What's Left of Enlightenment?: A Postmodern Question

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 62%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $9.99   
  • New (7) from $21.09   
  • Used (5) from $9.99   


It has become increasingly clear in recent years that, for all their differences, the many varieties of thinking commonly grouped together under the rubric of “postmodernism” share at least one salient characteristic: they all depend upon a stereotyped account of the Enlightenment. Postmodernity requires a “modernity” to be repudiated and superseded, and the tenets of this modernity have invariably been identified with the so-called Enlightenment Project. This volume aims to explore critically the now conventional opposition between Enlightenment and Postmodernity and question some of the conclusions drawn from it.

In so doing, the authors focus on three general areas. Part I, “Enlightenment or Postmodernity?”, reflects on the way in which contemporary discussion characterizes the two movements as radical alternatives. Part II, “Critical Confrontations,” provides a kind of archaeology of this opposition by charting a series of critical engagements by those who have affirmed or demeaned Enlightenment values in the twentieth century. Part III, “A Postmodern Enlightenment?”, complicates the perceived dichotomy between Enlightenment and Postmodernity by pointing to the existence within the Enlightenment of elements frequently seen as characteristic of Postmodernity.

The contributors are Lorraine Daston, Dena Goodman, David Hollinger, Lawrence E. Klein, Jonathan Knudsen, Michael Meranze, Richard Rorty, Hans Sluga, and Johnson Kent Wright.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume is an original and stimulating contribution to modern intellectual history and to the history of philosophy. The scholarship is superb but not in the usual sense. It is superb because it is so reflective, self-critical, and sometimes polemical and partisan. Its authors are senior scholars in philosophy, intellectual history, and cultural studies who address large questions in their fields." —Gary Kates, Trinity University

"This remarkable book reexamines the intellectual history of 18th-century France and Germany in order to bring to light a richer, more nuanced view of this pivotal period in European intellectual history. . . . Every essay in this collection is of great intellectual rigor and constitutes a serious contribution to the enduring question, "What is Enlightenment?". . . . Although essays dealing with postmodernism tend to be arcane or incomprehensible, the essays in this book are difficult, challenging, and wonderfully readable."—Choice

"Giorgio Agamben is perhaps one of the most important philosophers and literary critics writing in Italy today, and, given the scarcity of philosopher-critics translated into English from Italian, one should certainly be thankful to Stanford University Press for translating this important thinker."—Philosophy in Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804740265
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Michael Baker is Anthony P. Meier Family Professor of History and Director of the Humanities Center at Stanford University. His works include Inventing the French Revolution: Essays on French Political Culture in the Eighteenth Century. Peter Hanns Reill is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies. Among his works is The German Enlightenment and the Rise of Historicism.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Enlightenment or Postmodernity?
The Enlightenment and the Genealogy of Cultural Conflict in the United States 7
The Continuity Between the Enlightenment and 'Postmodernism' 19
Pt. II Critical Confrontations
The Historicist Enlightenment 39
Heidegger and the Critique of Reason 50
"A Bright Clear Mirror": Cassirer's The Philosophy of the Enlightenment 71
Critique and Government: Michel Foucault and the Question 'What Is Enlightenment?' 102
Pt. III A Postmodern Enlightenment?
Enlightenment Fears, Fears of Enlightenment 115
Difference: An Enlightenment Concept 129
Enlightenment as Conversation 148
Notes 169
Index 193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)