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Subject: What is Modernity? rss

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Philip Thomas
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Is it the present moment?
Is it the wave of the future?
Is it the fashion of the young?
Is it a commitment to tolerance and the scientific method?
Is it a particular historical/artistic/cultural era which has now passed (hence "Post-Modern")?
Is it an ideological commitment to change?
Is it a dangerous source of sin?
Is it the sum of progress up to the time in question?
Or is it all of those things and none, a rhetorical everyman?

 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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It would presumably depend on context. History as a subject uses the term for the post-medieval to present day period, with the Renaissance acting as a transitional period. Art and architecture use it for specific styles from the 20th century, and so on.
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Philip Thomas
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In a computer game I played called Civilisation: Call to Power the Modern age was the 3rd of 5 ages depicted-4th was Genetic Age and 5th Diamond. The game went from 4000 BC to 3000 AD. The Modern age was roughly 1750-2100 AD, although if you were playing the easy levels you could get Diamond age tech by 2000 AD.

(Length of game turn in years varied through the game so that each age was about the same number of turns even though the Ancient Age was much the longest in years).
 
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William Boykin
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Modernity (as opposed to the Modern Era, different thing entirely) is generally seen as the socio-cultural world which developed concurrently with the rise of Capitalism as an economic system and the ideals of the Enlightenment as a political and philosophical force.

It's a really complicated concept, used to describe the sense that after the Enlightenment (and the French Revolution in particular), the nature of societies and cultures throughout the West made fundamental and radical changes. Art, political discourse, economics, philosophy, literature, science- all these are qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from previous periods of time.

Dr. Philip Mitchell (Dallas Baptist University) has a pretty good overview listed on a website for his honors course in modern Literature.
http://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/modernit.htm

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There have been numerous attempts, particularly in the field of sociology, to understand what modernity is. A wide variety of terms are used to describe the society, social life, driving force, symptomatic mentality, or some other defining aspects of modernity. They include:

Bureaucracy--impersonal, social hierarchies that practice a division of labor and are marked by a regularity of method and procedure
Disenchantment of the world--the loss of sacred and metaphysical understandings of al facets of life and culture
Rationalization--the world can be understood and managed through a reasonable and logical system of objectively accessible theories and data
Secularization--the loss of religious influence and/or religious belief at a societal level
Alienation--isolation of the individual from systems of meaning--family, meaningful work, religion, clan, etc.
Commodification--the reduction of all aspects of life to objects of monetary consumption and exchange
Decontexutalization--the removal of social practices, beliefs, and cultural objects from their local cultures of origin
Individualism --growing stress on individuals as opposed to meditating structures such as family, clan, academy, village, church
Nationalism--the rise of the modern nation-states as rational centralized governments that often cross local, ethnic groupings
Urbanization--the move of people, cultural centers, and political influence to large cities
Subjectivism--the turn inward for definitions and evaluations of truth and meaning
Linear-progression--preference for forms of reasoning that stress presuppositions and resulting chains of propositions
Objectivism--the belief that truth-claims can be established by autonomous information accessible by all
Universalism--application of ideas/claims to all cultures/circumstances regardless of local distinctions
Reductionism--the belief that something can be understood by studying the parts that make it up
Mass society--the growth of societies united by mass media and widespread dissemination of cultural practices as opposed to local and regional culture particulars
Industrial society--societies formed around the industrial production and distribution of products
Homogenization--the social forces that tend toward a uniformity of cultural ideas and products
Democratization--political systems characterized by free elections, independent judiciaries, rule of law, and respect of human rights
Mechanization--the transfer of the means of production from human labor to mechanized, advanced technology
Totalitarianism--absolutist central governments that suppress free expression and political dissent, and that practice propaganda and indoctrination of its citizens
Therapeutic motivations--the understanding that the human self is a product of evolutionary desires and that the self should be assisted in achieving those desires as opposed to projects of ethical improvement or pursuits of public virtue.




Darilian
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Short version: Politically, modernity is the idea that some economic / industrial ideology has all the answers (be it communism, libertarianism, etc). Artistically it's stuff that is both secular and non-representational, e.g. surrealism.
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Isaac Citrom
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Darilian wrote:
Modernity (as opposed to the Modern Era, different thing entirely) is generally seen as the socio-cultural world which developed concurrently with the rise of Capitalism as an economic system and the ideals of the Enlightenment as a political and philosophical force.

It's a really complicated concept, used to describe the sense that after the Enlightenment (and the French Revolution in particular), the nature of societies and cultures throughout the West made fundamental and radical changes. Art, political discourse, economics, philosophy, literature, science- all these are qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from previous periods of time.

