What Is Worth Salvaging in Modernity

In Jeffrey R. Di Leo & Zahi Anbra Zalloua (eds.), Understanding Barthes, understanding modernism. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 183-195 (2022)
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In what follows I will provide an explication of what the principle of philosophical sufficiency (PPS) refers to as conceptualized by François Laruelle, whereas, at the moment, suffice it to say that it is comparable to Marx’s extolling of the principle of praxis over that of philosophy as a critique of the philosophical “self-mirroring,” a thesis that pervades Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General (Marx, Manuscripts), German Ideology (1968), Theses on Feuerbach (1969). The self-mirroring thought (philosophy is) subsumes the Real itself reducing it to a postulate, to its transcendental aspect exclusively rather than reversing the hierarchy whereby thought submits to the Real albeit radically foreclosed for philosophy’s totalizing ambition. Instead of revisiting the dialectics between thought and the real, or reviving a Kantian dilemma, in his critique of Feuerbach’s materialism and the critique of Hegel’s philosophy under the aforementioned several titles, in particular in “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General,” Marx proposes that a shift toward “objectivism” would proffer a proper foundation for a truly scientific discussion of human reality. It is probably an undisputable fact that subjectivity-centered thinking and anthropocentric ontology, epistemology, and morality have determined the civilizational legacy of modernity: it begins with Kant’s practical philosophy and metaphysics of morals, if we must choose a single philosophical threshold in the Western history of ideas. Certainly, it coincides with the birth of republicanism as the model state promulgated by the French and the American Revolution and the completion of the enlightenment project. In Karl Marx’s politico-philosophical project, subjectivity, political state, and secularism are not what a modern society should consist in but quite the opposite their transcendence by way of sublation when confronted with a materialist, objective science of the species-being of humanity. Secularism is, argues Marx in The Jewish Question, a name for a “political” state that has alienated itself from the society precisely by way of relegating everything pertaining to the individual to the so-called “civil society.”

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Katerina Kolozova
Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities


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