The Three Logics of Modernity and the Double Bind of the Modern Imagination

Thesis Eleven 81 (1):63-79 (2005)

This article distinguishes between two constituents of modernity which together stand for the essence of modernity. It also distinguishes between three logics or tendencies in modernity. In pursuit of these aims it concentrates on a single issue, arguing that one cannot understand modernity, particularly not its heterogeneous character, from the viewpoint of the technological imagination (the Heideggerian Gestell) alone. The article interprets modernity as a world that draws on two sources of imagination: the technological and the historical. Most of this article is devoted to discussing these two kinds of imagination, their conflicts, balances, and imbalances within each of the three logics of modernity. The article demonstrates that the balance between the two kinds of imagination is different in each of the three logics, and that the role of the historical imagination is different not only in terms of force and magnitude but also in kind
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DOI 10.1177/0725513605051614
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