Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 52, 2018

Philosophy of History

Paulina Sosnowska
Pages 55-59

The Legitimacy of the Modern Age in Discussion
Blumenberg versus Löwith and Arendt

The purpose of the paper is to briefly confront three different stances towards the modern age: Karl Löwith’s, Hannah Arendt’s and Hans Blumenberg’s. The author shows, how these different attitudes and premises form a conceptual triangle. On the one hand, Arendt and Löwith seem to be closer to each other than to Blumenberg, since they both tend to assess the modern age more or less negatively in comparison to pre-modern times and both treat modernity as a derivative or distortion of pre-modern concepts of the world and history. They both present a sort of attitude that Blumenberg describes as historical substantialism. On the other hand, they differ strongly in their principal points of reference (Christianity and ancient Greece), which leads them to almost contradictory conclusions about the essence of modernity. Blumenberg’s methodology and attitude towards the modern age opposes both thinkers from two different angles. The Author’s analysis focuses on the originality of the latter thinker, whose functional methodology and thorough phenomenological analyses led him to form a genuine estimation and appreciation of novelty and uniqueness of modernity against pre-modern times as well as a dialogical response to them.