chapter  2
15 Pages

Moral anxiety and human life


I would like here to advocate a rather different way of approaching the study of Modernity. The world in which we live is not the end result of a chain of historical necessities, nor is it a product of the perfect enactment of a transcendent process; nor has it arisen from the complete emancipation of the human being; nor indeed from the secularization of society. It occurs to me that we are depriving ourselves of the means to understand the nature of our Modernity when we think of it as a unified whole that could not have been other than it is. I do not believe either that we have simply found our freedom nor that we have entirely left behind any of the supposed forms of alienation that are religion, nature and tradition. I aim here merely to offer my own sketch of our current moral situation.