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HomeNumeri57variaNotes on a new analogical realism


This paper shows a new philosophical turn towards a new realism emerging today. And its originality lies on Maurizio Ferraris, who has recently published his Manifiesto del nuevo realismo**, which has been followed by personalities such as Umberto Eco and John Searle. On this basis, Mexican philosopher Mauricio Beuchot and me have written our Manifiesto del nuevo realismo analógico***, which had had a great acceptance by Maurizio Ferraris himself. He translated our manifest and introduced it into Italy. I will take this article as a chance to thank him for reading and considering our manifest. To sum up, what I will show is article is a picture of new realism from analogical hermeneutics point of view and the reason why we choose the analogical focus on it to be accurate.

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Note dell’autore

* This article has been published on “Revista Hermes analógica”, n. 4, 2013: 24-31.
** Ferraris 2012.
*** Beuchot and Jerez 2013a.

Testo integrale

A return to realism

1We are facing, nowadays, a turn towards realism and ontology. It is not meaningless to think that the present state of the matter is the result of the dawn of post-modernist perspectives, which are numerous, but homogeneous enough.

  • 4  Beuchot, Nihilismo y realismo, Beuchot and Jerez 2013a: 35.

2As Mauricio Beuchot has recently stated «Is the weakness of post-modernism, because it contains passive nihilism, speaking in Nietzsche’s terms»4.

3It is also reasonable to state that a new philosophical turn is in process, and in addition to this, our whole cultural experience is turning. Its linguistics turns consequence.

  • 5  «He adoptado en un artículo de hace algunos meses con el que anunciaba el congreso [La República, (...)

4When Maurizio Ferraris writes his Manifesto del nuovo realismo, he does not intend to expose a particular issue about realism, but to describe the scene of contemporary philosophy. The manifest style, in association with the famous Communist Manifest of 1948, is there to prove that realists today abound5.

  • 6  In the terms used by John Searle: phenomenalist realism. I am referring to phenomenalist idealism (...)

5To continue with the style, Mauricio Beuchot and I have published our Manifiesto del nuevo realismo analógico, that, on the one hand tries to follow Ferraris enterprise, on the other, requires prudency in relation to this turning forward to realism and ontology. As a consequence, there is no point in defending a turn to what, in this work, I define as univocal realism (modern positivism), given that it implies a prejudicing dogma to our life. It is also pointless to consider that what we call “real world” is the result of a subjective perspective, born from our states of mind, nor to consider it is due to a conventional and social building, as it has been stated by many anti-realist conceptions6.

6Otherwise, new realism looks forward to criticism and deliverance, to getting us involved on this new cultural atmosphere, which has to cope with nihilism and now with this ontological turn claiming for its place.

Ontology and hermeneutics

7We can say, as many prestigious hermeneutists have, that experience is always an interpretation fact, but on the risk of forgetting reality itself. That is to say that thinking that our reality is only in interpretation can lead us – if we are not cautious – to an extreme in which reality is only a conventional building or the will of the strongest. For this reason, we suggest Ferraris the term “analogy” for his new realism. Because we consider it does not fit with univocal realism, neither with the present lack of reference and ontological ground.

8However, I am aware our approach to realism comes from hermeneutic field, from where Ferraris has long leaved. As a consequence, in agreement with Beuchot, I understand that a strong process of de-ontologization is happening on hermeutics. On the contrary, analogy implies ontology, and for this reason an analogical hermeneutic needs the new realism perspective. On Beuchot words «[Hermeneutics] have long been tore apart from ontological or metaphysical ground, given that an absence of basis and an extreme relativism are being claimed. That is why it is important to recover the relationship between hermeneutics and ontology».

9For all that we have said we can show a recovery of ontology to all those who say that hermeneutics are essentially non-ontological. This recovery cannot be strong or univocal but, as Vattimo said, a weak ontology. Even though we disagree with this philosopher, who considers that ontology is destined to disappear gradually.

10Otherwise, our intention is to combine hermeneutics and ontology so that they do not wander round non-referential interpretation, or reduces the wide process of comprehension to mere explanation of facts. Therefore, our endeavor goes to concealing hermeneutic with ontology and ontology with hermeneutics as well.

Ontological-hermeneutics and hermeneutical-Ontology. Between univocal realism and equivocal realism

11Speaking about ontological hermeneutics and hemeneutical ontology means both terms are reciprocals and, all in all, we are speaking about analogy. Although ontology lost its strength by the impact of hermeneutics (which was necessary at the time), it’s not fair to make it dissolute as many post-modernists have intended to do. This dissolution can only lead mankind to absolutely lack of semantic reference, direction and reality. With the addition of the word “ontological” to the hermeneutic, I try to bring the hermeneutical process “back on earth”. Then: What does equivocal and univocal realism mean?

  • 7  Cf. Ferraris 2004: 42 [translation of this quote was realized only for better understanding of thi (...)

