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There is ultimately a very close convergence between the conceptions of being in widely recurrent elements of both mainstream Anglo-American philosophy and mainstream postmodern Continental philosophy. One characteristic idea often drawn upon in Anglo-American or analytic philosophy is that we establish what has meaning (at all or as such) and so what we can say about what is, by making evident the limits of sense or what simply cannot be meant. A characteristic idea in Continental philosophy of being is that being emerges through contrast and interplay with what it is not, with what has no being at all and so is beyond sense. The two traditions consequently approach and conceive being in significantly related ways, either through the lack of meaning that establishes the defining boundaries of what is, or through what is without being and beyond sense. As a result, what the Continental tradition gets at with “the meaning of being as such and in general,” and how it gets at it, has much in common with what the Anglo-American tradition gets at, and how it gets at it, by establishing “what can be meaningfully said.”


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: “The Convergent Conceptions of Being in Mainstream Analytic and Postmodern Continental Philosophy,” Metaphilosophy 43.5 (2012): 592-618, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.