There has been a resurgence of interest in the problem of realism, the idea that the world exists in the way it does independently of the mind, within contemporary Continental philosophy. Many, if not most, of those writing on the topic demonstrates attitudes that range from mild skepticism to outright hostility. Richard Sebold argues that the problem with this is that realism is correct and that the question should then become: what happens to Continental philosophy if it is committed to the denial of a true doctrine? Sebold outlines the reasons why realism is superior to anti-realism and shows how Continental philosophical arguments against realism fail. Focusing on the work of four important philosophers, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Husserl, all of who have had a profound influence on more recent thinkers, he provides alternative ways of interpreting their apparently anti-realist sentiments and demonstrates that the insights of these Continental philosophers are nevertheless valuable, despite their problematic metaphysical beliefs.
Richard Sebold has a PhD in Philosophy from La Trobe University, Australia.
Acknowledgments / 1. Are Continental Philosophers Anti-Realists? / 2. Metaphysical Realism and its Discontents / 3. Kant's Ambiguous Realism / 4. Hegel and Idealism Made Absolute / 5. Nietzsche's Realism in Perspective / 6. On the Varieties and Vagaries of Husserl's Transcendental Idealism / 7. The Confusions of Continental Anti-Realism and Shifting the Debate / Bibliography / index