12“Univocal realism” is used every time ontology lacks hermeneusis. It means an ingenious realism. This realism is strong and states that objects exist without subjects’ mediation. In some absurd way, this absence of subject is taken to an extreme by the dictum “man is dead”. According to this, the world becomes external and indifferent to the subject. Given this external character, truth and objectivity are guaranteed by neutral observation. There is no place, then, for epistemology. Modern positivism took this to refer to reality, making it only a matter of empirical and factual evidence. Univocal realism takes hermeneutics aside, making hatred the only possible relationship between realism and hermeneutics. I call this post-modernist disjunction which is familiar to contemporary philosophical thought. Ferraris itself has worked pointedly on this issue. He wonders whether it is possible to make hermeneutics and ontology approach. «At least from a first approach, nothing could be less true, and between both terms [hermeneutics and ontology] it is not hard to find an antithesis, or at least an allegory: if the primacy of interpretation over facts carries the destruction of ontology or the worlds’ loss within»7. In other words, it is only a matter of facts and not of interpretation.

  • 8  Double quoting has been called by Ferraris ironical process. In this process reality, truth, etc. (...)

13This absence of an epistemological or comprehensive dimension, which is distinctively human, leads us to weakening ontology. However, the post-modernist weakening – altogether with nihilism – leads us to an eclipse of truth, reality and fundaments. Reality becomes fable. Reality becomes “reality”8. The problem is that the worlds’ liquidity does not stay on ontological and knowing-theory field. So, we have reached current time, where hermeneutics, turned into koiné, tend to destroy ontology as well.

  • 9  Derrida and Ferraris 2009.

14At this point it becomes necessary to make ontology and hermeneutics reciprocal terms. For, in the same way ontology without hermeneutics leads us to a strong and univocal realism, hermeneutic without ontology leads us to an ironical realism. The latter I call equivocal realism, which goes on very well with strong textualism thesis. This thesis consists in the affirmation that nothing exist beyond text. This takes literally Derrida’s statement «il n’y a pas de hors-texte». The statement has been misunderstood, to say it with Ferraris – who knowed Derrida very well. And Derrida himself made clear that the misunderstanding consists in taking the statement as a thought about language, belonging to Linguistic Turn. «Some people believed they could make from that [il n’y a pas de hors-texte] the conclusion that mine was a thought of language (it’s exactly the opposite); deconstruction was inscribed into Linguistic Turn, when, to the contrary, it consisted in a protest against linguistics»9.

  • 10  See, Searle 2004: 159-184.
  • 11Ibidem: 169.

15Derridean expression became an icon for postmodernist and textualist conceptions. Searle was one of the most critical to this expression10. For him, Derrida didn’t show arguments, but briefly said that nothing existed beyond text. Derrida, lately, said that what he really meant was that nothing existed beyond context. About this Searle concludes: «What can it be done, facing a bunch of weak or un-existing arguments in favor of a preposterous conclusion?»11.

  • 12  Jerez 2012a: 13-23, or also Beuchot and Jerez 2013b.

16In conclusion, and to return to our main topic, an equivocal realism is a sort of contradictio in adjecto, for every time we have truth and reality, we might draw the lines for plethoric interpretation, and between the limits – that I call contextual12 – analogical hermeneutics might find its place.

  • 13  Vattimo 2010 [no English translation available, N.d.T.]

17Equivocal realism postulates that reality exists on interpretation and there is no truth beyond it. What is to say – as Vattimo does – that reality is a battle of interpretations and that there is nothing beyond them13. This way, power of will and strength turn into establishment for justice. In the best of cases a place to consensual agreement is given, but only the agreement of the most powerful.

18This scenario faces us to resignation, because everything seems to be the history of power and of the winners’ side. For all we have said up to this point we must understand realism without irony. It is necessary to recognize the re-turn to realism, such as Ferrari suggests. In addition to this, it is also necessary to be cautious just as analogy suggests for this realist turn.

Towards an analogical realism

  • 14  Jerez 2012b: 171-188 [translation of this quote has been made for better understanding of the pape (...)

19To speak about analogy is, in some way, to speak about Mauricio Beauchot and of his hermeneutical proposal. He bases hermeneutics on aristotelical phrónesis and on analogy, taking us away from binomial thought. He rescues the vitality of dialectical tension. That is how dialectical “synthesis” emerges as the tertium comparationis dialectizing extremes and making a movement forward to harmony and mixing of the extremes. Therefore, synthesis is not the final step of a death. Beuchot says that dialectics among analogy is strange «because it is not as the hegelian-marxist, which in its synthesis subsumes and overcomes (and therefore destroys) the opposite extremes. It is more alike a dialectic without synthesis, an open one, unfinished, almost tragic, because it attempts to preserve the opposite extremes in their conflictive and diverse situation»14.

  • 15  Vattimo and Rovatti 1995.

