Philosophy and Social Criticism 23 (5):27-62 (1997)

As soon as 'modernity' was defined as a particular way of con ceiving of time, the questions of tempo rality came to be situated at the heart of the ongoing debate regarding the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the 'modern age'. This has, in turn, readily led to a no less passionate search for the assessment of modernity's foundations which are thought to rest in its typical sense of experiencing temporality. This polemic instance, however, involves polarized perspectives and the consequent risk, always present in dichotomous approaches, of oversimplifying the concepts at stake and smoothing over the intricacies of their history and meaning. Does there really exist something like a ' time of modernity'? This is the central question that the present article examines. 1 Key Words: evolution • modemity • philosophy of history • time irreversibility
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DOI 10.1177/019145379702300502
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