Sophia

pp 1–11 | Cite as

Markus Gabriel Against the World

Article

Abstract

According to Markus Gabriel, the world does not exist. This view—baptised metametaphysical nihilism—is exposited at length in his recent book Fields of Sense, which updates his earlier project of transcendental ontology. In this paper, I question whether meta-metaphysical nihilism is internally coherent, specifically whether the proposition ‘the world does not exist’ is expressible without performative contradiction on that view. Call this the inexpressibility objection. This is not an original objection—indeed it is anticipated in Gabriel’s book. However, I believe that his response to it is inadequate and that I have something illuminating to say about this state of affairs. My claim is that we can distinguish between two senses of ‘the world’, one of which is benign and acceptable, the other not. The acceptable sense of ‘the world’ suffices to answer the inexpressibility objection—at a certain theoretical cost, of course. To explain what this cost is, I turn briefly to an examination of Martin Hägglund’s radical atheism.

Keywords

Markus Gabriel The world Ontology Metaphysics of modality Martin Hägglund Radical atheism 

References

  1. Caputo, J. D. (2011). The return of anti-religion: from radical atheism to radical theology. Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, 11(2), 32–124.Google Scholar
  2. Cunningham, C. (2002). Genealogy of nihilism: philosophies of nothing and the difference of theology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, J. (1984). No apocalypse, not now (full speed ahead, seven missiles, seven missives). Trans. C. Porter and P. Lewis. Diacritics, 14(2), 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Derrida, J. (2001). Violence and metaphysics: an essay on the thought of Emmanuel Levinas. In J. Derrida (Ed.), Writing and différence (pp. 97–192). London: Routledge. Trans. A. Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Fine, K. (2007). Relatively unrestricted quantification. In A. Rayo & G. Uzquiano (Eds.), Absolute generality (pp. 20–44). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gabriel, M. (2013). Transcendental ontology: essays in German idealism. New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  7. Gabriel, M. (2015). Fields of sense: a new realist ontology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Grim, P. (1991). The incomplete universe: totality, knowledge and truth. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Hägglund, M. (2008). Radical atheism: Derrida and the time of life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hägglund, M. (2011). The radical evil of deconstruction: a reply to John Caputo. Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, 11(2), 126–150.Google Scholar
  11. Heidegger, M. (1998). What Is Metaphysics? In W. McNeill (Ed.), M. Heidegger, pathmarks (pp. 82–96). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hellman, G. (2007). Against ‘Absolutely Everything’! In A. Rayo & G. Uzquiano (Eds.), Absolute generality (pp. 75–97). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Houlgate, S. (2006). The opening of Hegel’s logic: from being to infinity. Indiana: Purdue University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Priest, G. (2002). Beyond the limits of thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Priest, G. (2014). One: being an investigation into the unity of reality and of its parts, including the singular object which is nothingness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations