Counter-Enlightenment, Communitarianism and Postmodernism

Abstract

Although different phenomena, having dissimilar messages and horizons, between counter-enlightenment, communitarianism and postmodernism there is a consistent common ground. It's about the critical reaction towards modernity, especially concerning its major cultural ethos, the enlightenment. Counter-enlightenment, commonly interpreted in the history of the political thought as one of the main intellectual sources of conservatism, is even more than that. Its influence constantly reverberates on the entire social reflection proper to modernity, inclusively on some important contemporary orientations, as communitarianism or postmodernism. Without giving to this counter-enlightenment influence careful consideration, the social philosophy of communitarianism or of postmodernism may be seen only as an integrant part of the contemporary political left. Nevertheless, beside the emancipatory discourse, aiming to give an equal respect to all cultures, or beside the critical, liberating view, which intends to carry on the progressive ideals, surpassing all dogmas specific to enlightenment universalist rationalism, there is, within communitarianism and postmodernism, a conservative line, which can be understood by knowing their common counter-enlightenment origins. 

Keywords: enlightenment, counter-enlightenment, communitarianism, conservatism, language


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