Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The persistence of modernity

“Consequently I shall argue that postmodernism at its best might be seen as a self-critical – a skeptical, ironic, but nevertheless unrelenting – form of modernism; a modernism beyond utopianism, scientism and foundationalism; in short, a postmetaphisical modernism. A modernism beyond metaphysics would be a new ‘Gestalt’ of modernity; perhaps we are witnessing the emergence of such a ‘Gestalt’. A postmetaphysical modernity would be a modernity without the dream of ultimate reconciliation, but it would still preserve the rational, subversive and experimental spirit of modern democracy, modern art, modern science and modern individualism. In its moral and intellectual substance it would be the heir and not the end of the great tradition of European Enlightment.”

Albrecht Wellmer, The Persistence of Modernity, Essays on Aesthetics, Ethics, and Postmodernism. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991, translated by David Midgley

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