This accessible and comprehensive overview of the main issues on the modernity-postmodernity controversy is the first clear-sighted book on the subject. It surveys modern social theory, from Kant to Weber with economy and masterly precision. And evaluates the work of the Frankfurt School, Arendy, Strauss, Luhmann, Habermas, Heller, Castoriadis and Touraine, before moving on to consider the approaches of the leading writers on postmodenrity: Lyotard, Vattimo, Derrida, Foucault and Jameson. The result is a new way of conceptualizing the modernity-postmodernity debate, and an exciting new approach to the roots of contemporary social theory.

Introduction: Knowledge, Power and the Self

Introduction: Knowledge, Power and the Self

Introduction: Knowledge, power and the self

The central thesis of this book is that the divide between modernity and postmodernity obscures the radicality of the modern itself. My argument is that the postmodern impulse has been with us from the advent of modernity itself and that the discourses of modernity began earlier than the conventional watershed of the Enlightenment, which was less a rupture than a culmination of a process that had begun much earlier. Modernity, for me, entails the very experience of scepticism that is normally attributed to postmodernity, which is not, consequently, the radical and ruptural break that it is often held to be. Modernity is itself founded on a scepticism concerning some of the central dimensions of ...

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