Hans Blumenberg is professor of philosophy at the University ofMünster. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age is included in the series Studies in Contemporary. which launched the Lowith-Blumenberg debate over the nature of secularization and the legitimacy of the modern age. ‘ The widespread discussion the book. Blumenberg. Hans. The legitimacy of the modern age. (Sruclies in contemporary German social thoughtl. Translation of. Die Legitimitlit der Nemeit. 2nd rev. ed.

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This is to say that it beats the only other two ways we know bout — the ancient attempt to find philosophical foundations, and the medieval attempt to find theological ones. It is to the credit of such post-Heideggerian philosophers as Derrida and Foucault that they avoid this insistence on the belatedness of the modern age. Blumenberg highlights what the notion of historical progress owes to the experience derived from the new discoveries. The German mode of legitimscy up to think about something thd starting with the Greeks and working down through, for example, Cicero, Galileo and Schelling before saying anything off your own bat — is easily parodied.

The fact remains that modernity asserts its novelty, claiming to represent a new beginning, a self-foundation, and an authentic creation of values. The belief that things might well get better and better the more technological mastery we acquire has almost vanished, even from the popular press. It is also, for Blumenberg, a question of going beyond the aestheticization of Schmitt and Heidegger amongst others in order to uncover the true meaning of modernity, which is, undoubtedly, an assertion of reason, but a reason which remains concerned about its own potential whilst turning its back against any absolutizing rationalist excess.

Hans Blumenberg: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – VoegelinView

Blumenberg traces the further development of this excuse in discussions of among others Galileo, Descartes, Voltaire, Hume and Kant.

Hans Blumenberg and the Intellectual History of Technics. References to this book The Ability to Mourn: At the end of his Political Theology ofhe pushes its egotistic and diabolical character to an extreme, not, however, without demonstrating a degree of fascination for this type of nihilism. Austin Harrington – – Thesis Eleven 94 1: The epochal turning is an imperceptible frontier, bound to no crucial date or event. More generally, for Blumenberg, every discourse of deification, infinitization, and of absolutization of the world, history, the state, etc.


It is legitimate due to the necessity which is born out of the impasse caused by the late medieval crisis, and by the failure of theology to answer the question which it itself had posed.

The lesson of that experience is that science is not a closed field, limited by the Pillars of Hercules established by the great models in the past.

In agreement with Denis Trierweiler we believe that this confrontation is crucial.

This borrowing also creates a debt in its turn, aye if that debt is more often than not difficult to express in normative terms: Science Logic and Mathematics. Most intellectuals still think that the most decisive step of all came in the 17th and 18th centuries, when we got out from under prejudice, superstition and the belief in God.

To say that B is the secularization of A and it is only at this semantic level that the notion of secularization acquires a transitive useis to say that B is A minus something—or that B is A deprived of lsgitimacy dimension of transcendence.

The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – Hans Blumenberg – Google Books

The question is no longer one of knowing how the constitutive evils of the human essence will find their ultimate meaning beyond the world to put it simply, the question of salvationbut whether, and how, those evils, which are only relative to a fixed period in the history of mankind and therefore contingentwill be, at least partially, moodern. Instead, Blumenberg argues,the idea of progress There is a significant difference between the simple notion of secularization and the general expression, just cited, which attempts fo explain modernity in its entirety.

This section is filled with arch and allusive replies to critics of the first edition of the book — replies which Wallace does his best to elucidate in footnotes, but which are often pretty confusing. We cannot expect things to get any better until we rid ourselves of them and adopt a new form of intellectual life, one which helps to encourage the emergence of new forms of social life.


In this sense we may say that Blumenberg understands modernity through the prism of postmodernity, or even that modernity to him represents a proto-postmodernity.

Liberals are for Schmitt no more than weak and fearful Bakuninians or Leninists and Schmitt does not in return hide his fascination with authentic nihilist radicals. Preludes to a Future Overstepping of Limits. The latter begins in the first part and continues in the books that follow, with an analysis of the notions of Gnosticism, intellectual curiosity, and epochal threshold.

Blumenberg deploys an array of arguments in the first part of The Legitimacy of the Modern Agea good number of which are ad hominem. He, however, remains an anti-modern in the sense that modernity is defined as the liberation of mankind in relation to the theological, or, according to the definition of the Enlightenment given by Kant, in his essay What is Enlightenment?

Hans Blumenberg: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age

He is author of several books, with the latest being “Voegelin: Contents Status of the Concept. History of Western Philosophy.

The only real choice is that between an orthodox, coherent political theology capable of accepting itself as such and a heterodox, letitimacy, and latent political theology. Julian Joseph Potter – – Thesis Eleven 1: Those of us who agree with Nietzsche and Heidegger that the philosophical tradition is pretty well played out, with Carlyle and Foucault that the arts and the sciences have not been unmixed blessings, and with Marxists that we should not believe what the lying capitalist press tells us about the modern world, but whose highest hopes are still those of Mill, now have a champion.

Written by Thierry Gontier.