The ‘End of Metaphysics‘? Decentering and Recentering in the History of Modern Thought


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The lecture addresses an ongoing process of decentering and recentering which has been taking place in the history of modern thought over the last about 200 years. This process has often been linked to the so-called ‘end of metaphysics’: While traditional ‘metaphysical’ thought had envisaged an all-encompassing and unifying representation of what there is, properly grounded by first principles, such an approach has been rejected by 19th and 20th century philosophy in various ways. Although this modern decline of metaphysical thought can doubtlessly be understood as a process of decentering, the lecture will show that it has simultaneously stimulated counteractive processes of recentering, more recently being expressed affirmatively as a ‘new need for metaphysics’.

The lecture intends to shed some light on these processes, thereby addressing manifestations of decentering and recentering both in philosophy as an academic discipline but also in our contemporary lifeworld.


JunProf. Philipp Schwab

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