This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Modernity And The Age Of Enlightenment

1554 words - 6 pages

When talking about the concept of modernity, most people will probably think such concept is related to the contemporary era they live in where many advanced technology present in everyday life. In this so-called modern era, people from different regions and cultural backgrounds share many similar characteristics, such as their daily technology or civilization, general knowledge and science, and even the way they dressed. In fact, many characteristics or values that are different with those shared contemporary characteristics or values are often labelled as “traditional” or “alternative”. Some people believed that the beginning of modernity was marked by the age of Enlightenment where rationalism prevailed. Nevertheless, others believe that the seed of modernity had been planted even before such era. Using Stuart Hall’s work, The West and the Rest: Discourse of Power (1995) as primary reference, this essay will try to explore the root of modernity which dated back to the European exploration and colonialism era. In this essay, the concept of modernity will be mainly viewed as a cultural phenomenon caused by the domination of European values over other cultures throughout the world which results in the universality of the modern societies.
Roberts (1985) cited in Hall (1996, p.187) define the modern history as “…the approach march to the age dominated by the West". In order to have a better understanding on such definition, we must first observe the established meaning of the so-called “the West”. According to Hall, in the discourse of the West and the Rest, the concept of the West is not simply based on geographical location, but rather on a type of society arising in the sixteenth century in Europe which shared a number of similar characteristics. Among these shared characteristics, Mann cited in Hall (p.197) suggested that Christianity might become the important factor in the formation of a collective identity among the society, which in reality was not homogenous at all. In fact, Mann pointed out that in the past, this collective identity was more commonly referred to as the Christendom. The external challenge from Islam on the East and the South also contributed to the formation of this collective identity. It is interesting, however, that rather that seeing the external challenge came from another specific country or region, Hall, along with the writers whom he cited, mentioned that the challenge was coming from another religion. This kind of paradigm further indicated that the collective identity among the different Western European communities was indeed established based on the similar religious belief.
As the said concept of collective identity deals with the similarities among societies, such concept became more significant when the members of the group assuming the collective identity face other groups which are very different with their own group. This, in turn, forms the concept of “we” and “others”, as happened during the era of...

Find Another Essay On Modernity and The Age of Enlightenment

Modernity and Enlightenment in The Persian Letters by Charles Montesquieu

1347 words - 5 pages Modernity and Enlightenment in The Persian Letters by Charles Montesquieu The Persian Letters (1721), a fictional piece by Charles Montesquieu, is representative of ‘the Enlightenment,’ both supporting and showing conflict with its ideas. The initial perception of European people, in particular the French, is of a busy people with goals and ambition whose focus is progress; in this way they are able to gain knowledge

Medical Sciences during the age of Enlightenment

631 words - 3 pages Medical Sciences during the age of Enlightenment During the Enlightenment Age there were many new development of the sciences, new guiding principles through the encyclopedia, and the upbringing of medical science practices. These advances improved knowledge throughout society because of their technological improvements and new knowledge to mankind. Discoveries in Europe were critical in the upbringing of science. “Europeans scientific

The Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason Analysis

704 words - 3 pages The “Age of Enlightenment” also known as the “Age of Reason” took place around Europe between the 17th and 18th century. It was a movement that took place to emphasize the use of reason and science in the world. In addition, it was to enlighten or shed light upon the use of factual reasoning and promote the use of evidence when doing things. Thinkers and well-known philosophers of the time such as Voltaire, Diderot, D'Alembert, Descartes

Age of Enlightenment

782 words - 4 pages One can see how the Age of Enlightenment affected many people in the eighteenth century. The eighteenth century consisted of a time of change as well as an upbringing of tradition. When it comes to the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution played a big role. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant, “defined the Enlightenment as ‘man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity” (377). Within previous periods of time, people were in sense impaired when

Age of Enlightenment

2056 words - 8 pages The 18th century is referred to as the ‘Age of Enlightenment’. The trends in thought and letters from Europe to the American colonies brought a new light and attention upon mankind. This new movement described a time in Western philosophy and cultural life in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority. ‘To understand the natural world and humankinds place in it solely on the basis of reason and without turning

