at The Living Philosophy website
And hardly coincidental that this basically overlaps historically with the spread of capitalism around the globe and the industrial revolution. The modern industrial nations wobbling back and forth between the rugged individual and the welfare state. And now it seems with the deeply entrenched reality of the global economy, the rest hardly even matters.Modernism
For our purposes here the exact dates do not matter because we’re not really talking about a historical period. Following Foucault’s analysis in his essay What is Enlightenment? we will be treating modernity more “as an attitude than as a period of history.”
And this attitude is most salient in the period known as the Long 19th Century which spanned from the French Revolution in 1789 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. This was the time when Modernity had come into its fullness and was the dominant force in the culture.
Now all we need is a context. Then point by point we can elaborate on what Foucault's traits/attributes above mean to us. Subjectively, existentially. And, of course, those among us who equate enlightenment with their own objectivist dogmas can explain how they came to grasp this...philosophically?Foucault identifies a number of traits of Modernity including:
a questioning or rejection of tradition;
the prioritising of individualism, freedom and formal equality;
faith in inevitable social, scientific and technological progress,
a movement from feudalism toward capitalism and the market economy,
industrialization and urbanization,
the development of the nation-state, representative democracy and public education
Then point by point, context by context, the postmodernists among us can deconstruct these arguments one by one. Finally pinning down the parts that are immune to deconstruction and are actually applicable to all of us.