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The modern world


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  • 1. The Modern World From the Middle Ages to the Post-modern 500 - 1950
  • 2. The Medieval Situation
    • A united culture of Christendom.
    • An age of respect for authority.
    • An age of enchantment and engagement.
    • An age of speculative philosophy, rather than scientific research.
    • An age of elaborate systems:
    • i) Love = courtship
    • ii) War = chivalry
    • iii) Society = the Great Chain of Being
    • iv) Universe = the four elements
    • v) Medicine = the four humours
    • vi) Philosophy = scholasticism
    • vii) Religion = Christianity
  • 3. It was an age of synthesis and engagement : European culture in the middle ages adopted and perfected a coherent model of the universe. Individuals were engaged in the social and cosmic order.
  • 4. The synthesis of theology, science and history created a single, complex, harmonious mental model from:
    • Platonic
    • Aristotelian
    • Stoical Models
    • Pagan
    • Christian
  • 5. The renaissance in Europe was sparked by the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman texts. The values and ideas they contained led to a series of revolutions in European culture. The movement is called renaissance humanism . The new culture in Europe was human-centred or anthropocentric.
  • 6. Humanism
    • Asserted the primacy of reason and free will.
    • Asserted the individual over the collective.
    • Asserted a personal, rationally understood religious understanding based on virtue and discipline over the collective ritual and Christian agape.
    • Asserted an understanding of human flourishing that involved no relation to a higher order.
    • Paradigms had shifted from a vertical axis (spiritual and transcendent) to a horizontal (materialist and immanent).
  • 7. Renaissance humanism was the philosophical and cultural catalyst that initiated a new human centred (anthropocentric) understanding of our place in the cosmos. It affected:
    • Theology
    • Philosophy
    • Political thought
    • Law
    • Medicine
    • Mathematics
    • Art
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Science
  • 8. Revolution and Emancipation
    • Revolutions inflame the feeling that life in society is perpetual constraint, the eternal cause of discontent.
    • Emancipation is the immediate appeal of all revolutions. It offers the opportunity to escape from the discipline society imposes.
  • 9. Religion 16C
    • Question : What to believe? How to worship?
    • Example : Protestant Reformation.
    • Personality : Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I.
    • Values : Emancipation, Primitivism.
  • 10. Monarchical 17C
    • Question : Who will rule? Monarch or Parliament?
    • Example : English Civil War.
    • Personality : James I, Charles I, Charles II.
    • Values : Emancipation, Secularism.
  • 11. Liberal and Individual 18 & 19C
    • Question : What is the status of the individual in society?
    • Example : French and American Revolutions.
    • Personality : Voltaire, Rousseau, Thomas Paine.
    • Values : Emancipation, Liberty, Equality, Reason, Individualism.
  • 12. Social and Economic 20C
    • Question : How to achieve social and economic equality?
    • Example : Russian Revolution.
    • Personality : Karl Marx, Lenin, Trotsky.
    • Values : Emancipation, Reason, Equality.
  • 13. Scientific 16-20C
    • Question : What is man’s relationship with himself and the world?
    • Example : Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, Gravitation, Heliocentric Universe.
    • Personalities : Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud.
    • Values : Reason, Analysis, Specialism, Empiricism.
  • 14. Paradigm Shift
    • the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern — a radical change in personal beliefs, complex systems or organizations, replacing the former way of thinking or organizing with a radically different way of thinking or organizing.
  • 15. The Modern World is an Age of Analysis …things come apart
    • Religion
    • Government
    • The Individual
    • The Economy
    • Society
    • Science.
    • All institutions and paradigms have radically transformed. However, by 1950 the modern world has ended and the values that energised society have lost their power to move people. The post-modern world is atomised and is characterised by feelings of alienation, pessimism, disenchantment and malaise.
  • 16. The Modern World
    • Shifted our understanding of our place in the cosmos from a vertical plane (transcendence, engagement, enchantment) to a horizontal one (immanence, material, disenchantment).