What's Left of Enlightenment?: A Postmodern Question
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Stanford University Press (2001)
For all their differences, the many varieties of thinking commonly known as 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 the tenets of this modernity have invariably been identified with the Enlightenment Project. This volume aims to explore critically the opposition between Enlightenment and Postmodernity and question some of the conclusions drawn from it. 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, charts 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.
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