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Fields of Sense

A New Realist Ontology

Markus Gabriel

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A new realist ontology based on the concept of fields of sense

Graham Harman interviews Markus Gabriel about Fields of Sense

It is still a widespread assumption that metaphysics and ontology deal with roughly the same questions. They are supposed to be concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and to give an account of the meaning of ‘existence’ or ‘being’ in line with the broadest possible metaphysical assumptions. Against this, Markus Gabriel proposes a radical form of ontological pluralism that divorces ontology from metaphysics, understood as the most fundamental theory of absolutely everything (the world). He argues that the concept of existence is incompatible with the existence of the world and therefore proposes his innovative no-world-view.

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Series Editor’s Preface
Author’s Preface
Part I: Negative Ontology
1. Zoontology
2. Existence is not a proper property
3. What is wrong with Kant and Frege?
4. Limits of Set-Theoretical Ontology and Contemporary Nihilism
5. Domains of Objects and Fields of Sense
6. Fields and the Meaning of Existence
7. The No World View
Part II: Positive Ontology
8. Indefinitely Many Fields of Sense
9. How Flat Can Ontology Be?
10. Actuality and Possibility
11. Modalities II: Necessity, Contingency, and Logical Time
12. Forms of Knowledge: Epistemological Pluralism, 13. Senses as Ways Things Are in Themselves

About the Author

Markus Gabriel is Chair in Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at Bonn University. He is the author of many books and articles in German. His publications in English include Scepticism and Idealism in Ancient Philosophy, translated by Ryan David Mullins (OUP, forthcoming), Transcendental Ontology: Essays on German Idealism (Continuum, 2011) and co-author with Slavoj Žižek of Mythology, Madness and Laughter: Subjectivity in German Idealism (Continuum, 2009).


Gabriel's project of a new realist ontology effortlessly bridges the gap between continental and analytic philosophy. Altogether an enviable achievement. The work is bound to provide a strong impetus to new ways of thinking about ontological questions.

- Professor Hans Sluga, William and Trudy Ausfahl Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley

Markus Gabriel is one of the leaders of the revival of interest in realism in contemporary European philosophy. In this volume, he develops his own ambitious, distinctive and provocative version of the view, one that is likely to spur much discussion.

- Paul Boghossian, Silver Professor of Philosophy, New York University

This bold meditation breaks a new path beyond both anti-realism and metaphysical realism. Gabriel discloses senses as real ways for the things to be. Thus, he overcomes the metaphysical distinction between mind and world and makes sense of the reality of thinking as well. A huge step forward for philosophy.

- Professor Jocelyn Benoist, Centre of Philosophy, Sorbonne University

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