The Dream of Transparency: Aquinas, Rousseau, Sartre

  • Manfred Schneider


The Western imaginary is haunted by a dream of transparency, whether in a philosophical, a political or moral sense. Based on his German book Transparenztraum. Literatur, Politik, Medien und das Unmögliche, Manfred Schneider recalls the first reference to the dream in the fabulous anecdote of Momus in Hesiod’s Theogony where Zeus is being blamed for not putting a window in man’s breast, through which you could see his thoughts. Schneider writes three further chapters in the history of this dream: Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rousseau and Sartre stand for the elaboration of these ideas respectively in the Middle Ages, in the Enlightenment and in the twentieth century. The author suggests a way to distinguish and connect the linguistic, political and the interpersonal aspect of the dream.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Schneider
    • 1
  1. 1.Ruhr-Universität Bochum Germansitisches InstitutBochumGermany

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