Hans Blumenberg is professor of philosophy at the University ofMünster. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age is included in the series Studies in Contemporary. which launched the Lowith-Blumenberg debate over the nature of secularization and the legitimacy of the modern age. ‘ The widespread discussion the book. Blumenberg. Hans. The legitimacy of the modern age. (Sruclies in contemporary German social thoughtl. Translation of. Die Legitimitlit der Nemeit. 2nd rev. ed.
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Three Elements of Stakeholder Legitimacy. Request removal from index. Indeed, modern politics has rather, at least since Hobbes, aimed at the suppression of sovereignty in its voluntarist and heteronomic capacities; and if, as Schmitt thought inpolitics must also disappear with sovereignty or the political, in its heteronomic dimensionthen politics or the political will legitimady been only a stage in the shaping of modernity.
The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – Hans Blumenberg – Google Books
It has often been said that postmodernity inaugurated a more distant and ironic relationship with regard to the values of modernity. Here the discussion becomes much more detailed and exegetical than in earlier portions of the book, and I shall not try to summarise it. The self-government of society, and the autonomy of Man which underlies it, is not therefore in the final analysis, a delusion, but truly the limit of modernity.
All our ways of talking, acting and hoping are infected by these concepts. But the latter book waited only six years to be translated into English. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age. The question is no longer one of knowing how the constitutive evils of the human essence will find their ultimate meaning beyond the world to put it simply, the question of salvationbut whether, and how, those evils, which are only relative to a fixed period in the history of mankind and therefore contingentwill be, at least partially, reduced.
The Enlightenment has been a favourite target ever since Adorno blamed it for Los Angeles. He thinks that the Middle Ages reached a predestined crisis when the notion of Divine Omnipotence was thought through by Ockham to its bitter end. Instead, Blumenberg argues,the idea of progress It sees with one eye of faith and the other of reason.
In short, secularism is an illusion, and modernity a myth. He sees the medieval period as driven to insist on that omnipotence by the break which it had made with ancient thought.
When people who take this line are asked what alternative concepts they would recommend, they usually reply that the question is premature. From then on, the burden of proof was on those who like St Thomas Aquinas thought that Aristotle was not wholly wrong, and that curiosity might not be simply a vice the excitation of an unruly member, the inquiring eye as homologue of the pushy penis.
We are, they say, trapped in a conceptual scheme which distorts the way things really are. The belief that things might well get better and better the more technological mastery we acquire has almost vanished, even from the popular press. The World as Gods SelfExhaustion.
Hans Blumenberg: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – VoegelinView
It is not a response to eternal theological problems by mankind in the sense that Man, and not God, would form the reply to these questionsbut rather a questioning which begins with Man and the legitimate confidence which he may have in his rational powers. In this sense we may say that Blumenberg understands modernity through the prism of postmodernity, or even that modernity to him represents a proto-postmodernity.
Adele Santana – – Journal of Business Ethics 2: Is modernity, in the words of Nietzsche, a high or a low civilization? Modern Instrumentalization of Theory and the Problem of Measure. Or, if not exactly a champion, at least somebody whose upbeat history we can cite against those who revel in belatedness, and against those who fear that telling big sweeping geistesgeschichtlich stories will reinforce our bad old totalising urges. Nietzsche, at his worst, gestured towards some narcissistic and inarticulate hunks of Bronze Age beefcake.
Blumenberg deploys an array of arguments in the first part of The Legitimacy of the Modern Agea good number of which are ad hominem. Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of or Modern Agefirst edition, ; second edition, significantly revised and enlarged, published between and Religion in the Public Sphere.
Modernity does not constitute an epoch, since it generates no new rhe. References to blujenberg book The Ability to Mourn: Preludes to a Future Overstepping of Limits. It is, moreover, impossible for us ever to escape from the theological. What we want, on this view, is acknowledgment of discontinuity and open-endedness and contingency, rather than either nostalgia or exuberance.
It should not be thought, however, that Blumenberg wants to revive Enlightenment scientism. He has translated eight hundred pages of very tough German as lucidly as literalness permits.
This makes it a slow book to read, for one constantly has to chew over novel interpretations of familiar texts. The same may be said of the notion of the infinity of historical progress. Schmitt is not properly speaking as an anti-modern, in the sense of being modrn for the medieval theologico-political order.
LMAI, 2, pp. Modernity as Secularized Theology Another example of a misinterpreted act mldern modernity is that of the modern state conceived as a secularization of the divine omnipotence.
Others gesture in the direction of a monastery in Ladakh, or a commune in Oregon. Michael Federici on Eric Voegelin. It does not incorporate Man within a transcendent perspective, but within a perspective of immanence. Modernity is thus the reply to a question to which the Middle Ages were unable to respond; and since replying to a question also generally involves changing its formulation, we may say that modernity is also and above all else a reformulation of the questions posed during the theological age through the use of new terms.
Modernity thus expropriates theological notions, transferring them outside of their authentic semantic context and into another context in which they are trivialized and their meaning dissolved. Everything has been thought out anew. Austin Harrington – – Thesis Eleven 94 1: These answers consisted in variations on the claim that the point of our lives lies in our contribution to an infinite task — the acquisition of Baconian knowledge-as-power, the satisfaction of theoretical curiosity — which lies before the species as a whole.
The Enlightenment, as Blumenberg understands it, does not so much celebrate the triumph of rationality as set out in a discerning and concerned fashion the problems engendered by this new rationality. However, in reality, those values were not posited as absolutes by modernity itself.
Blumenberg wants to make a virtue of what the Romantics rightly diagnosed as a necessity for those who think of empirical science as the paradigmatic human activity: