Enlightenment's Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age

Enlightenment's Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age

by John Gray (2), Gray John
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415124751

ISBN-13: 9780415124751

Pub. Date: 10/19/1995

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

John Gray argues that all the intellectual traditions of modernity are applications of the Enlightenment project, which has proved to be self-undermining. This effect was due to the project's extension of rational self-criticism and demystification to its own foundational commitments which ultimately dissolved them. From this position Gray argues that both the desire…  See more details below

Overview

John Gray argues that all the intellectual traditions of modernity are applications of the Enlightenment project, which has proved to be self-undermining. This effect was due to the project's extension of rational self-criticism and demystification to its own foundational commitments which ultimately dissolved them. From this position Gray argues that both the desire of fundamentalist liberalism to salvage the Enlightenment, and the traditionalist or reactionary desire to reverse it, are doomed to failure. The central problem of contemporary political thought and practice, the author contends, is that of securing peaceful co-existence for incommensurable world-views in an intellectual and cultural context that is at once post-rational and post-traditional. While it is crucial to resist the re-enchantment of the world by new forms of fundamentalism, neither the Left nor the Right in any of their traditional forms are able, according to Gray, to offer a viable alternative.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415124751
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
10/19/1995
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
9.21(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1Against the new liberalism1
2Notes toward a definition of the political thought of Tlon11
3Toleration: a post-liberal perspective18
4Enlightenment, illusion and the fall of the Soviet state31
5The post-communist societies in transition34
6Agnostic liberalism64
7The undoing of conservatism87
8After the new liberalism120
9From post-liberalism to pluralism131
10Enlightenment's wake144
Notes185
Index196

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