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Paperback | $61.00 Text | £42.95 | ISBN: 9780262521055 | 709 pp. | 6 x 9 in | October 1985

The Legitimacy of the Modern Age


In this major work, Blumenberg takes issue with Karl Löwith's well-known thesis that the idea of progress is a secularized version of Christian eschatology, which promises a dramatic intervention that will consummate the history of the world from outside. Instead, Blumenberg argues, the idea of progress always implies a process at work within history, operating through an internal logic that ultimately expresses human choices and is legitimized by human self-assertion, by man's responsibility for his own fate.

Hans Blumenberg is professor of philosophy at the University of Münster. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy.

About the Author

Hans Blumenberg, the creator of metaphorology, was one of the most important German philosophers of the latter 20th century.


"A great sweeping history of the course of European thought, built on the Hegel-Heidegger scale.... "
- Richard Rorty, The London Review of Books

"Modern science buried centuries of theological controversy. Hans Blumenberg has unearthed these controversies again, rethinking the dilemmas and dead ends of Christian dogma that provided the intellectual provocations for the scientific revolution.... But Blumenberg has not merely written a scholarly, nuanced, and illuminating study of the religious background to modern science. He has also written a philosophical book, a combative response to the dim Romantic suggestion more common in Germany than America, that the modern age 'as a whole' is somehow illegitimate."
- Stephen Holmes, The American Political Science Review