The politics of postmodernity
For Hegel philosophy was nothing other than one's own times reflected in thought, and what he attempted to think was modernity itself.1 I would like to propose that we try to think postmodernity, which is to say: the end of modernity.2To borrow a phrase from Foucault, this would amount to doing an "Contology of the present."3It seems to me that this is the only kind of ontology that is possible after the demise or bankruptcy of metaphysical or foundationalist thinking. I do not even believe that it makes much sense today to set off, Heidegger-wise, in pursuit of that non-being that he called "Being." After the "end" of metaphysical essentialism (in the realization that there are, as Derrida would say, no "transcendental signifieds"), the task of philosophical theorycan be nothing more than—and must be nothing less than—making our own praxis intelligible to ourselves (see Chapter 5 ). Theory must not, however, be thought of in the ancient sense as contemplation, as the passive recording of what is "objectively" and immutably "true" (i.e., just "there," waiting to be discovered by a purified gaze) —traces of which, I believe, are present in Heidegger's notion of Gelassenheit.
Madison, G.B. (2001). The politics of postmodernity, in The politics of postmodernity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 163-185.
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