‘Crises of Modernity’ Discourses and the Rise of Financial Technologies in a Contested Mechanized World

Marinus Ossewaarde (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to provide a discussion of scholarly ‘crisis of modernity’ discourses that have developed in the field of social philosophy. Re-visiting past and present discourses can be illuminating in at least three ways: it can reveal the broader picture of the present financialized and technologized world and the rise of financial technologies; it can provide scholars with new vocabularies, concepts, and metaphors to comprehend present-day phenomena and developments; and it can reveal the variety of commitments that are possible, today, too. This article starts with a discussion of the original ‘crisis of modernity’ discourses (avant la lettre), in which the clashing arguments of Comte and Tocqueville are featured, and a discussion of a second ‘crisis of modernity’ that developed in the context of the ‘Great Depression.’ A third ‘crisis of modernity’ discourse emerged in the wake of the financial crises of the 1970s. Such crises are still ongoing and discussed within the boundaries of the third ‘crisis of modernity’ discourse. How financial technologies do and do not fit within this third discourse is discussed in the remainder of this article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalPhilosophy and technology
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2018

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