History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Discovery of the Axial Age

January 31st, 2015 · No Comments

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/intro1_2_3.htm This section in WHEE begins the first round of analysis of the Axial Age, and the way it began to be observed in the nineteenth century. The rise of confusion was inevitable, and the resulting mixture of rationalist philosophy of history and semi-theological evocation by Jaspers left many readers both enthusiastic and confused. The idea seemed to be a version of the idea of an ‘age of revelation’ but that failed to see that the birth of secularism was just as much a valid hypothesis: the world of ‘Axial Age’ Greece shows a mini-modernity being born. Jaspers seemed to sense this, but many of his readers can’t see the common denominator between the Greek, Israelite, Persian, Indian and Chinese versions. The data requires the careful construction of a larger model and the idea of a series of axis point, not Axial Ages. The idea also requires looking at the deeper reality of the Axial Age, beyond its sages and prophets: the idea of the transformation of a given culture.

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