Why the World Does Not Exist

Why the World Does Not Exist

3.44 (156 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Where do we come from? Are we merely a cluster of elementary particles in a gigantic world receptacle? And what does it all mean? In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and everything else. This all-inclusive being does not exist and cannot exist. For the world itself is not found in the world. And even when we think about the world, the world about which we think is obviously not identical with the world in which we think. For, as we are thinking about the world, this is only a very small event in the world. Besides this, there are still innumerable other objects and events: rain showers, toothaches and the World Cup. Drawing on the recent history of philosophy, Gabriel asserts that the world cannot exist at all, because it is not found in the world. Yet with the exception of the world, everything else exists; even unicorns on the far side of the moon wearing police uniforms. Revelling in witty thought experiments, word play, and the courage of provocation, Markus Gabriel demonstrates the necessity of a questioning mind and the role that humour can play in coming to terms with the abyss of human existence.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Polity Press
  • United Kingdom
  • 9780745687605

Table of contents

Thinking Philosophy Anew 1 Appearance and Being 2 New Realism 5 The Plurality of Worlds 8 Less than Nothing 11 I What is this Actually: the World? 16 You and the Universe 21 Materialism 28 "The World is Everything that is the Case" 32 Constructivism 38 Philosophers and Physicists 44 II What is Existence? 50 The Super-Object 53 Monism, Dualism, Pluralism 56 Absolute and Relative Differences 61 Fields of Sense 65 III Why the World Does Not Exist 73 The Super-Thought 78 Nihilism and Non-Existence 81 The External and the Internal World 91 Why the World Does Not Exist IV The Worldview of Natural Science 99 Naturalism 106 Monism 111 The Book of the World 115 Subjective Truths 126 Holzwege 131 Science and Art 137 V The Meaning of Religion 146 Fetishism 154 The Infinite 162 Religion and the Search for Meaning 168 The Function of God 178 VI The Meaning of Art 184 Ambivalences 186 On Sense and Reference 190 The Demon of Analogy 194 Reflexivity 197 Diversity 204 VII Closing Credits: Television 209 A Show about Nothing 212 The Senses . . . 215 . . . and the Meaning of Life 220 Notes 222 Glossary 231 Index of Names 237show more

About Markus Gabriel

Markus Gabriel was born in 1980 and studied in Heidelberg, Lisbon and New York. Since 2009 he has held the chair for Epistemology at the University of Bonn and with that is Germany?s youngest philosophy professor. He is also the director of the International Center for Philosophy in Bonn.show more