20Given this brief explanation about analogical dialectics I intend to give relevance to realism: an issue that urges to present philosophy. This realism, as I have already said, has got to be neither univocal, nor equivocal. Not univocal, because it leaves epistemology aside, leaving it all to a rough, rigid, autonomous and totalitarian ontology. And neither equivocal, because it forgets about ontology and looses connection with reality, leaving our hole representational and real world to a social building or conventional according and this makes reality fake-able. In consequence with this we say, as Vattimo does, goodbye to truth, goodbye to objectivity, and welcome to nihilism and dissolution. This went on very well to face modern epistemological and ethical totalitarianism. The so called post-modernists took this role seriously. From the field of hermeneutics, Vattimo weakened reason and gave relevance to weak thinking15.

21However, the most important problem we are facing today is not univocal realism, but equivocal one. Our difficulty lies on the lack of ontological, and what is more, axiological sense which is radical de-constructions responsibility. For this reason it is time for us to affirm reality, if we want critical thought. Or to say it with Ferraris, we can not underestimate reality, because it is facing us and negotiation is not plausible. Whether we like it or not, it is a matter of fact that cannot be subject of mere interpretation. This does not imply accepting what is happening as it is, but realities transformation is only possible if we recognize things as they are.

22In conclusion, analogical dialectical realism states that there are facts which are then interpretive. Disjunction turns into conjunction and both, facts and interpretations, can live together, such as ontology and hermeneutics do. The result is a truly analogical realism.

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Beuchot, M.
– 2001, ¿Es posible mantener aún la ontología frente a la hermenéutica? Respuesta desde una hermenéutica analógica, en
– 2009, Tratado de hermenéutica analógica. Hacia un nuevo modelo de interpretación, Ítaca, México-Unam, 20094

Beuchot, M. and Arenas-Dolz, F.
– 2008, Hermenéutica de la encrucijada. Analogía, retórica y filosofía, Barcelona, Anthropos

Beuchot, M. and Jerez, J.L.
– 2013a, Manifiesto del nuevo realismo analógico, Neuquén-Argentina, Círculo Hermenéutico,
– 2013b, Hermenéutica analógico-contextual de cara al presente: conversaciones, Neuquén-Argentina, Círculo Hermenéutico

Derrida, J. and Ferraris, M.
– 2009, El gusto del secreto, Buenos Aires, Amorrortu

Ferraris, M.
– 2000a, Nietzsche y el nihilismo, Madrid, Akal
– 2000b, Historia de la metafísica y teoría del contagio, in Nietzsche y el nihilismo, Madrid, Akal: 9-12
– 2004, La hermenéutica, Madrid, Cristiandad
– 2011, Reconstruir la deconstrucción, in
– 2012, Manifiesto del nuevo realismo, Santiago, Ariadna

Jerez, J.L.
– 2012a, Exposición sucinta de una hermenéutica analógico-contextual, “Hermes analógica”, 3
– 2012b, Hermenéutica analógica: una política interpretativa para nuestro presente. Entrevista a Mauricio Beuchot, “Horizontes filosóficos”, 2: 171-188

Searle, J.
– 2004, La construcción de la realidad social, Barcelona, Paidós

Vattimo, G.
– 2010, Adiós a la verdad, Barcelona, Gedisa

Vattimo, G. and Rovatti, P.A. (eds)
– 1995, El pensamiento débil, Madrid, Cátedra

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4  Beuchot, Nihilismo y realismo, Beuchot and Jerez 2013a: 35.

5  «He adoptado en un artículo de hace algunos meses con el que anunciaba el congreso [La República, 8 de agosto de 2011], la forma de Manifiesto, asociándome al sentido de ese manifiesto que decía “un fantasma da vueltas por Europa”. Cuando Marx y Engels lo escribían no era para anunciar urbi et orbi que habían descubierto el comunismo, sino para constatar que los comunistas eran muchos» (Ferraris 2012: Prólogo).

6  In the terms used by John Searle: phenomenalist realism. I am referring to phenomenalist idealism and to social constructiveness. The first one states reality is mind states and the second that reality is only socially built, and that what we conceive as reality is nothing but a conventional agreement.

7  Cf. Ferraris 2004: 42 [translation of this quote was realized only for better understanding of this text. Full book has not been translated, N.d.T.]

8  Double quoting has been called by Ferraris ironical process. In this process reality, truth, etc. are “reality”, “truth”.

9  Derrida and Ferraris 2009.

10  See, Searle 2004: 159-184.

11Ibidem: 169.

12  Jerez 2012a: 13-23, or also Beuchot and Jerez 2013b.

13  Vattimo 2010 [no English translation available, N.d.T.]

14  Jerez 2012b: 171-188 [translation of this quote has been made for better understanding of the paper only. It is not officially translated into English yet, N.d.T.]

15  Vattimo and Rovatti 1995.

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Per citare questo articolo

Notizia bibliografica

José Luis Jerez, «Notes on a new analogical realism»Rivista di estetica, 57 | 2014, 251-256.

Notizia bibliografica digitale

José Luis Jerez, «Notes on a new analogical realism»Rivista di estetica [Online], 57 | 2014, online dal 01 novembre 2014, consultato il 17 juin 2024. URL:; DOI:

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