Continental Tales

Political Philosophy After Metaphysics: Habermas & Lyotard

Abdelkader Aoudjit thinks about postmodern political thinking.

Enlightenment thinkers were optimistic. They thought that the application of the scientific method to all aspects of life would not only liberate humanity from bondage to nature, but also inaugurate a new era of happiness, justice and emancipation. Jean Antoine de Condorcet declared, “one day, the sun will shine over a humanity who acknowledge no other master than their own reason.”

More than two hundred years after Condorcet wrote these words philosophers are still pondering the value of the Enlightenment project, or what is alternatively called the project of modernity – of making everything subordinate to human reason. Clearly, scientific knowledge has brought many benefits, such as industrial and economic development, and improvements in education, medicine, communications, etc.

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