Read The Legitimacy of the Modern Age by Hans Blumenberg Robert M. Wallace Online

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In this major work, Blumenberg takes issue with Karl Lowith's well-known thesis that the idea of progress is a secularized version of Christian eschatology, which promises a dramatic intervention that will consummate the history of the world from outside. Instead, Blumenberg argues, the idea of progress always implies a process at work within history, operating through anIn this major work, Blumenberg takes issue with Karl Lowith's well-known thesis that the idea of progress is a secularized version of Christian eschatology, which promises a dramatic intervention that will consummate the history of the world from outside. Instead, Blumenberg argues, the idea of progress always implies a process at work within history, operating through an internal logic that ultimately expresses human choices and is legitimized by human self-assertion, by man's responsibility for his own fate....

Title : The Legitimacy of the Modern Age
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ISBN : 9780262521055
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 712 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Legitimacy of the Modern Age Reviews

  • Avery
    2019-05-14 14:15

    This is a tome readable in style but monstrous in size and engaging in high level skepticism of philosophical narratives. Blumenberg's task is to show that modernity did not have its origin in the secularization of religious traditions. On the contrary, it began with a desire to pry into the unknown, to know for oneself what was hidden -- with a Gnostic theological grounding that makes God hidden from the world."The modern age began, not indeed as the epoch of the death of God, but ad the epoch of the hidden God, the deus absconditus-- and a hidden God is pragmatically as good as dead. The nominalist theology induces a human relation to the world whose implicit content could have been formulated in the postulate that man had to behave as though God were dead. This induces a restless taking stock of the world, which can be designated as the motive power of the age of science." (346)The original sin of modernity is thereby not to be found in any medieval mistake, but dates back to the original attempt to hold back Gnosticism in the early Church, which failed in the blossoming of a new civilization. The mind that thinks to climb a mountain and see its height, like Petrarch, or the mind that ignores ignores the natural warning of darkness and descends into the depths of a cave, like Da Vinci, is already a Faustian mind enaged in "overstepping of limits".Looking to the writings of the early moderns, Blumenberg concludes: "This is no 'secularization' of man having been created in God's image. The function of the thought emerges naked and undisguised and makes its historical derivation a matter of indifference: Knowledge has no need of justification; it justifies itself; it does not owe thank for itself to God; it no longer has any tinge of illumination or graciously permitted participation but rests in its own evidence, from which God and man cannot escape." (391)Yet Blumenberg does not come down in favor of this Gnosticism. He recognizes what was lost with the traditional world with a clarity unparalleled and surpassing that of more famous anti-modern writers.

  • Kevin Karpiak
    2019-04-23 14:18

    Provocative appproach to studying modernity. If you can read it from cover to cover, you're of a different stock than I.

  • AskHistorians
    2019-05-17 06:13

    Blumenberg's well thought out discourse on the evolution of scientific exploration from the late 1800s' idea of universal knowledge to the mid-century's patented scientific thought.