Saturday, 18 November 2000

From "The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity"

By Jürgen Habermas.

Heidegger hardly pays any attention to the difference between reason [Vernunft] and understanding [Verstand], out of which Hegel still wanted to develop the dialectic of enlightenment. He can no longer glean from self-consciousness any reconciling dimension in addition to its authoritarian aspect. It is Heideggger himself - and not the narrow-minded Enlightenment - that levels reason to the understanding. The same understanding of Being that spurs modernity to the unlimited expansion of its manipulative power over objectified processes of nature and society also forces this emancipated subjectivity into bonds that serve to secure its imperative activity; these self-made normative obligations remain hollow ideals.

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