Volume 27, 1998
Philosophy of Culture
Roberto Dante Flores
Hedonismo y Fractura de la Modernidad
This is an analysis of the ethico-cultural crisis of modernity and the emergence of the so-called postmodern aesthetic expressions (and conduct), examined principally from the point of view of Frederic Jameson and its coincidence with other authors (D. Lowe, G. Lipovetsky, and P. Virilio). I also investigate the relationship between the new sensitivities of the end of the century and the notion of justice, and its moral. This is seen by the authors as a consequence of the impact that mass-media technologies have produced in individuals leading to a new form of experience: the aesthetization of life and the fragmentation of the subject. The culture of the image is omnipresent, diluting art into aesthetization and the subject into the objectivization of consumption. We can see that there is a loss of historicity in the postmodern individual-originating from the speed of audiovisual information-upon perceiving, on a screen, the world in an instanct, without references to either a past or a future. The new technologies are the product of a new stage of capitalism, even more so than in the modernity of massive consumption. As a consequence of these three factors (aesthetization, ahistoricity, consumption), there has emerged a hedonistic ethos which differentiates itself from its modern vanguardist antecedents in that it is no longer the transgressor of a religious moral, or the secularism of duty, because pleasure is no longer forbidden. This framework, which is lacking in hard principles and is sustained by 'weak and conviction free' individuals is compatible with the liberal ethic of Rawls. In the face of the contradiction of modernity, we shall reconsider, as factors of socio-political construction, the moral values provided by the world's great religions.