Krytyka mitu postępu w ujęciu Karla Löwitha i Odona Marquarda

Krystian Pawlaczyk


The purpose of the paper is to characterize and compare standpoints of Karl Löwith and Odo Marquard on the category of historiosophical progress. Löwith states that thinking of the historical reality, as a progressive development is a secular transfiguration of the eschatological imagination of Judeo-Christianity. Profane progress-assuming philosophy of history is therefore an unaware successor of religious perspective which it tries to overcome by proposing earthly realization of the happiness of mankind. For Marquard, historiosophical progressivism is an answer to the decline of the classical theodicy in the mid-18th century and in this connection it can be called the “second theodicy.” Both forms of theodicical thinking mark the beginning of modern era. In Marquard’s view, they are ways to compensate the loss of Christian Grace in the late-17th century and to justify the existence of evil. Both authors are agreeing in the assessment of the consequences of progressive thinking. For them, in the 19th and 20th century it has resulted in an affirmation of revolution and had led to justification of violence, transgression and cult of totalitarian power. Therefore the category of progress poses, for Löwith and Marquard, the biggest threat to the peaceful and freedom-based bourgeois system of the early modernity.

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