“The Gate of Reality”: Hedwig Conrad-Martius’s Idea of Reality in Realontologie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The question “what is reality?” that opens Realontologie (HCM, 1923), the establishing book in Hedwig Conrad-Martius’s (HCM) oeuvre, establishes her realistic metaphysics. In her opinion, the firmly established “blinding insight” in modern philosophy regarding the unfathomable contrast between the ideal and the real blocks any access to the question of reality. To counter this, HCM’s ontology seeks the “gateway of reality”, meaning the datum-point where things “elevate” themselves from nonexistence or mere ideal existence but do not yet arrive at “operative Being” or realistic fulfillment. The discussion in this chapter distills three characteristics of the real that should be capable of addressing what she refers to as the “task of Being”. Each is personally imposed upon the real and brings about the fulfillment of the essence inherent in it: corporeality (Leibhaftigkeit), selfness (Selbsthaftigkeit), and primordiality (Primordialität). The suggested interpretation of each of these three seeks to unravel the contrast between the real and the ideal in favor of what she regards as the only genuine and primordial opposition that separates the real from nonexistence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
ISSN (Print)2523-8760
ISSN (Electronic)2523-8779

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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