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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For Blumenberg also, history is a field open to the possibility of exceeding itself. In agreement with Denis Trierweiler we believe that this confrontation is crucial.

Time enough to think of some new metaphysics or institutions or language when we have gotten rid of the old. 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.

Austin Harrington – – Thesis Eleven 94 1: Alberto Fragio – – Logos.

The second scene of this confrontation with Schmitt relates to the meaning of the self-affirmation of human reason, understood simultaneously by Blumenberg as the founding act of modernity and that by which modernity is legitimized as a new epoch.

Others gesture in the direction of a monastery in Ladakh, or a commune in Oregon. Modernity as Secularized Theology Another example of a misinterpreted act of modernity is that of the modern state conceived as a secularization of the divine omnipotence. There is not a stale sentence in it. At worst, it takes refuge in the political incoherence of democratic monarchy, a secular translation also incoherent and contradictory of the theology of the Deus sive natura.


Paradoxally, for Blumenberg, it is moddern very concept of legitimation through historical heritage which is disposed of by modernity; the latter does not, therefore.

Against Belatedness

Indeed, modern politics has rather, at least since Hobbes, aimed at the suppression of sovereignty in its voluntarist and heteronomic capacities; and if, as Schmitt thought in nodern, politics must also disappear with sovereignty or the political, in its heteronomic dimensionthen politics or the political will have been only a stage in the shaping of modernity.

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.

But the latter book waited only six years to aeg translated into English.

On this view, we are just not with it if our highest social hopes are, for example, that Somozas and Castros will be replaced by Allendes, that larger numbers of people will lead longer, more leisured lives, and that we shall eventually get solar power and nuclear disarmament. It has often been said that postmodernity inaugurated a more distant blumenbeerg ironic relationship with regard blimenberg the values of modernity.

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?

Find it on Scholar. The fact remains that legitimach asserts its novelty, claiming to tne a new beginning, a self-foundation, and an authentic creation of values. Is modernity, in the words of Nietzsche, a high or a low civilization?

In any case, if he is, he notes the impossibility of returning to the politics of the old theocratic legitumacy. The Rhetoric of Secularizations. Philosophical Studiestransl. Michael Federici on Eric Voegelin. Critical Theory of the Contemporary Thus, for the latter, to whom Blumenberg legitimafy the fifth chapter of the first part of The Legitimacy of the Modern Ageand whose standpoint might sometimes appear to be quite close to that of Blumenberg himself, modern secularization has had a positive effect in theology, since it has completed the task of theodicy: Although the scholarship is overwhelming and, like all scholarship, disputable and likely eventually to be correctedone never feels that a fact or a text has been dragged in so that the author can show off.


Hans Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – PhilPapers

Another example of a misinterpreted act of modernity is that of the modern state conceived as a secularization modwrn the divine omnipotence. The self-government of society, and the autonomy of Man which underlies it, is not therefore in the final analysis, a delusion, but truly the limit of modernity. There is another deeper criticism concerning the hermeneutic structure of this category. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age.

Hans Blumenberg: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age

For Blumenberg, this does not imply the substitution of the absolute power of Man for that of God. Ward, Polity, Bodmint Cornwall, pp. The Ability to Mourn: Contents Status of the Concept. They have to gesture in the direction of a place where such consciousness exists or existed. It sees with one eye of faith and the other of reason.

In short, secularism is an illusion, and modernity a myth. Request removal from index. Legitimacy is Not Authority. That is the third blow struck against modernity by the category of secularization: