Breaking With the Enlightenment: The Twilight of History and the Rediscovery of Utopia

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9781573923934: Breaking With the Enlightenment: The Twilight of History and the Rediscovery of Utopia

The twentieth century marked the grand culmination of modernism, set in motion by the material and metaphysical forces unleashed by the European Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. A searing account of the myth and reality of modernism, this provocative analysis offers a critique of the ideologies, and the metaphysical underpinnings, of both capitalism and socialism. Kanth views both as embodiments of the same vein of European materialism, while pointing to the radically contrasting values of these Eurocentered visions of society.

Taking the position that human societies are primarily cultural, not material constructs, this work passionately argues for a keen reevalution of the wisdom inherent in the precapitalist, and often extra-European, cultural heritage of humanity in order to determine what lessons might be learned for a human emancipation unmarked by the materialist paradigms of the accumulation of wealth and power.

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From the Publisher:

"In this lively and ambitious work, Ranjani Kanth presents a wide-ranging critique of ideas and assumptions that have dominated much of modern thought and social evolution, and calls for a sharp turn in the way we understand the world and live our lives. It is a thought-provoking challenge to received opinion, over a very broad front." -- Noam Chomsky, Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About the Author:

Rajani Kannepalli Kanth is Visiting Professor of Economics at Duke University in North Carolina.

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