Does the world itself exist? Do unicorns exist? German philosopher Markus Gabriel talks to four by three about his latest book Why the World Does Not Exist, tackling the big questions of ontology, why we should abandon metaphysics and why his theory of fields of sense can help us overcome the failures of post-modernism.
Even though you have argued that society has materially and spiritually benefited from attempting to grasp the world in its entirety, you deny that the world exists in your latest book Why the World Does Not Exist [Polity Press, 2015]. What motivated you to reject the concept of the world and why should we repudiate this profoundly familiar conviction? And how does your account differ from that of other philosophers, such as Heidegger or Wittgenstein?
Markus Gabriel: The idea that there is such a thing as the world in its entirety, in particular, very early on in Greek philosophy, comes to be understood as the view that there are overall principles/laws governing everything there is.… Read the rest