Previous Chapter Chapter 11: Modernity and the Cultural Question

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Modernity and the Cultural Question
Modernity and the cultural question

We are past the time of generally applicable forms.

(Novalis, Fragment 2167, cited in Luhmann, 1998: 21)

Modernity is a concept which continues to fascinate. Yet like its associated terms in the conceptual set deriving from the modern, the more the term is interrogated the more it seems to evaporate into a series of contradictory definitions. The continuing interest in modernity is all the more surprising, at a time when the mood in the social sciences and humanities has swung away from higher level categories of knowledge which claim universal authority towards a greater sense of diversity difference and singularity. Apart from society nature or humanity it is hard to find a higher level and more general concept ...

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