In this major new work, Bernstein explores the ethical and political dimensions of the modernity/post-modernity debate. Bernstein argues that modernity / post-modernity should be understood as a kind of mood - one which is amorphous, shifting and protean but which exerts a powerful influence on our current thinking. Focusing on thinkers such as Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas and Rorty, Bernstein probes the strengths and weaknesses of their work, and shows how they have contributed to the formation of a new mood, a new and distinctive constellation of ideas. This new constellation has put ethical and political issues back on the philosophical agenda, forcing us to confront anew, the Socratic question 'How should I live?'
Preface. 1. Philosophy, History and Critique. 2. The Rage Against Reason. 3. Incommensurability and Otherness Revisited. 4. Heidegger's Silence?: Ethos and Technology. 5. Foucault Critique as a Philosophic Ethos. 6. Serious Play: The Ethical-Political Horizon of Derrida. 7. An Allegory of Modernity/Postmodernity: Habermas and Derrida. 8. One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward: Rorty on Liberal Democracy. 9. Rorty's Liberal Utopia. 10. Reconciliation/Rupture Appendix: Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Healing of Wounds. Index.