Legitimate Reality and Ethical Authority
Modernity set itself in historical motion and progress after an emphatic rejection of religious dogma during the age of reason. The development of a Judeo-Christian Western type of sense of self produced the individualized habit of self-interpretation in a historical context, which eventually became a field of private subjectivity that in Modernity is ideally conceived of as autonomous. In this book, I argue that both history and autonomous individuality are essential principles of order and organization in the globalized world. Although history and individuality cannot be dispensed with in global interaction, they ought to be seen as ideals that emanate culturally from Europe, and not as essential aspects of universal humanity. This perspective on history and individuality will produce the basis to both phenomenologically understand the essence of history and modern individuality and criticize their ascendance. The critical stance is necessary toward history because it is imposed as the only legitimate reality, and toward autonomous individuality because it is imposed as the only universal principle for human morality. Nevertheless, the hermeneutic stance is necessary because these ideals have already become part of our experienced reality: We perceive ourselves as individuals and we perceive time as an indefinite sequence of events along which humanity strives for betterment and progress. But is this advancement actually happening or is it only a part of our imagined self-interpretation qua modern individuals? The answer to this question can only disclose a paradox: We are only ideally modern or Modernity is only a myth, yet already one that is relevant for modern global culture and disciplined interaction right now.
KeywordsManifold Europe Cage Amid Coherence
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.