The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 7, 2007

Philosophy of Culture(s)

Gerald Cipriani
Pages 15-19

Hope and Despair in Postmodernity

Far from having overcome the human, all too human essence of knowledge the West has replaced its modern objectifying subjectivity by what may be called a postmodern subjectifying subjectivity. The modern will to power and its drive for controlling the Other has given way to a postmodern form of 'unavailability', a key concept in the ethical reflections of the Christian Socratic philosopher Gabriel Marcel. This paper attempts to highlight the degree to which fundamental features of Postmodernity, from instrumental technology to fragmented temporality and decentered subjectivity are infiltrating our existential condition. It is argued that one of the most striking symptoms of such a phenomenon is unavailability, especially in the artistic sphere.