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Paperback | $24.00 Short | ISBN: 9780262731096 | 276 pp. | 6 x 9 in | October 1993

The Persistence of Modernity

Essays on Aesthetics, Ethics, and Postmodernism


These four essays, drawn from two books by one of Germany's foremost philosophers, go to the heart of a number of contemporary issues: Adorno's aesthetics, the nature of a postmodern ethics, and the persistence of modernity in the so-called postmodern age.

Albrecht Wellmer defends the general thesis that modernity contains its own critique and that what has been called postmodernism is in fact a further articulation of that critique. More specifically, his essays offer a reinterpretation of Adorno's aesthetics in the framework of a postutopian philosophy of communicative reason, an analysis of the postmodern critique of instrumental reason and its subject that becomes an argument for democratic pluralism and universalism, a discussion of the dialectics of modernism and postmodernism in the context of architecture and industrial design, and a dialogical ethics that is inspired by and yet takes issue with Habermas's discourse ethics.

About the Author

Albrecht Wellmer is Professor of Philosophy at the Free University of Berlin.