The External World

Maurizio Ferraris
Edited and translated by Sarah De Sanctis

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One of Europe’s leading realist philosophers restores the role of the external world to modern philosophy

  • Written by one of the launching members of the New Realism movement
  • Made up of two parts: part one written at the end of the 20th century, part two written in 2021, providing an outstanding summary of Ferraris’s increasingly influential philosophy
  • Critically engages with the idealist legacy of Kant and Derrida
  • With a new Introduction showing how the original themes were developed in Ferraris’ later work and how he connects to other trends in philosophy and culture

Since the 1780s, Western philosophy has been largely under the spell of Immanuel Kant’s transcendental philosophy. In this book, Maurizio Ferraris offers a number of important criticisms of Kant in a book of two parts, written 21 years apart. The first part of the book, 'Observation', originally published in 2001, lays the foundations of Ferraris' New Realism, foreshadowing the realist turn that has become characteristic of 21st century philosophy. The second part, 'Speculation', written in 2021, outlines a complete metaphysical theory of realism.

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Part I. Meditation

Part II. Observation

1. Introduction: Ontology and Ecology

2. The Problem Is Not The Platypus. It’s Kant.

3. Aesthetics

4. Logic

5. Farewell to the Transcendental

6. What Is It Like To Be A Slipper?

Part III. Speculation

Introduction: Where Do We Come From?

1. What Is Hysteresis?

2. Recording

3. Iteration

4. Alteration

5. Interruption

Part IV. Recollection

Bibliography; Index

This remarkable book by one of Europe’s leading philosophers is a welcome antidote to the idealist tendencies that have marked so much philosophy in recent centuries. On the one hand it clearly and incisively documents the idealists’ errors. On the other hand it outlines a complete metaphysical theory of realism, thereby launching a new vision for the future of philosophy.

Barry Smith, University at Buffalo, New York
Maurizio Ferraris is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin. He has written more than fifty books that have been translated into several languages. His books in English are History of Hermeneutics (Humanities Press, 1996), with Jacques Derrida - A Taste for the Secret (Blackwell, 2011), Documentality or Why it is Necessary to Leave Traces (Fordham University Press, 2012), Goodbye Kant! (SUNY, 2013), Where are You? An Ontology of the Cell Phone (Fordham University Press, 2014), Manifesto of New Realism (SUNY, 2014), Introduction to New Realism (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Positive Realism (Zero Books, 2015).

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