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Modernity's Wager
Author: Adam B. Seligman

ISBN: 9780691116365
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 29 June 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.0
Description:


Adam Seligman, one of our most important social thinkers, continues the incisive critique of modernity he began in his previously acclaimed "The Idea of Civil Society" and "The Problem of Trust." In this provocative new work of social philosophy, Seligman evaluates modernity's wager, namely, the gambit to liberate the modern individual from external social and religious norms by supplanting them with the rational self as its own moral authority. Yet far from ensuring the freedom of the individual, Seligman argues, "the fundamentalist doctrine of enlightened reason has called into being its own nemesis" in the forms of ethnic, racial, and identity politics. Seligman counters that the modern human must recover a notion of authority that is essentially transcendent, but which extends tolerance to those of other--or no--faiths.

Through its denial of an authority rooted in an experience of transcendence, modernity fails to account for individual and collective moral action. First, deprived of a sacred source of the self, depictions of moral action are reduced to motives of self interest. Second, dismissing the sacred leaves the resurg...

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