociology (Reidel, Dordrecht, 1973).
The argument of Chapter 7 on the problem of scientism and obscurantism was inspired by the work of Frank Cioffi: see his Wittgenstein on Freud and Frazer (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998). See also Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests (Polity Press, Cambridge, 1987) and Richard Bernstein, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pa., 1983). For the classic statement of the relation between causal explanation and interpretative understanding, see Peter Winch, The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy (Routledge, London, 1990).
On the notion of philosophy as conceptual creation alluded to in Chapter 8, see the opening chapters of Deleuze and Guattari’s wonderful What is Philosophy? (Columbia University Press, New York, 1994).