Dr. Philip Mitchell (Dallas Baptist University) has a pretty good overview listed on a website for his honors course in modern Literature.
http://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/modernit.htm

Quote:
There have been numerous attempts, particularly in the field of sociology, to understand what modernity is. A wide variety of terms are used to describe the society, social life, driving force, symptomatic mentality, or some other defining aspects of modernity. They include:

Bureaucracy--impersonal, social hierarchies that practice a division of labor and are marked by a regularity of method and procedure
Disenchantment of the world--the loss of sacred and metaphysical understandings of al facets of life and culture
Rationalization--the world can be understood and managed through a reasonable and logical system of objectively accessible theories and data
Secularization--the loss of religious influence and/or religious belief at a societal level
Alienation--isolation of the individual from systems of meaning--family, meaningful work, religion, clan, etc.
Commodification--the reduction of all aspects of life to objects of monetary consumption and exchange
Decontexutalization--the removal of social practices, beliefs, and cultural objects from their local cultures of origin
Individualism --growing stress on individuals as opposed to meditating structures such as family, clan, academy, village, church
Nationalism--the rise of the modern nation-states as rational centralized governments that often cross local, ethnic groupings
Urbanization--the move of people, cultural centers, and political influence to large cities
Subjectivism--the turn inward for definitions and evaluations of truth and meaning
Linear-progression--preference for forms of reasoning that stress presuppositions and resulting chains of propositions
Objectivism--the belief that truth-claims can be established by autonomous information accessible by all
Universalism--application of ideas/claims to all cultures/circumstances regardless of local distinctions
Reductionism--the belief that something can be understood by studying the parts that make it up
Mass society--the growth of societies united by mass media and widespread dissemination of cultural practices as opposed to local and regional culture particulars
Industrial society--societies formed around the industrial production and distribution of products
Homogenization--the social forces that tend toward a uniformity of cultural ideas and products
Democratization--political systems characterized by free elections, independent judiciaries, rule of law, and respect of human rights
Mechanization--the transfer of the means of production from human labor to mechanized, advanced technology
Totalitarianism--absolutist central governments that suppress free expression and political dissent, and that practice propaganda and indoctrination of its citizens
Therapeutic motivations--the understanding that the human self is a product of evolutionary desires and that the self should be assisted in achieving those desires as opposed to projects of ethical improvement or pursuits of public virtue.



Dar, good post. But, isn't what you're describing, modernism. Modernity as I understand it is exactly what Moshe said. They're not the same thing, if I recall correctly.
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William Boykin
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isaacc wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Modernity (as opposed to the Modern Era, different thing entirely) is generally seen as the socio-cultural world which developed concurrently with the rise of Capitalism as an economic system and the ideals of the Enlightenment as a political and philosophical force.

It's a really complicated concept, used to describe the sense that after the Enlightenment (and the French Revolution in particular), the nature of societies and cultures throughout the West made fundamental and radical changes. Art, political discourse, economics, philosophy, literature, science- all these are qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from previous periods of time.

Dr. Philip Mitchell (Dallas Baptist University) has a pretty good overview listed on a website for his honors course in modern Literature.
http://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/modernit.htm

Quote:
There have been numerous attempts, particularly in the field of sociology, to understand what modernity is. A wide variety of terms are used to describe the society, social life, driving force, symptomatic mentality, or some other defining aspects of modernity. They include:

Bureaucracy--impersonal, social hierarchies that practice a division of labor and are marked by a regularity of method and procedure
Disenchantment of the world--the loss of sacred and metaphysical understandings of al facets of life and culture
Rationalization--the world can be understood and managed through a reasonable and logical system of objectively accessible theories and data
Secularization--the loss of religious influence and/or religious belief at a societal level
Alienation--isolation of the individual from systems of meaning--family, meaningful work, religion, clan, etc.
Commodification--the reduction of all aspects of life to objects of monetary consumption and exchange
Decontexutalization--the removal of social practices, beliefs, and cultural objects from their local cultures of origin
Individualism --growing stress on individuals as opposed to meditating structures such as family, clan, academy, village, church
Nationalism--the rise of the modern nation-states as rational centralized governments that often cross local, ethnic groupings
Urbanization--the move of people, cultural centers, and political influence to large cities
Subjectivism--the turn inward for definitions and evaluations of truth and meaning
Linear-progression--preference for forms of reasoning that stress presuppositions and resulting chains of propositions
Objectivism--the belief that truth-claims can be established by autonomous information accessible by all
Universalism--application of ideas/claims to all cultures/circumstances regardless of local distinctions
Reductionism--the belief that something can be understood by studying the parts that make it up
Mass society--the growth of societies united by mass media and widespread dissemination of cultural practices as opposed to local and regional culture particulars
Industrial society--societies formed around the industrial production and distribution of products
Homogenization--the social forces that tend toward a uniformity of cultural ideas and products
Democratization--political systems characterized by free elections, independent judiciaries, rule of law, and respect of human rights
Mechanization--the transfer of the means of production from human labor to mechanized, advanced technology
Totalitarianism--absolutist central governments that suppress free expression and political dissent, and that practice propaganda and indoctrination of its citizens
Therapeutic motivations--the understanding that the human self is a product of evolutionary desires and that the self should be assisted in achieving those desires as opposed to projects of ethical improvement or pursuits of public virtue.



Dar, good post. But, isn't what you're describing, modernism. Modernity as I understand it is exactly what Moshe said. They're not the same thing, if I recall correctly.
.


No, you've got it backwards.

Modernism is a school of art.

Modernity, on the other hand, is a word used to describe the nature of living in an era marked by the rise of Capitalism, in both social and cultural aspects.

Modernism is essentially art influenced by Modernity itself.

Darilian
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J J
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Alaren wrote:
Personally I find it irritating that scholars co-opted the word "modern" (originally--and in ordinary usage still--meaning "just now") to refer to a specific time period that is now past.


QFT. Was irritated by this in Innovation just the other day.

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