Precariousness, the secured present and the sustainability of the future: learning from Koselleck and extrapolating from Elias
Time & Society
Sage Publications Ltd.
155 - 178
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Theorists concerned with the current status of the future have rightly acknowledged their debt to Koselleck’s historicization of modern future-oriented temporality. Koselleck, however, does not address how such a temporality can be sustained. Elias can be of help here. Anticipating recent inquiry into the effects of precariousness on temporality, Elias established a historical link between a present secured from unpredictability and the capacity for temporal extension beyond immediate concerns. Although Elias does not directly address modern temporality, his work, when combined with Koselleck’s, can shed light on some of the preconditions for the sustainability of modern future-orientedness. Such a combination of Koselleck’s work with Elias’s can help lay the groundwork for a more historically informed diagnostic assessment of our current temporal horizons.