Modernity and Its Discontents

Author: Steven B. Smith
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300220987
Format: PDF, Docs
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Steven B. Smith examines the concept of modernity, not as the end product of historical developments but as a state of mind. He explores modernism as a source of both pride and anxiety, suggesting that its most distinctive characteristics are the self-criticisms and doubts that accompany social and political progress. Providing profiles of the modern project’s most powerful defenders and critics—from Machiavelli and Spinoza to Saul Bellow and Isaiah Berlin—this provocative work of philosophy and political science offers a novel perspective on what it means to be modern and why discontent and sometimes radical rejection are its inevitable by-products.

Modernity and Its Discontents

Author: Steven B. Smith
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300198396
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Steven B. Smith examines the concept of modernity, not as the end product of historical developments but as a state of mind. He explores modernism as a source of both pride and anxiety, suggesting that its most distinctive characteristics are the self-criticisms and doubts that accompany social and political progress. Providing profiles of the modern project s most powerful defenders and critics from Machiavelli and Spinoza to Saul Bellow and Isaiah Berlin this provocative work of philosophy and political science offers a novel perspective on what it means to be modern and why discontent and sometimes radical rejection are its inevitable by-products."

Modernity and Its Discontents

Author: James L. Marsh
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 9780823213450
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The introduction by Merold Westphal sets the scene: Two books, two visions of philosophy, two friends and sometimes colleagues.... Modernity and Its Discontents is a debate between Caputo and Marsh in which each upheld their opposing philosphical positions by critical modernism and post-modernism. The book opens with a critique of each debater of the other's previous work. With its passionate point-counterpoint form, the book recalls the philosphical dialogues of classical times, but the writing style remains lucid and uncluttered. Taking the failure of Englightenment ideals as their common ground, the debaters challenge each other's ideas on the nature of post-foundationalist critique. At the core of the argument lies the timely question of the role that each person can play in creating a truly humane society.

Modernity and Bourgeois Life

Author: Jerrold Seigel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107018102
Format: PDF, Kindle
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What does it mean to be modern? In the nineteenth century a consensus emerged that Western Europe was giving birth to a new form of life in which bourgeois activities, people, attitudes and values played a key role. Jerrold Seigel offers a magisterial account of the development of European modernity.

Why America Needs Religion

Author: Guenter Lewy
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802841629
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this trenchant analysis of the moral decline of modern America, Lewy describes the moral crisis caused by secular modernity and points to the role of religiousness as a necessary bulwark against today's social ills.

The Demon in Democracy

Author: Ryszard Legutko
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 1594039925
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Ryszard Legutko lived and suffered under communism for decades—and he fought with the Polish anti-communist movement to abolish it. Having lived for two decades under a liberal democracy, however, he has discovered that these two political systems have a lot more in common than one might think. They both stem from the same historical roots in early modernity, and accept similar presuppositions about history, society, religion, politics, culture, and human nature. In The Demon in Democracy, Legutko explores the shared objectives between these two political systems, and explains how liberal democracy has over time lurched towards the same goals as communism, albeit without Soviet style brutality. Both systems, says Legutko, reduce human nature to that of the common man, who is led to believe himself liberated from the obligations of the past. Both the communist man and the liberal democratic man refuse to admit that there exists anything of value outside the political systems to which they pledged their loyalty. And both systems refuse to undertake any critical examination of their ideological prejudices.

The Dark Side of Modernity

Author: Jeffrey C. Alexander
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745665063
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this book, one of the world’s leading social theorists presents a critical, alarmed, but also nuanced understanding of the post-traditional world we inhabit today. Jeffrey Alexander writes about modernity as historical time and social condition, but also as ideology and utopia. The idea of modernity embodies the Enlightenment’s noble hopes for progress and rationality, but its reality brings great suffering and exposes the destructive impulses that continue to motivate humankind. Alexander examines how twentieth-century theorists struggled to comprehend the Janus-faced character of modernity, which looks backward and forward at the same time. Weber linked the triumph of worldly asceticism to liberating autonomy but also ruthless domination, describing flights from rationalization as systemic and dangerous. Simmel pointed to the otherness haunting modernity, even as he normalized the stranger. Eisenstadt celebrated Axial Age transcendence, but acknowledged its increasing capacity for barbarity. Parsons heralded American community, but ignored modernity’s fragmentations. Rather than seeking to resolve modernity’s contradictions, Alexander argues that social theory should accept its Janus-faced character. It is a dangerous delusion to think that modernity can eliminate evil. Civil inclusion and anti-civil exclusion are intertwined. Alexander enumerates dangerous frictions endemic to modernity, but he also suggests new lines of social amelioration and emotional repair.

Hegel s Critique of Liberalism

Author: Steven B. Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226763507
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Hegel's Critique of Liberalism, Steven B. Smith examines Hegel's critique of rights-based liberalism and its relevance to contemporary political concerns. Smith argues that Hegel reformulated classic liberalism, preserving what was of value while rendering it more attentive to the dynamics of human history and the developmental structure of the moral personality. Hegel's goal, Smith suggests, was to find a way of incorporating both the ancient emphasis on the dignity and even architectonic character of political life with the modern concern for freedom, rights, and mutual recognition. Smith's insightful analysis reveals Hegel's relevance not only to contemporary political philosophers concerned with normative issues of liberal theory but also to political scientists who have urged a revival of the state as a central concept of political inquiry.

Saving Persuasion

Author: Bryan Garsten
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674037510
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Saving Persuasion, Bryan Garsten uncovers the early modern origins of today's suspicious attitude toward rhetoric and seeks to loosen its grip on contemporary political theory. He argues that the artful practice of persuasion ought to be viewed as a crucial part of democratic politics. Against theorists who advocate a rationalized ideal of deliberation aimed at consensus, Garsten argues that a controversial politics of partiality and passion can produce a more engaged and more deliberative kind of democratic discourse.

Hobbes s Critique of Religion and Related Writings

Author: Leo Strauss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226776824
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Leo Strauss’s The Political Philosophy of Hobbes deservedly ranks among his most widely acclaimed works. In it Strauss argues that the basis for Hobbes’s natural and political science is his interest in “self-knowledge of man as he really is.” The writings collected in this book, each written prior to that classic volume, complement that account. Thus at long last, this book allows us to have a complete picture of Strauss’s interpretation of Hobbes, the thinker pivotal to the fundamental theme of his life’s work: the conflicting demands of philosophy and revelation, or as he termed it, “the theologico-political problem.” It is no exaggeration to say that Strauss’s work on Hobbes’s critique of religion is essential to his analysis of Hobbes’s political philosophy, and vice versa. This volume will spark new interest in Hobbes’s explication of the Bible and in his understanding of religion by revealing previously neglected dimensions and motives of Hobbes’s “theology.” At the same time, scholars interested in the intellectual development of Leo Strauss will find in these writings the missing link, as it were, between his two early books,Spinoza’s Critique of Religion and The Political Philosophy of Hobbes. In addition, this volume makes available for the first time in English a letter, a book outline, an extended review, an engagement with legal positivism, and an account of Strauss’s work on Hobbes by Heinrich Meier, all of which shed light on Strauss’s concerns and his approach to Hobbes in particular, as well as to modern political thought and life.