The Politics of Historical Vision: Marx, Foucault, Habermas by Steven Best PhD

By Steven Best PhD

Supplying a big contribution to present controversies relating to historical past, social theory,politics, and the Foucault\n-\Habermas debates, this paintings deals an in depth comparability of the transformative makes use of of background in Foucault and Habermas, utilizing Marx as a modernist distinction. The publication truly illustrates the benefits and downsides of every thinker's thought for the efficient research of heritage and society, pertaining to the paintings of every to present debates over smooth and postmodern conception.

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18 Thus, the historian is concerned with meaningful relationships, not causal relations. The natural world is to be explained, while the human world is to be understood. Dilthey believed that the proper way to understand human action was through an imaginative and empathetic reinvention of the thoughts and motivations of a historical person, accessible in the forms of texts and documents, while situating this person within his or her society. Similar to Vico, Dilthey argued that we can know the human world better than the natural world because the data of consciousness can be known directly.

The keystones of Western rationalism are simply no longer tenable for an increasing number of contemporary thinkers in various fields, and the “modern period” in culture and thought appears to be ending in significant ways. Nevertheless, any discussion of postmodern theory has to grasp both continuity and discontinuity with previous modes of thought. The alleged “rupture” of postmodern with modern discourse is not incompatible with continuities with prior theories, since what is at issue is not any specific tenet but a whole family of concepts, issues, styles, and methods that align themselves in a new conceptual framework.

It is in this light that we can understand Lyotard’s cryptic remark that “the postmodern is undoubtedly a part of the modern” (1984:79). In the fields of social theory, philosophy, and historiography, postmodern theorists break with any attempt to situate reason outside of history. Many modern theorists seek to ground epistemological and normative claims in timeless, universal foundations rooted in clear and distinct ideas, a priori categories of the mind, purified structures of consciousness, human nature, or the laws of history or nature.

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