modernity   1841

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Modernity's resonances—An introduction
More than a decade ago I was seated at a dinner table with a half dozen conference participants; we had been assigned places and our table included an avuncular and distinguished scholar whose cosmopolitan interest in everyone’s conversation made us all feel quite brilliant. At dessert the discussion turned to ghosts. But it soon became clear that we were going to talk about ghosts from only one side of the line: these were literary ghosts, metaphorical ghosts, secular hauntings. We were a sophisticated group, the kind that could be attentive (even after a few glasses of wine) to the minefield-laden language games around belief, the uncanny, “the secular.” So we steered clear. Everyone knew better than to admit if they believed in ghosts. And there was certainly a lot to discuss without taking up the question of belief. Nonetheless, I began to feel irritated. I spoke up to say that where I grew up, people saw ghosts, and in fact I had myself seen a ghost.
modernity  disenchantment  from instapaper
12 days ago by ayjay
Credulity, or Science as an intoxication
This is not a nostalgia, exactly, but it is by no means a celebration of disenchantment. So, too, with “Science as a Vocation.” Leo Tolstoy diagnosed the realm of science as a desert of meaning. Now, Weber says, that desert encompasses all of us:
civilized man, placed in the midst of the continuous enrichment of culture by ideas, knowledge, and problems, may become ‘tired of life’ but not ‘satiated with life.’ He catches only the most minute part of what the life of the spirit brings forth ever anew, and what he seizes is always something provisional and not definitive, and therefore death for him is a meaningless occurrence.

Weber’s disenchantment story is not a comedy. It is a tormenting unresolved epic.
disenchantment  science  modernity  from instapaper
12 days ago by ayjay
The Religion of Workism Is Making Americans Miserable - The Atlantic
-- I guess I have not lost my immigrant psyche...surprised that I have not assimilated enough to let the article resonate inside of me. I think I am not *WEIRD* enough.

Ditto for this one,

-- Some truths, many dimensions left unexplored.
moral_psychology  moral_values  labor  the_atlantic  modernity  21st_century  world_trends 
25 days ago by rvenkat
Not-So Brave New World / by Bruce Frohnen (The Imaginative Conservative, 2013/06/24)
“The non-climax of the book is in its way entirely appropriate to our spiritually and culturally impoverished age. It makes more, and less happy, sense, however, when one looks more deeply into Huxley’s own thought and purpose in his literature. For, where Brave New World clearly presents the dark side of scientism and the conformist pursuit of individual pleasure, his elimination of theological understandings and pursuits is no mere plot device or indication of his dystopia’s impoverishment. Rather, it is an indication of his own view of the nature of the person and his ultimate end.”

“Faith in Man—provided that Man is properly programmed through inculcation of the author’s ideology—remains the central conceit of modernity.”
BraveNewWorld  Dystopia  HappyDystopia  BruceFrohnen  Modernity 
5 weeks ago by cbearden

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