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A Theory of Modernity

A Theory of Modernity

Agnes Heller

ISBN: 978-0-631-21612-4 June 1999 Wiley-Blackwell 328 Pages


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Written by one of the most influential figures in post-World-War-II social thought, A Theory of Modernity is a comprehensive analysis of the main dynamics of modernity, which discusses the technological, social and political elements of modernism.


1. Modernity from a Postmodern Perspective: The Philosophical Presuppositions.

2. Challenge by the Heritage: Hegel, Marx, Weber.

3. The Two Constituents of Modernity: The Dynamics of Modernity.

4. The Two Constituents of Modernity: The Modern Social Arrangement.

5. The Three Logics of Modernity: The Logic of Technology, Science as the Dominating World-View of Modernity.

6. The Three Logics of Modernity: The Logic of the Division of Social Positions, Functions, and Wealth.

7. The Three Logics of Modernity: The Logic of Political Power (Domination).

8. Culture and Civilization: The Three Concepts of Culture.

9. Culture and Civilization II: The Omnivorous Modernity.

10. Culture and Civilization III: Civilization.

11. World-time and Life-time.

12. Space, place and home.

13. Law, ethos and ethics. The question of values.

14. Happinessshenticity; an ethics of personality.

Selected Bibliography.


"Heller is an outstanding, independent thinker. Her theory of modernity is distinctive and brings fresh philosophic insight to many topics that are currently being debated."
--Richard J. Bernstein, The New School for Social Research

"The book is an elegantly written and assured summation of her views on modernity from a philosopher probably now at the height of her powers. It incorporates Heller's own philosophical perspective, an outline of her great predecessors, a comprehensive theory of modernity and a spirit with its own complex cultural dynamic and novel subjective experience and problems."
--John Grumley, University of Sydney

* Written by one of the most influential figures in post World War II social thought.
* Inclusive survey of traditional theorists integrated with life experiences from the Holocaust and Stalinism.
* Lucid and engaging prose.