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Philosophy expert to speak Friday

Michael Friedman’s new book has gained notoriety and critical acclaim for study in philosophy, and has Richard Rorty of Stanford University leading the praising pack.

“A Parting of the Ways’ is a breakthrough in the historiography of twentieth-century philosophy,” Rorty said on Friedman, renowned author and professor of the arts and humanities at the University of Indiana, will speak on philosophy Friday afternoon in the Marshall Center Ballroom.

Catherine Newman, a post-graduate student in the philosophy department and adjunct instructor at USF, said the lecture will primarily focus on the book by Friedman, which is entitled “A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger.”

“Friedman’s new book is acknowledged as a groundbreaking book for philosophy,” Newman said.

Newman said Friedman will offer perspective on philosophy as a deeply divided issue. Analytic philosophies dominate in the United States and other English-speaking countries differ from continental philosophies outstanding in countries such as Germany and France, a division that will be covered at the lecture, Newman said.

Friedman specializes in the relationship between the history of science and the history of philosophy in the period from Immanuel Kant to Rudolf Carnap – two influential philosophical thinkers, according to the history and philosophy science page of the University of Indiana Web site.

Eric Winsberg, assistant professor of philosophy at USF, said Friedman will highlight three of philosophy’s most influential thinkers in an effort to contrast the difference between analytic and continental philosophy. Such philosophers include Carnap, Martin Heidegger and Cassirer, a “middle of the road” philosophical thinker, Winsberg said.

Winsberg said Friedman’s lecture on Friday will pertain closely to the exploration of the common origin of analytic and continental philosophy, the main subject behind Friedman’s new book. However, such topics of discussion might render cryptic for those unexposed to philosophical study.

Winsberg said “analytic” and “continental” are contrasting terms in philosophy that refer to different philosophical traditions. Friedman’s book clarifies the difference, as will his lecture, Winsberg said.

“The book is an attempt to trace back the origins of how two very different forms of philosophy got separated,” Winsberg said.According to, Friedman’s new book “shows how social and political events intertwined and influenced philosophy during the early twentieth-century.”

Friedman’s lecture is second on the agenda for the University Lecture Series’ spring schedule. One philosophy student said inviting Friedman to speak at USF will be beneficial for the school.”(Inviting Friedman) is a good direction for the ULS to go,” said Matthew Antolick, a philosophy graduate student. “Friedman’s lecture will highlight the clear-cut distinction between the arts and sciences at USF, a contrast rare among other universities.”

Antolick also said the lecture will shine more light on the already dynamic nature of USF’s philosophy department.Friedman was invited to speak for the department of philosophy conference, which allows graduate students in the department to present papers at a professional conference and also provides an opportunity for students from the arts and sciences to interact with distinguished, contemporary thinkers.

Friedman’s lecture is Friday at 4 p.m. in the Marshall Center Ballroom. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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