Enlightenment Humanism embodied the optimism that the transparency of the subject could be fully illuminated. in other words, by using reason, we can fully know ourselves, and create a more humane society. this is the optimism that philosophy canone day be finished. Hegel expressed this with the idea of totality: we can, one day, know everything.
the masters of suspicion were critical of such optimism, yet Marx and Freud maintained a certain Enlightenment hope that we can engage the world with reason and humanize our social institutions. they both speak of mystery (as masters of suspicion ), but they suggest ways to overcome this mystery. critical theory of the Frankfurt school, on the other hand, rejects the idea of totality, thereby complicating the struggle of engagement.
existentialism and Postmodernism develop new theories of engagement in this context. they warn against certain modes of disengagement. for example, existentialists speak of bed faith ( Sartre ), or inauthenticity ( Heidegger), while postmodernist reject of the modern subject, and the metaphysics of presence.
Begin your paper by explaining how Critical Theorists complicate the struggle of engagement. what are their thoughts on reason and totality ? how can Enlightenment turn into its opposite? then, write the Existential theme of Sartrean bad faith and then choose to write one the postmodern theme – the ( rejection of the ) modern subject OR the ( rejection of the ) metaphysics of presence.
Explain what these ideas mean and why they are illusions. how do they permit us to disengage with the world or our life? Explain why rejecting these illusions will help us to engage with life, being or world. what might this engagement look like?
conclude with your own assessment of these two movements. Do they express your views on contemporary life? does existential or postmodern engagement speak to you ? which, if either, does so more.
note " answer these questions. I am looking for direct, clear and focused statements. and be as precise as possible.
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