Barbarism represents a
critique, from the perspective of Michel Henry's unique philosophy of life, of
the increasing potential of science and technology to destroy the roots of
culture and the value of the individual human being. For Henry, barbarism
is the result of a devaluation of human life and culture that can be
traced back to the spread of quantification, the scientific method and
technology over all aspects of modern life. The book develops a compelling
critique of capitalism, technology and education and provides a powerful
insight into the political implications of Henry's work. It also opens up a new
dialogue with other influential cultural critics, such as Marx, Husserl, and Heidegger.
First published in French in 1987, Barbarism
aroused great interest as well as virulent criticism. Today the book
reveals what for Henry is a cruel reality: the tragic feeling of powerlessness
experienced by the cultured person. Above all he argues for the importance
of returning to philosophy in order to analyse the root causes of
barbarism in our world.