Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 21 (2):177-193 (1999)

I will begin by distinguishing between three logics or tendencies in modernity: the logic of technology, the logic of the functional allocation of social positions, and the logic of political power. This conception of three logics or developmental tendencies suggests that the modern world is heterogeneous. Each logic, as it exists potentially, contains within it more than one option. The development itself excludes certain options either forever, or merely for the present. If there were one logic, fewer and fewer potentialities would present themselves in time, and the unfolding of the potentialities would become narrower and increasingly unilinear. However, if there is not only one logic, but three, and if they are relatively although not entirely independent, then the selection of one logic from the three possiblities is not just an internal matter because the environment is essential in the process of eliminating certain possibilities and letting others evolve more forcefully. A category cannot develop possibilities other than the ones which lie dormant in it at the moment of its conception. In this respect the development of each of the logics of modernity is self-propelling. Yet, which of the possiblities will be selected and which of them eliminated—for the short-term or long-term—is not written on the body of the category as it exists potentially. I may add, that even if the evolution of one of the constituents is thwarted for only an historically insignificant time, its character will be different, and this may influence the other logics in a different manner. This is why it would be foolish to think of the developmental logics in teleological terms. Of course, retrospectively, one can establish a teleological sequence, but this would prove only the one thing we already know: that all categories can develop out of themselves only those realities which exist in a state of slumber during their coming-into-being.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0093-4240
DOI 10.5840/gfpj19992129
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