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Modernity Definition Essay

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Contemporary western scholars, Jurgen Habermas and Max Weber present divergent but closely similar illustrations in their definition of modernity. Reading through the definitions of modernity from the perspective of the two scholars manifests salient similarities and fundamental differences in their philosophical conception of modernity. Habermas illustrates modernity based on different viewpoints, illustrating the different categories of modernity such as aesthetic modernity (5). He further describes aesthetic modernity as the change in attitudes that concentrate on the same thing in different consciousness of time (6). Habermas concept of aesthetic modernity explains the importance of time consciousness in defining the variants of modernity over time.

Habermas conception of modernity derives significantly from Weber’s discussion of rationalization. Both Habermas and Weber base their arguments on Neo-Kantian philosophy as the origin of the three reasons explaining the emergent of modernity, including theoretical, practical, and aesthetic reasons (Reckling 155). Practical reasons encompass morality and legal forms as universally applicable, whereas theoretical reasons define science and technology as the core drivers of modernity.

Aesthetic reasons define modernity based on art, cultural presentation, and erotic life. Habermas holds the use these domains to support three variants of social communication in its modern and fully differentiated form, which include propositional truth, normative rightness, and subjective sincerity. This illustration presents the main differences between the two philosophers’ definition of modernity and its variations over time. Habermas holds that the spheres of propositional truth involve factual statements, while subjective sincerity entails expensive affirmations. Normative rightness embodies commands and principles (McCormick 320).

Habermas and Weber share a similar definitions of modernity mainly because of Habermas bases his illustrations on Weber’s arguments. Despite the divergent perspectives on a few aspects of modernity, Habermas and Weber mostly agree on the definition of modernity in ways that contract most contemporary scholars.

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Works Cited
Habermas, Jürgen. “Modernity-an Unfinished Project.” CRITIQUE, vol. 37, no.413, 1981, pp. 3-15.
McCormick, John P. “Max Weber and Jürgen Habermas: The Sociology and Philosophy of Law during Crises of the State.” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, vol. 9, no. 2, 1997, pp.2.
Reckling, Falk. “Interpreted Modernity: Weber and Taylor on Values and Modernity.” European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 4, no. 2, 2001, pp.153-176.

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