I just finished reading Markus Gabriels Warum es die Welt nicht gibt (Why the world does not exist). Despite being more of a popular science book it is really refreshing. Gabriel knows how to entertain while pushing forward philosophical thinking. He advocates a new form of realism that stands against all forms of constructivism. In order to do so he thinks that first of all we have to ask ourself what existence really means. Therefore he proposes a ontology of sense fields. That means existence is the appearing in a sense field. Electrons and unicorns exist but in different sense fields. While electrons exist in the sense field of the Universe which is the field of natural science unicorns exist as well but only in the sense field of feary tails. This ontological pluralism that reminds of Leibniz or Meinong is the attempt to find a way beyond reductionist monism and dualism. There is no metaphyics that puts all there is under one principle. All we have are different sense fields but no sense field that is all encompassing.
There are two points for me that are difficult to understand:
1. How can we understand that sense is in some way de re. That means the sense of something is there even if no one recognizes it. Ohterwise it would just be another form of correlationism. But usually we understand sense traditionally since Frege as a semantic notion. For Frege the sense of sentence was an object that is as real as an electron but it is not physically and not just a idea. But how should we understand Gabriel that the sense is out there even if no one did make sense of it?
2. Why should everything that exists make sense? Isn’t a consequence of realism that there could be things that make no sense at all? Just look at H.P. Lovecarfts horror stories. Lovecraft was a realist. He believed that science disenchants all the miracles. That was the reason that he introduced in his works creatures and events that are so foreign to the human mind that you can’t make any clear sense of them. That’s where the horror comes from. The pure strangeness. It is not science fiction in the sense that we take ideas that could make sense in the future like travelling to other planets but the pure strangeness that is so foreign that the more you know about this things the more you get crazy.
So the notion of a sense field and how to understand Gabriels notion of sense is very unclear for me. I hope that his forthcoming philosophical works(in the academic sense) will make this ideas more clear.