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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Kirk Wetters – – Telos: This borrowing also creates a debt in its turn, even if that debt is more often than not difficult to express in normative terms: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age.

LMAIV, 2, p. Considerations on the Work of Hans Blumenberg. They do not in the least define the limits of modernity. From then on, the burden of proof was on those who like St Thomas Aquinas thought that Aristotle was not wholly wrong, and that curiosity might not be simply a vice the excitation of an unruly member, the inquiring eye as homologue of the pushy penis.

Hans Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – PhilPapers

From this point of view, the virtues of the citizen are those of the Christian, namely humility, obedience and patience. His attempt to legitimate the modern age is an attempt to defend all the things which Heidegger despised about the 20th century: Or, if not exactly a champion, at least somebody whose upbeat history we can cite against those who revel in belatedness, and against those who fear that telling big sweeping geistesgeschichtlich stories will reinforce our bad old totalising urges.

We may therefore consider Christianity already to be a form of secularization—and, in return, that modernity cannot even claim the invention of secularization in its favor. Hans Blumenberg’s Reformulations of the Absolute.


We are, therefore, no longer dealing with a notion attempting to signify a group of phenomena within history, but rather a general explanatory category about history. Behind these apparently historical questions another lies hidden, namely, the relief from the anxiety of that modernity through the recovery of the intellectual act by which modernity was inaugurated.

Thus the picture of its own origins and possibility in history that the epoch of rationality made for itself remained peculiarly irrational. For the claims to autonomy advanced by this modernity are no more than illusory; the modernity of the Enlightenment is unable to liberate itself from the theological.

Those of us who agree with Nietzsche and Heidegger that the philosophical tradition is pretty well played legitumacy, with Carlyle and Foucault that the arts and the sciences have not been unmixed blessings, and with Marxists that we should not believe what the lying capitalist legitimaacy tells us about the modern world, but whose highest hopes are still those of Mill, now have a champion. It has often been said that postmodernity inaugurated a more distant and ironic relationship with regard to the values of modernity.

Critical Theory of the Contemporary PhilosophyHistory of philosophy. Cosmogony as a Paradigm of SelfConstitution.

Hans Blumenberg: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age – VoegelinView

Schmitt is not properly speaking as an anti-modern, in the sense of being nostalgic for the medieval theologico-political order. It does not incorporate Man within a transcendent perspective, but within a perspective of immanence. This is to say that it beats the only other two ways we know bout — the ancient attempt to find philosophical foundations, and the medieval attempt to find theological ones. His hermeneutic, on the contrary, is centered upon the self-understanding which an era constructs for itself out of its own situation within history—this is, moreover, a hermeneutic bias which he shares with Voegelin to a certain extent.

It is successful because it acknowledges the weight of original sin, which at the political level is expressed through the inability of Man to govern himself and to establish a world of universal peace.


This gives rise to highly tortuous forms of discourse on the subject of secularization, such as that of Rudolf Bultmann, amongst the theologians, or of Odo Marquard for the philosophers.

Does this represent a reinstatement of the lost link with a premodern theology or the movement of the project of autonomy proclaimed by modernity towards its fulfilment?

Against Belatedness

For Blumenberg, this does not imply the substitution of legiitimacy absolute power of Man for that of God. There is not a stale sentence in it.

It is a blymenberg grounding to the various movements in Vienna during the critical period between This act peculiar to modernity consists in the self-affirmation or self-positioning of Man and his techno-rational power, understood as a demiurgic power not limited to the predetermined world ths possibilities, but independently capable of opening itself to a universe of possibilities.

Blumenberg takes very seriously indeed the episcopal condemnation of St Thomas for having cast doubt on divine omnipotence, interpreting it as an indictment for curiositas. Modernity does not, for Blumenberg as with Voegelincommit itself to a dogmatic rule. Modernity as Questioning that Begins with Man Modernity does not, for Blumenberg as with Voegelincommit itself to a dogmatic rule.

Such a hermeneutic is also a hermeneutic of suspicion. Michael Federici on Eric Voegelin.

Hans Blumenberg: The Legitimacy of the Modern Age

It is, moreover, impossible for us legitmacy to escape from the theological. Let us find out how they can be made to work for us.

Self-criticism must come first. The Drama of Humanity Volume