Albrecht Wellmer

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

  • Endgames

    Endgames

    The Irreconcilable Nature of Modernity: Essays and Lectures

    Albrecht Wellmer

    A common theme of this set of thirteen essays by one of the major figures in contemporary German philosophy is the idea of a postmetaphysical modernity. In his preface Wellmer relates the title of his book, Endgames, to this common theme: The historical utopias of the Marxist tradition and the programs of ultimate justification in the Kantian tradition are both endgames within metaphysics, the deconstruction of those utopias and programs of ultimate justification are endgames played with metaphysics, and the game with an end as ultimate telos—the end(s) of history, the end(s) of knowledge, the end(s) of human life—is metaphysics. The title, Endgames, finally also refers polemically to postmodernist games with an end of modernity; as opposed to these, Wellmer defends the fragile moral and political substance of the modernity that postmodernists attempt to overcome—and that sense of what needs to be preserved of the modern tradition for a postmetaphysical modernity is what makes his writings unique. In the first of the book's three parts, "Negative and Communicative Freedom," Wellmer focuses on political philosophy, examining in particular the links and tensions between liberal basic rights and modern ideas of democracy. In Part II, "Postmetaphysical Perspectives," he attempts to develop a postmetaphysical perspective on aesthetics and metaphysics (with and against Adorno), on the problem of truth (with and against Richard Rorty, Jürgen Habermas, and Karl-Otto Apel), and on hermeneutics (with and against Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl-Otto Apel). Part III, "Images of the Times," contains occasional pieces on Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Frankfurt School, Hans Jonas, and architecture. The book closes with an appended critical essay on Hannah Arendt, reflecting the importance of Arendt's political philosophy to Wellmer's work.

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  • Cultural-Political Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment

    Cultural-Political Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment

    Axel Honneth, Thomas McCarthy, Claus Offe, and Albrecht Wellmer

    These thirteen essays by noted philosophers and social theorists continue a timely celebration and examination of Jürgen Habermas's unfinished project of reconstructing enlightenment rationality. Focusing on the cultural and political aspects of Habermas's work, the essays take up critical theory and political practice, the sociology of political practice, historical-philosophical reflections on culture, moral development in childhood and society, and the foundations of critical social theory. Essays in a companion volume, Philosophical Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment, look at the metaphysical aspects of Habermas's work. Together, the two volumes underscore the richness and variety of Habermas's project.

    Contributors Johann P. Amason, Andrew Arato, Seyla Benhabib, Hauke Brunkhorst, Cornelius Castoriadis, Jean Cohen, Helmut Dubiel, Klaus Eder, Günter Frankenberg, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Axel Honneth, Johann Baptist Metz, Gertrud Nunner-Winkler, Claus Offe

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  • Philosophical Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment

    Philosophical Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment

    Axel Honneth, Thomas McCarthy, Claus Offe, and Albrecht Wellmer

    These 11 essays by noted philosophers and social theorists take up the philosophical aspects of Jürgen Habermas's unfinished project of reconstructing enlightenment rationality. They range in subject matter from classical problems to contemporary debates, covering historical perspectives, theoretical issues, and post-enlightenment challenges. A companion volume of essays will take up the cultural and political aspects of the work. Together, the two volumes underscore the richness and variety of Habermas's project.

    Contributors Karl-Otto Apel, Richard J. Bernstein, Peter Bürger, Martin Jay, Thomas McCarthy, Herbert Schnädelbach, Charles Taylor, Michael Theunissen, Ernst Tugendhat, Albrecht Wellmer

    • Hardcover $40.00
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  • The Persistence of Modernity

    The Persistence of Modernity

    Essays on Aesthetics, Ethics, and Postmodernism

    Albrecht Wellmer

    Essays on Adorno's aesthetics, the nature of a postmodern ethics, and the persistence of modernity in the so-called postmodern age.

    The Persistence of Modernity presents four essays by one of Germany's foremost philosophers that 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.

    • Hardcover $42.00
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