chapter  2
22 Pages

THE CRITIQUE OF MODERNITY

This chapter provides a model of modernity, defined by an adherence to the idea of law as an expression of natural or divine order. It discusses the immanent potential for critique. The chapter aims to to investigate another intellectual tradition which is founded on a notion of order, Kantianism. In 1781, Immanuel Kant published The Critique of Pure Reason, and situated the idea of freedom, the essential intellectual concern of the Enlightenment, in the moral self. The politics of the ‘critical’ project was given a striking twist in Kant's third Critique, of Judgment, published in 1790. The Metaphysics of Morals was published at the end of Kant's life, in 1797. The necessary accommodation of interests, founded only on the twin principles of freedom and equality which define the moral self, is confirmed in political terms by a 'social contract’ which is therefore ‘constructive’.