Slaget om upplysningen – konflikten om den liberala demokratin : En beskrivande och jämförande idéanalys av Michel Foucaults och Jürgen Habermas tolkning av Immanuel Kants svar på frågan: vad är upplysning?

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för statsvetenskap (ST)

Sammanfattning: The Western liberal democracy is today challenged and criticised, mainly from a right-wing nationalist side, but also from a left-wing side. What both sides have in common is a disapproval of universalistic structures, which can be concluded as an opposition against a thinking derived from the modern Enlightenment era. This postmodern critique can be traced back to the 1960’s and the uprising of critical movements, such as poststructuralism. Michel Foucault, a significant postmodern thinker, identified his work to be linear to the work of Immanuel Kant – a highly anticipated Enlightenment thinker. How can this be? The aim of this study, based on modern and postmodern interpretations, is to analyse the roots of the Enlightenment in order to see if the postmodern critique is an extension or backlash to the tradition of Enlightenment and how it may affect the idea of liberal democracy. This can provide valuable insights whether the critique is an attempt to reform or destroy the tradition of Enlightenment, and ultimately, the liberal democracy of the west. The result states that the postmodern critique mostly has its origin in the Enlightenment and therefore, in most cases, should be seen as an attempt to reform rather than destroy Enlightenment thinking and the liberal democracy. However, despite providing unquestionable legitimate critique, the postmodern thinking does not offer a plausible alternative to the current system and should therefore remain as a tool of providing critique.

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