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Cover for the book Structure and Being

Structure and Being

A Theoretical Framework for a Systematic Philosophy Lorenz B. Puntel, translated by and in collaboration with Alan White
  • Copyright: 2008
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 528 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-03373-0
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-03374-7

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Structure and Being is the winner of 2011 Findlay Book Prize. This prize is awarded every four years, recognizing what the MSA's selection committee deems the most important contribution to metaphysics appearing in English in the preceding five years.

“Puntel’s Structure and Being is a rare work of integration and synthesis. A book conceived and executed in the grand tradition of philosophical systematization, it integrates treatments of a wide array of fundamental philosophical problems within a grand overarching design. Examining key theories and theses from the Anglo-American analytic and the Continental European traditions, it both expounds and exemplifies a holistic vision of philosophy that can be appreciated by philosophers of both traditions alike.”
“Through sustained critical engagement with the leading philosophical positions taken in the past century on both sides of the Atlantic, Structure and Being effectively challenges current conventional wisdom by elaborating a formidable theoretical framework for a structural systematic philosophy—an ongoing, self-grounding yet nonfoundationalist attempt to determine the nature of beings as completely and comprehensively as possible.”
Structure and Being is rich and challenging. In an age in which the narrow specialist has taken center stage, Puntel has returned to an older tradition: that of the philosopher who attempts to understand the whole. For this he should be congratulated.”
“Lorenz Puntel’s systematic structural philosophy is a bold and challenging attempt to overcome the contemporary fragmentation of philosophical discourse. Its depth and breadth regarding issues of logic, epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics are unparalleled, as is the ease with which the author moves between so-called analytic and continental positions. Both the overall project as a new comprehensive metaphysics and the particular arguments developed demand a serious response from philosophers today.”

A magisterial work in the grand tradition of systematic philosophy not seen in this country perhaps since Alfred North Whitehead’s Process and Reality (1929), this book by a leading German philosopher aims to resurrect systematic philosophy as an essential part of the theoretical enterprise. In Lorenz Puntel’s vision, philosophy as the universal science can be holistic without being imperialistic.

The book presents theoretical frameworks as indispensable for any and all theorizing. It argues that there can be truths only relative to sufficiently determinable theoretical frameworks, and that all such frameworks are genuinely revelatory ontologically. No problematic relativism results, however, because such frameworks can be compared and thereby ranked with respect to their theoretical adequacy.

Structure and Being contributes to the reconciliation of analytic and continental philosophy by insisting upon clarity and precision, as the former does, while aiming for comprehensiveness, as the latter often does.

Lorenz B. Puntel, born in 1935, studied philosophy, psychology, classical philology, and Catholic theology in Munich, Vienna, Paris, Rome, and Innsbruck. He received a doctorate in philosophy in 1968 and one in Catholic theology in 1969. He qualified as a university lecturer in philosophy in 1972 and became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Munich in 1978. In 2001, he became Professor Emeritus.

Alan White received his BA from Tulane University in 1972 and his PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980. In 2000, he became Mark Hopkins Professor of Philosophy at Williams College.


Preface to Struktur und Sein

Preface to Structure and Being

Key to Abbreviations and Logical/Mathematical Symbols


1. Global Systematics: Determination of the Standpoint of the Structural-Systematic Philosophy

1.1 “A Theoretical Framework for a Systematic Philosophy”: the complexity of the concept and of its presentation

1.2 A first determination of systematic philosophy

1.3 Structure and being: a first characterization of the basic idea behind the structural-systematic philosophy

1.4 The idealized four-stage philosophical method

1.5. (Self-)grounding of systematic philosophy?

2. Systematics of Theoreticity. The Dimension of Philosophical Presentation

2.1 Theoreticity as a dimension of presentation

2.2 Language as the medium of presentation for theoreticity

2.3 The epistemic dimension as the domain of the accomplishment of theoreticity

2.4 The dimension of theory in the narrower sense

2.5 Fully determined theoreticity: first approach to a theory of truth

3. Systematics of Structure: The Fundamental Structures

3.1 What is the systematics of structure?

3.2 The three levels of fundamental structures

3.3 Theory of truth as explication (articulation) of the fully determinate connections among fundamental structures

4. World-Systematics. Theory of the Dimensions of the World

4.1 The concept of world

4.2 The “natural world”

4.3 The human world

4.4 The aesthetic world

4.5 The world as a whole

5. Comprehensive Systematics: The Theory of the Interconnection of All Structures and Dimensions of Being as Theory of Being As Such and As a Whole

5.1 The philosophical status of comprehensive systematics

5.2 Basic features of a theory of being as such and as a whole

5.3 Starting points for a theory of absolute being

6. Metasystematics: Theory of the Relatively Maximal Self-Determination of Systematic Philosophy

6.1 The status of metasystematics

6.2 Immanent metasystematics

6.3 External metasystematics

6.4 Self-determination, metasystematics, and the self-grounding of the structural-systematic philosophy

Works Cited


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