Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The issue of epochs and transitions

June 21st, 2015 · No Comments

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/arts-and-books/breaking-the-enlightenment-spell-2:

Breaking the Enlightenment spell
Idealising the age of reason as a perfect model of truth, virtue and knowledge is bad history as well as bad philosophy

There is some truth to this. But who exactly idealized the ‘age of reason’? The Enlightenment is a cluster of innovations/thinkers/cultural history and has no absolute definition and can easily include areas where it failed.

A better solution is the macro model of WHEE: instead of thinking of conceptualized periods in the abstract we think in terms of (relatively fuzzy) transition intervals between large scale intervals. (another word could be ‘epoch’)
.The modern transition is one such transition: the problem of reifying subintervals disappears: the term ‘enlightenment’ is simply a descriptive term for a correlated set of events inside that interval, and the larger picture includes its complements, like the Romantic movement, the ‘counter-enlightenment’, etc…

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