Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Re: Blumenberg, H, 1983, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, R. Wallace (tr.), Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press., Pt. I, Ch. 3, "Progress Exposed as Fate"

I'm interested in the hermeneutic framings and reframings. In Ch. 2 Blumenberg took up Gadamer's claim of a "dimension of hidden meaning" displayed through the concept of secularization (which would require one observing it to undergo a turn in order to be undeceived of the undeveloped surface). Now he puts a new spin on the turn, declaring that the thesis "that the modern age is unthinkable without Christianity...gains a definable meaning only through a critique of the foreground appearance--or better: the apparent background presence--of secularization" (30). The hidden dimension turns out to be just as susceptible to partiality.

A frighteningly rebellious attitude seems to run through the argument. The modern age's legitimacy may be predicated on its impulse to kick free of its genesis, to enjoy its own resources in a project of self-development (self-assertion?).