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The Modern Philosophical Revolution


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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.


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.


"[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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