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.

The Pathogenesis of Modernity: The Limits of the Enlightenment

The pathogenesis of modernity: The limits of the enlightenment

The focus of this chapter is a variety of debates that arose in the period immediately following the Second World War concerning the status of the Enlightenment as the defining moment in western modernity. While Blumenberg shifted much of the work of modernity from the Enlightenment to forces deep in Christianity in order to release modernity from processes of mere secularization, the resulting celebration of modernity as an act of self-fulfilment did not stop the mounting critical attitudes to modernity. The question of the Holocaust and the world-wide penetration of capitalism, posed by the liberal left, and the reaction from cultural conservatives, who sought to discredit modernity as ...

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