Review quote

"Imagine a philosopher. This philosopher has the verve and pop-culture curiosity of Slavoj Zizek; Graham Priest's comfort with unresolved ambiguity; the transparent prose of John Gray; and Martin Heidegger'sâ nose for the faint scent of being. Your imagined thinker is Markus Gabriel, and his book is "Why the World Does Not Exist."""Sydney Morning Herald" "A majestic thought experiment" Slavoj ?i?ek "Imagine a philosopher. This philosopher has the verve and pop-culture curiosity of Slavoj Zizek; Graham Priest's comfort with unresolved ambiguity; the transparent prose of John Gray; and Martin Heidegger'sâ nose for the faint scent of being. Your imagined thinker is Markus Gabriel, and his book is "Why the World Does Not Exist."""Sydney Morning Herald" "The world might not exist, but Markus Gabriel clearly does, and his fresh, buoyant and bracing intelligence is evidenced on every page of this compelling new book. It is a rare gift to be able to philosophize from first principles in a way that is neither patronizingly derivative nor technically arcane and in a manner that is accessible to the general reader. But Gabriel possesses that gift in bucketloads." Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research "Gabriel has written a gripping thriller, which is of course what all good philosophy should be." Die Literarische Welt "Markus Gabriel shows with great verve how to tackle fundamental philosophical questions, without being overly academic or dumbing down his subject matter." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "With great wit and intellectual provocation, Markus Gabriel explores the perennial questions of humanity." Der Spiegel "A majestic thought experiment" Slavoj ?i?ek "Imagine a philosopher. This philosopher has the verve and pop-culture curiosity of Slavoj Zizek; Graham Priest's comfort with unresolved ambiguity; the transparent prose of John Gray; and Martin Heidegger'sâ nose for the faint scent of being. Your imagined thinker is Markus Gabriel, and his book is Why the World Does Not Exist."Sydney Morning Herald "The world might not exist, but Markus Gabriel clearly does, and his fresh, buoyant and bracing intelligence is evidenced on every page of this compelling new book. It is a rare gift to be able to philosophize from first principles in a way that is neither patronizingly derivative nor technically arcane and in a manner that is accessible to the general reader. But Gabriel possesses that gift in bucketloads." Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research "Gabriel has written a gripping thriller, which is of course what all good philosophy should be." Die Literarische Welt "Markus Gabriel shows with great verve how to tackle fundamental philosophical questions, without being overly academic or dumbing down his subject matter." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "With great wit and intellectual provocation, Markus Gabriel explores the perennial questions of humanity." Der Spiegel "A majestic thought experiment." Slavoj Zizek "it is a rare gift to be able to philosophize from the first principles in a way that is neither patronizingly derivative nor technically arcane and in a manner that is accessible to the general reader. But Gabriel possesses that gift in bucketloads." Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research "Imagine a philosopher. This philosopher has the verve and pop-culture curiosity of Slavoj Zizek; Graham Priest's comfort with unresolved ambiguity; the transparent prose of John Gray; and Martin Heidegger's nose for the faint scent of being. Your imagined thinker is Markus Gabriel, and his book is Why the World Does Not Exist." Sydney Morning Herald "This delightful book, translated by Gregory Moss, upholds Wittgenstein's remark that 'whatever can be said at all can be said clearly'." The Guardian "Gabriel has written a gripping thriller, which is of course what all good philosophy should be." Die Literarische Welt "Markus Gabriel shows with great verve how to tackle fundamental philosophical questions, without being overly academic or dumbing down his subject matter." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "With great wit and intellectual provocation, Markus Gabriel explores the perennial questions of humanity." Der Spiegel "A majestic thought experiment." - Slavoj Zizek "it is a rare gift to be able to philosophize from the first principles in a way that is neither patronizingly derivative nor technically arcane and in a manner that is accessible to the general reader. But Gabriel possesses that gift in bucketloads." - Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research "Imagine a philosopher. This philosopher has the verve and pop-culture curiosity of Slavoj Zizek; Graham Priest's comfort with unresolved ambiguity; the transparent prose of John Gray; and Martin Heidegger's nose for the faint scent of being. Your imagined thinker is Markus Gabriel, and his book is Why the World Does Not Exist." - Sydney Morning Herald "This delightful book, translated by Gregory Moss, upholds Wittgenstein's remark that 'whatever can be said at all can be said clearly'." - The Guardian "Gabriel has written a gripping thriller, which is of course what all good philosophy should be." - Die Literarische Welt "Markus Gabriel shows with great verve how to tackle fundamental philosophical questions, without being overly academic or dumbing down his subject matter." - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "With great wit and intellectual provocation, Markus Gabriel explores the perennial questions of humanity." - Der Spiegel -A majestic thought experiment.- - Slavoj Zizek -it is a rare gift to be able to philosophize from the first principles in a way that is neither patronizingly derivative nor technically arcane and in a manner that is accessible to the general reader. But Gabriel possesses that gift in bucketloads.- - Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research -Imagine a philosopher. This philosopher has the verve and pop-culture curiosity of Slavoj Zizek; Graham Priest's comfort with unresolved ambiguity; the transparent prose of John Gray; and Martin Heidegger's nose for the faint scent of being. Your imagined thinker is Markus Gabriel, and his book is Why the World Does Not Exist.- - Sydney Morning Herald -This delightful book, translated by Gregory Moss, upholds Wittgenstein's remark that 'whatever can be said at all can be said clearly'.- - The Guardian -Gabriel has written a gripping thriller, which is of course what all good philosophy should be.- - Die Literarische Welt -Markus Gabriel shows with great verve how to tackle fundamental philosophical questions, without being overly academic or dumbing down his subject matter.- - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung -With great wit and intellectual provocation, Markus Gabriel explores the perennial questions of humanity.- - Der Spiegelshow more

Rating details

156 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 22% (34)
4 27% (42)
3 32% (50)
2 12% (19)
1 7% (11)
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