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More on yesterday’s Grand Narrative January 25, 2008

Posted by Will Thomas in Uncategorized.

I’ve been wondering since yesterday if I was being ridiculous in claiming that the 20th century represented a return to a medieval model intertwining natural knowledge with mainstream thought. If this argument were to have any legs at all, I would have to say that there would have to be two turning points. First, science would have to turn away from mainstream philosophy. I think you could argue that the 17th century turn to mechanism represented such a point–natural philosophy turned toward an instrumental sort of knowledge (I think this is borrowing off of Peter Dear). I think you could then argue that it takes until the 2oth century for instrumental knowledge to really enter the mainstream of economic and political life, although this probably happens earlier in England, and, to a lesser extent, Germany and France.

Anyway, I doubt this line of thought is really worth pursuing, but that’s what blogs are for.



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