Rights-- The New Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns

Overview

In recent years, an increasing number of thinkers have grown suspicious of the Enlightenment ideals of progress, reason, and freedom. These critics, many inspired by Martin Heidegger, have attacked modern philosophy's attempt to ground a vision of the world upon the liberty of the human subject. Pointing to the rise of totalitarian regimes in this century, they argue that the Enlightenment has promoted the enslavement of human beings rather than their freedom.

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Overview

In recent years, an increasing number of thinkers have grown suspicious of the Enlightenment ideals of progress, reason, and freedom. These critics, many inspired by Martin Heidegger, have attacked modern philosophy's attempt to ground a vision of the world upon the liberty of the human subject. Pointing to the rise of totalitarian regimes in this century, they argue that the Enlightenment has promoted the enslavement of human beings rather than their freedom.

In this first of four volumes that aim to revitalize the fundamental values of modern political thought, one of the leading figures in the contemporary revival of liberalism in France responds to these critics and offers a philosophically cogent defense of a humanistic modernity. Luc Ferry reexamines the philosopical basis of the contemporary retreat from the Enlightenment and then suggests his own alternative, which defends the ideals of modernity while giving due consideration to the objections of the critics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226244716
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Series: Political Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Luc Ferry has taught at the Sorbonne and at the University of Caen and is the former Minister of Youth, National Education, and Research in the French government. He is the author or coauthor of eight previous books published by the University of Chicago Press, including, most recently, The New Ecological Order and Man Made God.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction
Part One - The Rejection of Historicist Modernity: Leo Strauss
Preamble: Historicism and Positivism
1. "The Three Waves of Modernity": The Dissolution of Philosophy into Historicism
2. The Limit's of Strauss's Critique of Modernity: German Idealism and the Plurality of Modern Philosophies of History
Part Two - The Preconditions for a Nonhistoricist Modernity: The Young Fichte
Preamble: Fichte's Critique of Metaphysics and the Basis of Natural Right
3. The Antinomy of Realism and Idealism
4. The Deduction of Rights as an Area of Intersubjectivity
Conclusion: From the Critique of Historicism to the Critical Philosophy of History
Notes
Index

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