Volume 24, Issue 4, 2014
Technics, Meditation, Atmospheres, The Main Areas of Gernot Böhme's Philosophy
What Kind of Society Do We Want to Live in?
The author asks about the conceptual tools which would enable a critique of contemporary capitalism without falling back to Utopianism and its historically-discredited theses. With the help of paired categories like community–society, human dignity–self-awareness, need–desire, Gernot Böhme portrays the deficiencies of contemporary Western social reality, e.g. the steadily exhausting reserves of the highly-bureaucratised welfare state system, the rapidly mounting differences in income, or the negative moral and psychological effects of unemployment and the so-called precariat. Böhme presents his critique of “aesthetic capitalism,” which does not satisfy human needs in the Marxist sense but rather the aesthetically-refined consumer desires of today’s affluent societies, in reference to the views of contemporary critical theory authorities (A. Honneth's con-cept of three sources of recognition).