Aspects Of Enlightenment: Social Theory And The Ethics Of - download pdf or read online

By Thomas Osbourne

ISBN-10: 185728853X

ISBN-13: 9781857288537

This is often an introductory account of social thought and the significant position of enlightenment inside of it. Tom Osborne argues that: modern social conception can in basic terms fail whilst considered as a ''science of society'', and instead of focusing upon the query of society or maybe ''modernity'' may still specialise in the query of human nature. the main speedy and significant subject of this kind of social thought might be the query of enlightenment.; notwithstanding, the booklet departs from conventional money owed finding the vocation of social idea within the method of values demonstrated within the unique Enlightenment by means of the French philosophers and others.; quite it makes a robust argument for the moral prestige of enlightenment, happening to investigate specific ''regimes of enlightenment'' in modernity, particularly these linked to the social ethics of technological know-how, services, mind and artwork.

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Utopianism If I say that the attitude of a critique of enlightenment is properly the concern of social theory, then this is not only because that discipline has quite often been specifically animated by the problem of enlightenment but also because it shares, even tends to Aspects of enlightenment 30 dramatize, a peculiar characteristic that can be associated with all the social sciences, and especially sociology (see further, the Conclusion below). It is a very common experience in teaching such disciplines that students undergo learning in terms of a sort of “experience”.

In sum, the critical attitude to the question of enlightenment that I am sketching here might not have aspirations of a universal science but only as a very particular form of strategic or ethical discourse. Other forms of criticism carry on just as before; they do not necessarily require the sneering disestablishment that postmodernists demand. The aim, as I see it, is not to succumb to the hubris of attempting to found some universal—or even indispensable—model or “theory” of critique but to direct ourselves only to particular kinds of enterprise: those that seem most desirable, most self-evident, most clearly an aspect of what it means to be enlightened yet which simultaneously throw up ambiguities and difficulties with regard to the very idea of such a thing as enlightenment; those aspects of enlightenment that are, in other words, most provocative precisely of the kind of restricted, slightly eccentric, critical attitude to enlightenment that I have been sketching out.

Foucault 1986:9, 27; Hadot 1995:128). Askesis in this rather wider sense means Aspects of enlightenment 32 not the interdictions that we place upon oneself but the work that one does to turn oneself into an ethical subject capable of shaping one’s own nature. Weber’s interest was no doubt with both asceticism and askesis in this wide sense. For him, cultural critique had to mirror what was given to us by neces-sity in the world:ascetic, vocational culture. To that extent, Weber was a realist, the practitioner of what he called a “science of reality”.

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Aspects Of Enlightenment: Social Theory And The Ethics Of Truth by Thomas Osbourne


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