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History, Metaphors, FablesA Hans Blumenberg Reader$
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Hans Blumenberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501732829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501732829.001.0001

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World Pictures and World Models

World Pictures and World Models


(p.40) 2 World Pictures and World Models
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Hans Blumenberg's speech “World Pictures and World Models,” which he gave after he was appointed full professor at the University of Gießen in 1960. In the modern age, the scientific world model and the cultural self-understanding are no longer congruent. Philosophy's task is not just to explicate this divergence but also to dismantle remaining monist and exclusive world pictures. Blumenberg then locates philosophy's critical function in reducing total expectations of meaning — even if, as is true for his later works, modernity's loss of meaning may itself be mourned. He explains that the task that falls to philosophy within the association of academic fields can be traced back to its function in the spiritual economy of humans in general. The countless definitions that have been given for philosophy's achievements in its history have a basic formula at their core: philosophy is the emerging consciousness of humans about themselves.

Keywords:   Hans Blumenberg, University of Gießen, scientific world model, cultural self-understanding, philosophy, modernity

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