English 456: C20 Criticism and Theory

Questions on Jurgen Habermas

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from The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere...

1. To what extent does Habermas borrow from Marx in analyzing the development of the bourgeoisie?

2. How, according to Habermas, did the "public sphere" develop, and why was it advantageous to the bourgeoisie that it should develop?

"Modernity--an Incomplete Project"

3. How does Habermas characterize "aesthetic modernization" (1750-51)? What "changed consciousness of time" does it involve?

4. Among those who have rejected modernity are the "neoconservatives." According to Habermas, what is the basis for their critique of cultural modernity, and why is their argument flawed?

5. How, on 1753 and following, does Habermas employ the framework of sociologist Max Weber to analyze the present failure of modernity as a project? What attitude did Enlightenment philosophers nonetheless take concerning the developments that Weber describes?

6. What two mistakes did surrealist artists make in their attempt to "force a reconciliation between art and life" (1755)? Why would even revolutionary experiments in art fail to transform the whole of life, or the "life-world," to use Habermas' term?

7. On 1757, Habermas offers an alternative to rejecting the project of modernity. What is the example? Do you find it convincing? In addition to this alternative, what does Habermas write must also occur in the "life-world" to overcome the destructive autonomy of spheres that reigns in the modern world?

8. Who, according to Habermas, are the "young conservatives" (1758)? How do they appropriate modernistic attitudes for antimodernist purposes?

9. What is the comportment of the "old conservatives" and the "neoconservatives" with respect to the project of modernity?

Edition: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN: 0393974294.