Günter Figal

Philosophy as Metaphysics

The Torino Lectures

[Philosophie als Metaphysik. Die Turiner Vorlesungen.]

2019. IX, 177 pages.
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Published in English.
Günter Figal presents a lively discussion of classical Greek philosophy (Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle). Affirming the classical conception of philosophy, he critically reformulates it, and argues for a new de-centred, non-hierarchical and thus liberal understanding of philosophy.
Motivated by the question of what it is that makes philosophy philosophical, Günter Figal shows that philosophy as the search for truth leads to the question of Being. And that if devotion to truth and Being are at the heart of 'metaphysics', then this is philosophy's metaphysical character. Figal embraces this concept and rejects 'post-metaphysical' philosophy's assumption, and likewise Nietzsche and Heidegger's claim, that metaphysics has come to an end. By refraining from simply affirming the metaphysical tradition founded by Parmenides, Plato and Aristotle, the author instead critically discusses the positions held by its three founding fathers. Paying special attention to Aristotle, Figal transforms his ontology phenomenologically. By doing so, he argues for a rehabilitation of appearing and perceptible things and thus for a revaluation of perceptive experience. Figal also prefers to regard metaphysics as one philosophical perspective among others – aesthetics, ethics and mysticism – and not the dominating 'first philosophy' it has long been regarded as. According to Günter Figal, philosophy proves to be a de-centered, non-hierarchical and therefore liberal intellectual project.

Günter Figal (1949–2024) 1976 PhD; 1987 Habilitation; 1989–2002 Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tübingen; since 2002 Professor for Philosophy at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau; since 2017 emeritus.


The following reviews are known:

In: Dialogo Filosofico — 36 (2020), S. 168
In: Zeitschrift für Theologie und Philosophie — 95 (2020), pp. 418–420 (F. Hamann)
In: Newsletter NHI — 9 (2021), S. 12–14 (Paula Sophia Budde)