Reconsidering whether the term “postmodern” has aged well and is still useful to describe our situation crisscrossed by fissures and partial revolutions.
Hegel and Heidegger on Today
Modernity means freedom, we say, and circulation let loose: commodities, technology, choices, the autonomous individual. In contrast to our free exchange, we imagine old traditional societies as a regulated exchange along a network of posts defined by fixed roles. In a totally modern world, all identities are available for use and consumption, exchange and substitution in a depthless circulation of beings made indifferently available.
Hegel’s claims about the end of history seem bold and disturbingly specific. Could he really have believed that the institutional forms he discerned in the Europe of his day were the last word in society and politics?
Reasons why Hegel is a useful dialogue partner for our present situation in philosophy.