chapter  8
The Social Discourse: Criticism or Negation?
Pages 14

A salient facet of the intellectual climate in the twentieth century-the ‘critical discourse on modernity’—includes a wide-ranging set of different trends of thought that share a common critical alignment (explicitly or tacitly) toward the Enlightenment. A diligent review of this discourse raises several questions concerning the difference between ‘criticism’ and ‘negation,’ which may be specified as ‘critique’ versus ‘undermining.’ ‘Postmodernism,’ the ‘Frankfurt school,’ ‘deconstructivism,’ ‘communitarianism,’ ‘libertarianism’ and ‘neoconservatism’ form a mosaic of discourses that, though not necessarily as clear and coherent as the philosophical trends, 1 together may be described as the ‘modern discontent.’ 2 That is, we are concerned with a comprehensive problematic in which the philosophical-critical discourse that encompasses it may often blur the thin line of distinction between ‘criticism’ and ‘negation.’