In the mid-eighteenth century metaphysics was broadly understood as the study of three areas of philosophical thought: theology, psychology and cosmology. This book examines the fortunes of the third of these formidable metaphysical concepts, the world.
Sean Gaston provides a clear and concise account of the concept of world from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century, exploring its possibilities and limitations and engaging with current issues in politics and ecology. He focuses on the work of five principal thinkers: Kant, Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger and Derrida, all of whom attempt to establish new grounds for seeing the world as a whole. Gaston presents a critique of the self-evident use of the concept of world in philosophy and asks whether one can move beyond the need for a world-like vantage point to maintain a concept of world. From Kant to the present day this concept has been a problem for philosophy and it remains to be seen if we need a new Copernican revolution when it comes to the concept of world.
Sean Gaston is Reader in English and the History of Philosophy at Brunel University, UK. His previous publications include Derrida and Disinterest (Continuum, 2005), The Impossible Mourning of Derrida (Continuum, 2006), Starting with Derrida (Continuum, 2007) and Derrida, Literature and War (Continuum, 2009).
Preface: Writing on the World / 1. The Kantian World / 2. Hegel and the World as Spirit / 3. Husserl and the Phenomenological World / 4. Heidegger and the Problem of World / 5. Derrida and the End of the World / 6. World, Fiction and the Earth / Bibliography / Index