The Effects of Modernity and the Military

1618 words - 6 pages The military has long been one of the central institutions of the state. However in the years since the beginning of the modern age this institution has been radically changed. The modern military is capable of organization, violence, and destructive power never dreamed of in the pre modern age. The small scale personal warfare of the pre modern age has been replaced with war that is impersonal and technologically driven.The Military in the pre

H.D.: The Fusion of Classicism and Modernity

1880 words - 8 pages H.D.: The Fusion of Classicism and Modernity With foundations rooted deeply in an appreciation for and understanding of classicism, H.D. fused ancient Grecian literature, thinking and mythology with modernistic feminism, bisexuality and psychoanalysis to establish for herself a prominent voice among her contemporaries. Born Hilda Doolittle in 1886 to Helen and Charles Doolittle, her education was fostered by the intellectual

The Age of Discovery, Columbus, Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution, early technology and trade

1076 words - 4 pages Explain how technology was a stimuli to the Age of Discovery?There were many technological advances in the Age of discovery. The development of the cannon, which was able shoot iron or stone balls. This device could take down city walls or fortresses. A western technician built 56 small cannon's and gigantic gun that could hurl stone balls weighing 800 lbs. The gun could only be loaded and fired only by about a hundred men working together, and

Was The Enlightenment Really The Age of Reason?

1588 words - 6 pages looking at two texts. The essays, ‘An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment’ by Immanuel Kant, an 18th century philosopher, and ‘What is Enlightenment’ by Michel Foucault, a 20th century philosopher. The texts show that the Enlightenment was the age of reason because it allowed individuals to use reason in order to break free from the minority placed on their lives, the results of which are still influencing the world we live in today

Philosophy in the Enlightenment Era: The Age of Reason

1288 words - 5 pages During the 17th and 18th century, there was a movement that begun to put an emphasis on individuality, more specifically, the use of reason. The era of enlightenment saw the replacement of historical traditions, in favor of using reasoning to achieve freedom. Man by nature, desire to know what occurred in the past. History is concerned with narrating concepts and actions. Historicism is a theory that social and cultural occurrences are

Describe The Age of Enlightenment - Suny Orange/Modern Europe - Paper

609 words - 3 pages 1 Onorati Mariah Onorati Professor Sassi Modern Europe 18 September 2017 The Age of Enlightenment The Enlightenment was a time period in the eighteenth century where Europeans became more self-aware and intelligent. This movement challenged basic traditional values of European society. People began questioning why after years of being told what to do, how to do it, why they do it, and what will happen if they don’t do it. With the rise in

Similar Essays

The Age Of Enlightenment Essay

649 words - 3 pages Science vs the Enlightenment vs Politics This essay argues that the Enlightenment is the most important concept among the three given in the title. The Age of Enlightenment was a period in early modern history when western societies, led by its intellectuals, made a marked shift from religion based authority to one of scientific reason. Prior to this period, the Church and the State were intricately interlinked; and the Enlightenment sought

The Age Of Enlightenment Essay

1067 words - 4 pages Throughout the course of history there has been many influential people, events and eras that greatly contributed to the society we know of today. Many of which contributed to the Cultural, Industrial or Territorial disputes that set our boundaries. Unlike in the preceding years of war throughout the world that set these boundaries, the Age of Enlightenment brought a whole new perspective to the way the world thought, and how they viewed

The Age Of Enlightenment Essay

716 words - 3 pages , soaring to the domination of man's happiness through freedom. It would affect science, religion and social thinking of society. As a result of society's renewed sence of self awareness, religious art dwindled and art as social commentary flourished (Tacket.)The age of Enlightenment began after the death of Louis the XIV, in the early 18th century, and ended roughly around the time of the coup d'etat of the Royal French Army in 1799, and the

Voltaire And The Age Of Enlightenment

593 words - 3 pages Voltaire and the Age of Enlightenment Voltaire was born as Francois Marie Arouet in Paris on November 21, 1694 as the son of a Notary. He was educated by the Jesuits at the College Louis-le-Grand and grew up assumed the pen name "Voltaire" and became a French writer, Philosopher, and one of the leaders of the Enlightenment. Voltaire wrote many letters in his life time, most of which were to famous rulers, philosophers, and noble