The old age of the world

At the home of the world’s most authoritative dictionary, perhaps it is not inappropriate to play a word association game. If I say the word ‘modern’, what comes into your mind? The chances are, it
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At the home of the world’s most authoritative dictionary, perhaps it is not inappropriate to play a word association game. If I say the word “modern,” what comes into your mind? The chances are, it will be some variation of “new,” “recent,” or “contemporary.” This understanding of modernity is so ingrained that we rarely pause to reflect on its historical implications. Yet there is another way of conceiving the term, one that brings with it a whole different set of associations. What if we were to turn the telescope around, like Copernicus, and view modernity not as a new beginning, but as an end, as a period that is defined by the fact that it comes after everything else? What, in short, if we were to understand modernity as the old age of the world? This simple inversion opens up a new approach to a whole range of assumptions about modern culture, history, and politics. If modernity emerges in this sense as a kind of historical late. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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