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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel

Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel

University of Bonn
External Senior Fellow
December 2013 - March 2014


Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel is the Chair for Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy and Director of the International Centre for Philosophy at the University of Bonn. Born in 1980, Gabriel studied Philosophy and Ancient Greek in Bonn and Heidelberg; previous to his current position, he was appointed as Assistant Professor at the New School of Social Research in New York. Gabriel has held visiting professorships at Aarhus University, PUC Porto Alegre, PUC Rio de Janeiro and UC Berkeley. His research interests include epistemology, philosophy of religion and aesthetics, ancient philosophy, Post-Kantian Idealism, contemporary analytical and post-analytical philosophy.


Selected Publications

  • An den Grenzen der Erkenntnistheorie – Die notwendige Endlichkeit des Wissens als Lektion des Skeptizismus (Alber: Freiburg 2008).
  • Subjectivity, Madness and Laughter: Mythology, Madness, and Laughter: Subjectivity in German Idealism (Continuum: New York/London 2009. 2009), co-authored with Slavoj Zizek
  • Transcendental Ontology: Essays on German Idealism (Continuum: New York/London 2011).
  • Warum es die Welt nicht gibt (Ullstein: Berlin 2013)
  • Skepticism and Idealism in Ancient Philosophy (Oxford University Press: Oxford 2013, forthcoming).


FRIAS Research Project

New Realism as a Critique of the Event?

My current work focuses on a better understanding of real events outside the framework of both naturalistic and idealistic forms of interpretation. Occurrences like actions or artworks (just to name a few), which doubtless occur in nature, cannot, however, be understood as merely physical, chemical, or biochemical events. On the other hand, they also cannot be understood as pure expressions of freedom or contingency. The determination I propose, which stands in accord with “New Realism”, tries thus to avoid both a trivial and an emphatic concept of event (of occurrences that can either be expected or not expected), and attempts rather to conceptualize the eventful character of real experience as movements of switch from one level of calculability (or incalculability) into its opposite.

In dialogue with Junior-Fellow David Espinet at FRIAS (FRIAS-Project: Critique of the Event) I will pursue questions such as: are there different types of events, such as epistemic, ethical or aesthetical events and can they be brought back to one concept of real events? Or are different events “events” only by homonymy? Are there events, which are thoroughly trivial (only nature), or is there another type of events that is radically emphatic (pure freedom)? It could well be the case that the eventful character of events withdraws them from any conceptual frame so that events would be radically concrete movements of a switch from one gradually or locally general interpretation pattern to a new one, which could, again, only be understood as a restricted general pattern of interpretation.