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Copy of Habermas' "Modernity vs. Postmodernity"
Transcript of Copy of Habermas' "Modernity vs. Postmodernity"
(1980) by Jurgen Habermas German philosopher
Studied under Horkheimer and Adorno
Member of Frankfurt School
Proponent of Critical Theory
History of the "modern" 5th Cenutry Rome Renaissance French Enlightenment Present The Latin "modernus" was used for the first time in the late 5th century in order to distinguish Rome's Christian present from its pagan past During Renaissance "modern" actually meant the desire to relate to the past - to recover the past through revival of classics With the French Enlightenment, the "spell" of the past was dissolved and "modern" began to be defined as a break with the past.
"Specifically, the idea of being 'modern' by looking back to the ancients changed with the belief, inspired by modern science, in the infinite progress of knowledge and in the infinite advance towards social and moral betterment" (1947)
The "modern" is defined by its relationship with the past
"With varying content, the term 'modern' again and again expresses the consciousness of an epoch that relates itself to the past of antiquity, in order to view itself as the result of a transition from the old to the new" (1947)
The "most recent modernism simply makes an abstract opposition between tradition and the present" (1948) Aesthetic Modernity took shape with writing of Charles Baudelaire unfolded with avant garde movements climaxed with Dadaists and Surrealists "Aesthetic modernity is characterized by attitudes which find common focus in a changed consciousness of time" (1948) Driven to go where no one else has The "cult of the new" The Problem of
Aesthetic Modernity It made art into an autonomous sphere, seperated from the everyday Art and the Everday Surrealism and Dadaism actually did try to break down barrier between art and everyday, but Habermas calls their attempt "nonsense experiments" because they wanted to call everything art and everyone an artist Also, these groups only focused on breaking down barrier in relation to one of the three cultural spheres -- art. Habermas wants aesthetic experience to become part of everyday life The Enlightenment Project The project of modernity for 18th century Enlightenment philosophers was to develop objective science, universal morality and law, and autonomous art Wanted "to utilize this accumulation of specialized culture for the enrichment of everyday life, for the rational organization of everyday social life" (1951) The 20th century shattered this project because the specialization of these fields actually cut them off from the everyday The Problem The Modernity Project Habermas wants a breakdown of the autonomous and specialized fields of art, morality, and science.
He wants these fields to interact with the everyday and empower humanity to free itself from oppressive forces. Modernism has failed, but we shouldn't give up on project of modernism Postmodernity Daniel Bell
on Modernism Daniel Bell wrote that the crisis of the West was caused by a split between culture and society Blames modernist culture for the dissolution of the Protestant ethic Says modernist culture produced hedonism that is irreconcilable with society The Problem with the Neoconservative Critique of Modernism Habermas says that this critique of modernism does not look at other causes for issues like Capitalism and hedonism, which they blame modernism for spearheading With postmodernism we lose faith in reason and normativity and are subjected to relativism