Within modern western philosophy
, there is a basic split into two camps- those who pursue analytic philosophy
and those who pursue continental philosophy
. The split is not so much one of what
they study (though there are some general discrepencies there) but how
they study it.
Very generally, analytic philosophy tends to be the more traditional of the two, working a great deal like modern science, with debates in journals tending to be "logical", step-by-step affairs. There is a strong trend toward defining words and seeing how they relate to eachother- analyzing them. Subject matter is more likely to be questions like, "What is the nature of truth?" or, "How does extension relate to existance?" It has it's roots in Kant, Frege, Russell, and the like.
Continental philosophy, on the other hand, tends to come at things a little more free-form. Existentialism and deconstructionism are the two most well-known Continetal movements. Tends to try to assess the "human condition" as a whole rather than picking apart the world one concept at a time. There aren't so much particular questions in Continental philosophy as there are broad areas and styles of speculation. More likely to be concerned with social issues and general conceptions of the world. It all started with Hegel.