Cosmopolis and Truth: Melville's Critique of Modernity by Bernhard Radloff 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by Bernhard Radloff
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Cosmopolis and Truth: Melville's Critique of Modernity by Bernhard Radloff
Author
Bernhard Radloff
Publisher
Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften
Date of release
Pages
254
ISBN
9780820427164
Binding
Hardcover
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PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
4
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The project of modernity inaugurated by the Enlightenment typically posits Reason as the ultimate ground of self-reliant humanity. Melville's 'critique of modernity' questions this project in essential respects. The social order of Melville's cosmopolis signifies an order of instrumental rationality that appeals to 'reason,' 'benevolence,' and 'confidence' as cultural values, which serves the secret fanaticism of public opinion, and which is devoted to the reformation of the 'natural' man. Under the dictatorship of instrumental reason, the classical concept of the search for self-knowledge gives way to the manipulation of appearances - truth is reduced to a coherent show and history to a puppet play of forces. Yet precisely because Reason cannot found its claims a space is opened in Billy Budd for the return of the holy.

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