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value as negotiated in the buying and selling of commodities. See also Ideology, Metaphysics and Modernity. Metaphysics as a religious belief conceives of existence in terms of two worlds: a higher “true world”, a transcendental realm of Being that is eternal and unchanging, which is contrasted with its “fallen” opposite, the world inhabited by humankind – a world ultimately defined by finitude and mortality. As such, this latter world is considered deficient and “lacking”. Subsequently, metaphysics has come to refer to any ideology that revolves around an ideal of unified identity, subjectivity or consciousness. See also Ideology and Marxism. Modernity in the Marxist intellectual tradition is characterized historically by a shift from feudalism in the middle ages to Capitalism based on a market economy in which workers sell their labour. The increase in the division of labour that was bound up with industrialization and the rise of a consumer society marks the proper onset of modernity. For Heidegger, modernity is a historical epoch that follows the pre-Socratic and Christian eras and is characterized by an instrumental form of thinking whereby means are subordinated to calculated ends and purposes. Phenomenology rejected propositional truths and subject–object distinctions, focusing not on the nature of objects perceived but rather the experience of perceiving them. Phenomenology is derived from the philosophy of Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) and is associated with subsequent philosophers such as Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty (1908–61). Postmodernism in some instances can incorporate the notion of post-structuralism (see below). Additionally, it refers to a historical moment in Capitalism after the period of industrialization, characterized by the rise in digital and virtual forms of reproduction and communication. See also Modernity. Post-structuralism refers to the loose-knit group of French philosophers and thinkers who came to the fore during the post-war period and the time of the uprisings in 1968. Opposed to metaphysics, they embraced becoming and change (Deleuze) and they were attentive to the challenging question of how such events of becoming and change can be represented linguistically or symbolically (Derrida, Nancy, Badiou). In turn, this question determined their approach to issues of time, futurity and community after the collapse of modernity’s utopian ideals (see also Foucault, Agamben and Rancière). Romanticism is a Western cultural phenomenon in the arts and philosophy dating from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century. Its greatest legacy for philosophy, encapsulated in Kant’s theory of the sublime, was to conceive of experience as overwhelming, in excess of the subject’s grasp.

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