Myths of Freedom: Equality, Modern Thought, and Philosophical Radicalism

Sampul Depan
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - 197 halaman

The status of the modern age has long been debated, but since post-modernism, it has assumed centrality as if it were the issue of philosophy. Gardner brings a new approach to the problem of modernity, based on theories of René Girard and others. While modernity is commonly seen as an ideological project or interpretation of Being, Gardner sees it in terms of the structure of human relations and their impact on philosophy. The decisive feature of the modern world is what Tocqueville called equality of conditions, which has wrought a revolution in the self-image of the individual and in one's dealings with others. But, in the process, it has replaced old myths--debunked by the Enlightenment--with new ones of its own invention. Hence emerged the myths of freedom--of the autonomy of the self or the spontaneity of passion, or later, of emancipation or authenticity--from Descartes to Heidegger.

Gardner probes the central issue: To what extent have philosophers clarified these myths, or, perhaps, succumbed to their illusions. This inquiry attacks the major dogmas of contemporary criticism--such as the primacy of the question of technology, or of the quarrel of ancients and moderns. It restores the philosophical legitimacy of anthropology, both in opposition to Heidegger's ontology and to the deconstructive retreat into an idealism, and in contrast to classical political philosophy. This provocative analysis will be of interest to philosophers, political theorists, and others dealing with the problem of modernity.


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Myths of Freedom Slave Moralities?
Eros Equality and Violence
Descartes Plato and the Escape from Imitation
Hobbes and the Impossibility of Freedom
Rameaus Nephew or the Romantic Masochist
Hegel and the Failure of Recognition
Narcissism and Nihilism
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Halaman ix - ... The decomposition of the Hegelian philosophy, which began with Strauss, has developed into a universal ferment into which all the 'powers of the past' are swept. In the general chaos mighty empires have arisen only to meet with immediate doom, heroes have emerged momentarily only to be hurled back into obscurity by bolder and stronger rivals.

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Tentang pengarang (1998)

STEPHEN L. GARDNER is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tulsa. His earlier writings have appeared in scholarly journals, including Vera Lex.

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