Markus Gabriel proposes a permissive ontology ("New Realism") according to, if there exists a certain "field of sense" in which an entity appears, the entity exists. Even fictional entities like unicorns.

On the other hand, in "Why the World Does Not Exist", he tries to show the inconsistency and therefore nonexistence of an all-encompassing world-concept (paradoxes of naive set theory?).

As far as I know, Meinong accepted inconsistent (inconceivable) fictional objects like the round square as existing - so why does Markus Gabriel draw the line there?

If "fields of sense" isn't an overly artificial construct, there must be one in which "the world" appears. That's more natural than a field of sense in which "unicorns on the far side of the moon wearing police uniforms" appear.

His definition of existence is obviously self-referential. I don't know how serious this problem is, but isn't this issue very similar to the supposedly fatally inconsistent infinite nesting that occurs when defining the world as the collection of all existing objects conceived as an object?

  • 1
    I'm not familiar with Marcus, but the idea that 'the world does not exist' makes perfect sense. To exist means to be apart, to be separate, to be one thing as opposed to another. So the term isn't really applicable to 'the world' or 'reality' as such, but only to particulars or to particular aspects or attributes. I would rather say that the world is a condition for the existence of any particular thing, in a way somewhat analogically to Descartes' cogito argument.
    – Wayfarer
    Dec 21, 2022 at 4:56
  • Markus Gabriel's point of view is that - in a metaphysical sense - the world is all (Ch.I What is this Actually: the World?) If to exists means to be "somewhere", the all (i.e. the "place" where the things must be located in order to be known/understood) cannot be itself "somewhere" (paradox similar to the set of all sets). See Ch.III Why the World Does Not Exist: "Given that all of this is the case, we can now pose the question “Does the world exist?” – “Is there a world?” We saw in the first chapter that at best one can conceive the world as the domain of all domains. 1/2 Dec 21, 2022 at 8:20
  • [...] This is, so to speak, my last word concerning the world, so that it is italicized and belongs in the glossary: the WORLD is the field of sense in which all other fields of sense appear." 2/2 Dec 21, 2022 at 8:20


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