The Terrible Children of Modernity

The Terrible Children of Modernity

Peter Sloterdijk is among the most acclaimed and widely read philosophers of the past half-century. Called "Germany's most controversial thinker" by the New Yorker, he has challenged and provoked readers worldwide with extraordinarily ambitious and wide-ranging works of philosophical and cultural critique. In The Terrible Children of Modernity, Sloterdijk offers a magisterial and profound investigation into the vicissitudes of historical change and the nature of modernity.

For Sloterdijk, modernity is defined by its need to break with the past. Moderns are perpetual rebels who seek to sever the ties of tradition and forms of inheritance that bind generations and eras together. With deep philosophical, historical, and literary range, he traces this antigenealogical experiment from the French Revolution onward, from Madame de Pompadour and Napoleon through Nietzsche, Marx, Wagner, the Dadaists, and Deleuze. Acutely aware of the destructive potential of cultural discontinuities, Sloterdijk is no less critical of the "fathers" who condemn change than the "terrible children" who seek a drastic rupture with their predecessors. Equally concerned with the grand sweep of history and our current predicaments, he instead calls for new ways to live together in the intersubjectivity of the human condition. Incisive and daring, breathtaking in its scope, this account of youthful rebellion against tradition asks us to reimagine the ethics of genealogy.

Publication Date: 
February 13, 2024