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While his commitment to the Enlightenment project is indeed laudable, Habermas refuses to acknowledge the fact that Modernity s characteristic faith in the ineluctable progress of reason has been decisively refuted Already, in his Theses on the Philosophy of History, Walter Benjamin exposed the ideology of Progress for what it had become bankrupt and complicit with the ascendance of fascism The horrors of the second World War were not the result of a regression into barbarism, but were rather While his commitment to the Enlightenment project is indeed laudable, Habermas refuses to acknowledge the fact that Modernity s characteristic faith in the ineluctable progress of reason has been decisively refuted Already, in his Theses on the Philosophy of History, Walter Benjamin exposed the ideology of Progress for what it had become bankrupt and complicit with the ascendance of fascism The horrors of the second World War were not the result of a regression into barbarism, but were rather the culmination and apotheosis of instrumental reason genocide was committed systematically and efficiently by functionaries and technocrats see Eichmann, Adolf Likewise, Hiroshima and the subsequent nuclear arms race are the irrational culmination of the progress of Reason the potential self annihilation of all life on earth, of reason itself The project of Modernity ended with the horrors of Auschwitz and Hiroshima.This is not, however, to affirm the premature proclamations of postmodernity and postmodernism Lyotard, Baudrillard, Jameson, etc With regard to this, Habermas is rightly critical but for the wrong reasons The epoch into which the world has entered is only POST modern it is a period of transition, or one still wracked with growing pains Whatever the meaning of our age may be, we must await its maturation to recognize it for what it is.Nevertheless, this is not by any means to dismiss or denigrate Habermas work, reactionary though his thought may well be His hyper critical and rather catty attitude toward his colleagues and contemporaries does rub me the wrong way [[ Free Epub ]] ☚ The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures ☔ This critique of French philosophy and the history of German philosophy is a tour de force that has the immediacy and accessibility of the lecture form and the excitement of an encounter across national cultural boundaries as Habermas takes up the challenge posed by the radical critique of reason in contemporary French postmodernism The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity is a tour de force that has the immediacy and accessibility of the lecture form and the excitement of an encounter across, national cultural boundaries Habermas takes up the challenge posed by the radical critique of reason in contemporary French poststructuralism Tracing the odyssey of the philosophical discourse of modernity, Habermas s strategy is to return to those historical crossroads at which Hegel and the Young Hegelians, Nietzsche and Heidegger made the fateful decisions that led to this outcome His aim is to identify and clearly mark out a road indicated but not taken the determinate negation of subject centered reason through the concept of communicative rationality As The Theory of Communicative Action served to place this concept within the history of social theory, these lectures locate it within the history of philosophy Habermas examines the odyssey of the philosophical discourse of modernity from Hegel through the present and tests his own ideas about the appropriate form of a postmodern discourse through dialogs with a broad range of past and present critics and theorists The lectures on Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Cornelius Castoriadis are of particular note since they are the first fruits of the recent cross fertilization between French and German thought Habermas s dialogue with Foucault begun in person as the first of these lectures were delivered in Paris inculminates here in two appreciative yet intensely argumentative lectures His discussion of the literary theoretical reception of Derrida in America launched at Cornell inissues here in a long excursus on the genre distinction between philosophy and literature The lectures were reworked for the final time in seminars at Boston College and first published in Germany in the fall of Unreadable marxist drivel Very useful to get a handle on difficult concepts in Western philosophy such as the dialectic of the Enlightenment In fairly quick paced chapters, the book does an admirable job of explaining why various 20th century approaches have been dead ends, including the genealogy of power Foucault , the heroic projections of Dasein Heidegger , deconstruction Derrida , and negative dialectics Horkheimer Adorno Habermas is not as dismissive of Luhmann s systems theory 1984 , but Habermas is no Very useful to get a handle on difficult concepts in Western philosophy such as the dialectic of the Enlightenment In fairly quick paced chapters, the book does an admirable job of explaining why various 20th century approaches have been dead ends, including the genealogy of power Foucault , the heroic projections of Dasein Heidegger , deconstruction Derrida , and negative dialectics Horkheimer Adorno Habermas is not as dismissive of Luhmann s systems theory 1984 , but Habermas is not very much impressed with systems theory either, as Luhmann reduces communication to just so much noise in the system and therefore, Luhmann leaves no space for reason, or validity claims, severely truncating the human endeavor, depriving it of its normative content Luhmann is another antihumanist in a long line of counter enlightenment thinking, a line of that goes back all the way to the early modernity of the 17th century A masterful overview.For those unfamiliar with Habermas altogether, these twelve lectures are a farfruitful place to begin than his later publications, such as the inordinately dense Beyond Facts and Norms 1992 I vaguely remember liking this around 1998, but I cannot remember a god damn thing about it, which means that I am old 39 and maybe that this is not the single greatest book in the world Got any soup Tough read Nevertheless it is AMAZING Habermas discusses continental philosophy since Hegel, focusing broadly on the critique of modernity as formulated by Nietzsche and extended through a Nietzsche Bataille Foucault path and a Nietzsche Heidegger Derrida path I don t entirely agree with Habermas, but he is an amazing philosopher. One of those books I read in college which is marked up, well thumbed, and I probably wrote a B paper on it ten years ago but I really only remember maybe a sentence s worth if that at this point. El tema me gusta, sin embargo detesto a los fil sofos que escriben en forma laber ntica, es decir, ellos ponen palabras tras palabras y tu intentas dilucidar que cojones han querido decir para que despu s de 400 hojas te des cuenta que podr a haberse explicado en tan s lo 28. Although I don t always agree with Habermas, his works are always challenging and insightful so is this book Written in his typical dense, hard to follow style, this book offers a treasure trove of insights on different philosophical takes on modernity.