“Whoever distrusts the barking of watchdogs, however, does not immediately have to begin howling with the wolves.”—Bernhard Waldenfels
In this seminal work, acclaimed philosopher Bernhard Waldenfels deals with the problem of the nature of order after the “shattering of the world,” and the loss of the idea of a universal or fundamental order.
Order in the Twilight unites phenomenological methodology with recent work on the theory of order, normativity, and dialogue, as well as structuralism and Gestalt theory. Philosophically stringent, it expresses a more optimistic attitude than much modern philosophy, especially deconstruction.
Waldenfels passes the question of order through numerous defining aspects, and concludes that there is not one global order, but rather various conflicting domains of order. Whenever the boundary of a vital or experiential domain is crossed, a discourse speaks at the boundary, not about it, and across a threshold without abolishing it. The rest is rationalization, i.e., an attempt to find a place in the respective order for what is to-be-ordered. But why, the author concludes, should a theory be more unambiguous than reality?
Order in the Twilight is an important book at this time, because it may help lift the humanities out of the skeptical, relativistic disarray in which they have been embroiled in recent decades. Waldenfels does not attempt to dictate what reality should be; rather, he is open to any valid evidences. His book offers a solid footing to the human and social sciences as they seek to escape from deconstructive irrationalism.
Bernhard Waldenfels is professor of philosophy at the Ruhr University, in Bochum, Germany. He has written books about phenomenology, dialog theory, the “life world,” structures of behavior, and order and normativity. More info →
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