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The Modern Philosophical Revolution
The Luminosity of Existence

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About the Authors
  • The Modern Philosophical Revolution breaks new ground by demonstrating the continuity of European philosophy from Kant to Derrida. Much of the literature on European philosophy has emphasized the breaks that have occurred in the course of two centuries of thinking. But as David Walsh argues, such a reading overlooks the extent to which Kant, Hegel, and Schelling were already engaged in the turn toward existence as the only viable mode of philosophizing. Where many similar studies summarize individual thinkers, this book provides a framework for understanding the relationships between them. Walsh thus dispels much of the confusion that assails readers when they are only exposed to the bewildering range of positions taken by the philosophers he examines. His book serves as an indispensable guide to a philosophical tradition that continues to have resonance in the post-modern world.

    • Provides a new framework for understanding the sweep of European philosophy from Kant to the present
    • Features chapters on individual thinkers of sufficient depth to test the hypothesis of a shift toward the perspective of existence
    • An ideal textbook for courses on contemporary philosophy and political theory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[T]his is an astonishingly amazing book, truly revolutionary in modern philosophy about what it is really about, namely, in Walsh's words, "the luminosity of existence," a wonderfully philosophic expression."
    - James V. Schall, Georgetown University

    “My encounter with The Modern Philosophical Revolution has been one of the most formative experiences in my life as a philosopher. I have no hesitation in placing it along with Bernard Lonergan’s Insight and Eric Voegelin’s Order and History as one of the greatest works in contemporary English–language philosophy, and I predict its French and German translations will follow even more rapidly than did those of Lonergan’s and Voegelin’s opera magna.”
    Brendan Purcell, Dublin, Ireland, The Review of Metaphysics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2008
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511427015
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from
  • Table of Contents

    1. Kant's 'Copernican Revolution' as existential
    2. Hegel's inauguration of the language of existence
    3. Schelling on the beyond of existence
    4. Nietzsche: philosophy as existence
    5. Heidegger's achievement despite the betrayal of philosophic existence
    6. Existence without refuge as the response of Levinas
    7. Derrida's dissemination of existence as difference
    8. Kierkegaard: the prioritization of existence over philosophy.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Topics in Political Theory: 20th Century Political Thought
  • Author

    David Walsh, Catholic University of America, Washington DC
    David Walsh is professor of politics at The Catholic University of America. The editor of three volumes of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, he has published numerous articles in political science and philosophy journals, as well as essays in anthologies. This is the third volume in a trilogy concerning the modern world that began with After Ideology: Recovering the Spiritual Foundations of Freedom and The Growth of the Liberal Soul.

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