The Paradox of Self-Consciousness

I have been trying, under the banner of "new realism," to reconcile various philosophical and scientific traditions. I'm looking for a third way between various tensions. There's more to a human being than the fact that we are a bunch of cells that hang together in a certain way. Humans are not identical to any material energetic system, even though I also think that humans cannot exist without being, in part, grounded in a material energetic system. So, I am rejecting both brutal materialism, according to which we are nothing but an arrangement of cells, and brutal idealism, according to which our minds are transcendent affairs that peep into the universe in one way or another. Both are false, so there has to be a third way.

Similarly, between postmodernism, which denies objectivity, and various trends in cognitive science, which also threaten objectivity without fully undermining it, there has to be something in between. Similarly, for continental philosophy—European traditions, broadly construed—and analytic philosophy, which means philosophy at its best when practiced in Anglophone context; there has to be something in between. That space in between is what I call new realism. 

MARKUS GABRIEL holds the Chair for Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Bonn, where he is also Director of the International Center for Philosophy. Markus Gabriel's Edge Bio Page