Voor Markus Gabriel bestaan alleen de dingen, niet een substantie die alles één maakt
Het april-mei-nummer van Philosophy Now heeft een interview met Markus Gabriel, de auteur van De wereld bestaat niet (2015). Via deze link wordt de betaaldrempel omzeild en is het in z’n geheel te lezen. Ik haal er hieronder de alinea uit waarin Gabriel naar Spinoza verwijst. Pro memorie slechts.
Let’s talk more about metaphysics. You address both monism and dualism, and you align yourself with pluralism, which is a position that’s not really taken by many, and hasn’t been since its great champion Leibniz [1646-1716]. So tell us more about how that works. First, could you just say what pluralism is?
Okay, here is how I think about this. By ‘metaphysics’, I tend to refer to the theory of absolutely everything that exists. I deny that this works. So metaphysics strictly speaking is impossible – it has no object. By ‘ontology’, I mean the systematic investigation into existence: What are we saying when we claim something exists? What is existence? Those are the questions of ontology for me, and if you are a ‘monist’, what you are saying is that everything which exists shares a feature – existence! Maybe you have a substantial account of what existence is: to be spatial-temporal, to be thought of by someone, whatever. So that would be a form of monism: to exist is to be a substance. That of course is Spinoza’s idea, and Descartes’ idea of substance too, maybe. A dualist such as Descartes would further say, “Well, yes, what exists is substance, but there are two kinds of substances.” That’s usually what is meant by ‘dualism’ in this context. I’m a pluralist. That means that you cannot unify everything that exists by giving a substantial account of existence. So existence itself is not a unifying feature of things. Things exist in indefinitely many domains. What it is for the number 2 to exist, is for it to be part of the series of natural numbers. What it is for Angela Merkel to exist as the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, is for her to be subject to the German constitution, et cetera. And you cannot unify these entities under one domain. So the pluralist has a radical commitment to the existence of indefinitely many domains of existence.