Foucault and Mamardashvili: The Critique of Modernity and the Heritage of the Enlightenment (Towards a Sociology of the 21st Century) Cover Image
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Foucault and Mamardashvili: The Critique of Modernity and the Heritage of the Enlightenment (Towards a Sociology of the 21st Century)
Foucault and Mamardashvili: The Critique of Modernity and the Heritage of the Enlightenment (Towards a Sociology of the 21st Century)

Author(s): Deyan Deyanov
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институт по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: Traditions and Transitions in Sociology; Philosophical discourse of Modernity; critic of modernity and heir of the Enilghtenment; critique of progressism; the chances of a reason

Summary/Abstract: The article raises the problem of the conditions of possibility under which we can be in the same time critics of modernity and heirs of the Enilghtenment. In the beginning, the conviction of Foucault is criticized that we face a philosophical choice between the two modes of analytical interrogation originating in Kant: analytic of truth and critical ontology of the present. Philosophy as a discourse of modernity does not in fact stand before such a choice: the critical interrogation of the contemporaneity, i.e. the interrogation of the critical ontology of the present, is there placed in the framework of the analytic of truth. However, the critic of modernity who wants also to be a heir of the Enlightenment does not renounce to the analytic of truth but reverses this relation: he puts the analytic of truth in the framework of the ontology of the present. Hence it becames already possible to pass from the critique of progressism (e.g. Weber, the Frankfurt school, Foucault) to a positive elucidation of regress – regress here being conceived not as a decline or as a return to the noble savage but as a passage back on the steps of modernity and a resolving of the contradictions it has left after itself. The regress so elucidated requires to retain the quantitative expansion of the modern capitalism, therefore a new economical ethos, and hence, to follow Weber, a new religious ethics. This is why the article finishes by raising the problem of the chances of a reason (and a freedom) within the limits of religion: it is these chances that represent the deep condition for the critic of modernity to stay a heir of the Enlightenment.

  • Issue Year: 34/2002
  • Issue No: Special
  • Page Range: 32-40
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English