In the seventeenth century, a vision arose which was to captivate the Western imagination for the next three hundred years: the vision of Cosmopolis, a society . In Cosmopolis, Stephen Toulmin initially gives a series of proposed dates for the origin of modernity (see p. 5). Proposed dates: Gutenberg and the. Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity. by Stephen Toulmin. Free Press, pp., $ Stephen Toulmin has always been a.
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With wisdom and wit, Stephen Toulmin challenges that human nature and society could be fitted into exact rational categories and explores the consequences of moving beyond it for our present and future world. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? In the seventeenth century, a vision arose which was to captivate the Western imagination for the next three hundred years: While fueling extraordinary advances in all fields of human endeavor, this vision cosmkpolis a hidden yet persistent agenda: Stephen Toulmin confronts that agenda—its illusions and its consequences for our present and future world.
Rorty, University of Virginia “[Toulmin] has now tackled perhaps his most ambitious theme of all.
His aim is nothing less than to lay before us an account of both the origins and the prospects of our distinctively modern world. By charting the evolution of modernity, he hopes to show us what intellectual posture we ought to adopt as we confront the coming millennium. Read more Read less. Add all cosmopolos to Cart Add all three to List.
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The Dream of Enlightenment: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Rise of Modern Philosophy. What the Buddha Taught: A Short History of Myth. The Passion of the Western Mind: From the Back Cover With wisdom and wit, Stephen Toulmin challenges that human nature and society could be fitted into exact rational categories and explores the consequences of moving beyond it for our present and future world.
I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention must read highly recommend toulmin takes modernity century cosmopolis historical philosophy modern account chapter chapters descartes science view certainty europe intellectual newton rationality.
Showing of 19 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Not surprisingly, I found its first three chapters two-thirds of the books very readable, insightful, and plausible.
I especially liked his approach of “re-contextualization” to analyze and re-evaluate the received views on the genesis, nature, and effects of Modernity. Moreover, his interpretations and conclusions were for me quite intuitively satisfying and readily convincing: Toulmin’s development and application of the notion of “scaffolding” were very effective in distinguishing Presuppositions and situatedness from the actual Construction and elements of Modernity.
Moreover, the scaffolding metaphor was used to investigate the origins, formulation, and justification of these elements. Also, it was employed as a clever organizing theme over the first three-and-a-half chapters, ultimately being used in characterizing the historical incremental discrediting of the major supporting bases of Modernity.
Evidently, the classical accounts of Modernity’s formation have taken a narrow and idealized view, akin to the strictures of abstraction and universality exercised by the 17th century’s seminal thinkers themselves. In consequence, these accounts diminished the influence of historical and societal contexts, and further, declined to examine the latent presuppositions.
Toulmin accordingly re-contextualized the unfolding of Modernity’s construction, and examined the implications and validity of the presuppositions: Additionally, he described the ready acceptance and historical application of the derivative concept of Cosmopolis.
It was based on a confluence of central ideas of Newton and Descartes in pursuit of order and certainty. Toulmin next critiques Modernity’s actual outcomes and consequences in its dominating legacy extending into the 20th century.
In all, this is an enlightening and compelling, if revisionist, view of modernity. The transition in tone, coherence, and content beginning in the fourth chapter, however, really did surprise me! Beginning with the section entitled Basically, it struck me that Toulmin was gratuitously articulating fashionable contemporary “dogma”, i. These ostensibly unwarranted add-ons to his previously scholarly critique made it difficult for me to complete reading the book: Three instances of such problematic passages may be noted: On pagean Assertion is made regarding Christ’s statement that “The poor ye have always with you”.
This is an unbelievably preposterous contention, so I can only presume that this assertion is just part of contemporary academic folklore. On pagea Construal associates “scientific understanding” with the condom fetish in sex education, and “ideology” with the opposing view.
The purported science invoked here is questionable at best in light of the empirical evidence bearing on the stated expectations of sex education proponents. Accordingly, the highly dubious scientific understanding applauded here seems itself to be ideologically driven, not empirically based. This example hardly qualifies as an instance of science worthy of the name. On pagean implicit Endorsement cites a proposed reorganization of MIT’s discipline-oriented academic departments, wherein administrative units would fashion the academic programs in accord with their judgments with respect to “addressing particular types of human needs”.
This unattributed proposal is utterly bizarre and unworthy of any mention much less consideration. If the fatuous proposal was indeed serious, it is clearly the product of sheer unreasonableness or blithe ignorance. Unfortunately, passages like the three cited above contribute to an incongruous closure to an otherwise well developed account of Modernity. Worse, they significantly compromise the merit of the book. Sadly, Toulmin’s evident rashness belies his apparent advocacy of tolerance and open-mindedness in this book.
I nonetheless, highly recommend at least the first two-thirds of the book. The remaining one-third strikes me as the “switch part” of a “bait-and-switch” proposition, albeit not necessarily an intentional one.
It might instead be that Toulmin just got lazy or simply struggled to make a target page count. Toulmin takes the reader on an exhaustive tour of the modernist program, tracing the roots of modern thought way, way back to the 16th century He makes a compelling case, with some interesting side trips, that modern thought grew out of the religious wars of the early s and the desire for non-sectarian certainty that those wars created.
If that doesn’t make sense, you should read this book. Fascinating history, and a broad sweep of science and philosophy make this book quite readable, though neither short nor easy. Still, it goes a long way toward explaining why the ground seemed to shift under our feet around It was an earthquake that was as inevitable as it was overdue. I highly recommend this book to any serious student of culture. The hidden Agenda of Modernity breaks down the traditional account of the concept; by applying Aristotle’s skepticism, the author gets into the inside of the historical phenomena that shaped the most important frameworks of the different waves of modernity.
Profound and full of insight, an excellent complement to any study on Modernity. The synopsis of the story is cpsmopolis another reveiwer has already described below: Toulmin contextualizes Newton’s discovery and Hobbes’ political philosophy briefly but enough to make the connection in the light of this quest for certainty that held so many of the best minds in Europe spellbound for all these years.
With a pace that won’t let up, Toulmin takes you on a tour of Europe’s social and intellectual transformation: So far so good but it sounds like something you’ve heard before doesn”t it? That’s when this book takes off: Toulmin digs at the ‘subtexts’ of these common-knowledge events to show you some very interesting presuppositions seemingly toulmij at first inherent in these great scientific discoveries that could not but lead to the institutionalization of racism, sexism, and nationalisms that had such traumatic consequences in the 20th century, with continuing severe after-shocks today.
Looking back, we might smugly click our tongues at the insanity that gripped post-Montaigne Europe, and wonder what the fuss was all about. But Toulmin makes his thesis pressingly relevant to us today by drawing parallels with events and situations that are still with us today.
The author rounds out his argument by giving a brief but clear accounting of the major players French and German today who are redefining the concept of modernity from mutually opposite ends. Toumin’s assessment of the legacy of modernity–however it may have got started–is one of of hope and optimism as he reminds the reader that in making the distinction between ‘power’ and toulmim Hobbes there is also this thing called ‘ moral influence’ which, he hopes, will serve as the engine of renewal and humanization of ‘modernity’ in all its possibilities.
Isn’t that enough in a book? Drop back four hundred years toulnin discover the fears that have driven power to creep back to feudal fire and the sword. The text is difficult for me to carry with me into my other concerns, but it might remind me of Nietzsche: The Gay Science, section People who think can hardly tell other people what to do.
Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity, Toulmin
Trying to make society rational in the age of an iron cage has a panther in the zoo thinking there are a thousand bars, and then, behind a thousand bars, no world like a poem by Rilke.
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