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By Peter Sloterdijk

In 1983, centuries after the booklet of Kant’s Critique of natural cause, one other philosophical treatise—polemical in nature, with a identify that consciously and disrespectfully alludes to the sooner work—appeared in West Germany. Peter Sloterdijk’s Critique of Cynical cause stirred either severe acclaim and consternation and attracted a large readership, particularly between those that had come of age within the 1960’s. Sloterdijk’s reveals cynicism the dominant mode in modern tradition, in own institutional settings; his booklet is much less a heritage of the impulse than an research of its function within the postmodern Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, between these whose prior hopes for social switch had crumbled and pale away. Sloterdijk hence brings into cultural and political discourse a topic which, notwithstanding principal to the temper of a iteration, has remained submerged through the present debate approximately modernity and postmodernity.
With Adorno and Horkeimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment as his basic jumping-off aspect, Sloterdijk additionally attracts upon, and contends with, the poststructuralist techniques of Deleuze and Guattari. He defines cynicism as enlightened fake consciousness—a sensibility “well off and depressing on the similar time,” in a position to functionality within the workaday global but assailed through doubt and paralysis; and, as counterstrategy, proposes the cynicism of antiquity—the sensuality and loud, satiric laughter of Diogenes. principally, Sloterdijk is decided to withstand the amnesia inherent in cynicism. The twentieth-century German ancient adventure lies in the back of his paintings, which closes with an excellent essay at the Weimar Republic—the fourteen years among a misplaced conflict and Hitler’s ascent to energy, and a time while the cynical mode first completed cultural dominance.

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Extra info for Critique of Cynical Reason (Theory and History of Literature)

Example text

I am indebted to Professor Jochen Schulte-Sasse of Minneapolis for invaluable stimulation regarding the understanding of structures of neoconservative ideological formations in the United States, suggestions that in a mediated way have gone into my construction of the concept of cynicism and into the notion of self-denial (Selbstdementi). Professor Karl-August Wirth of Munich advised me most kindly on the selection of some of the illustrations. Finally, I want to thank my friends who, with their encouragement and objections, their support and criticism, are present in and between the lines of this book.

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