Modern vs. Pre-modern

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Modern vs. Pre-modern

There is one simple way to classify the difference between the modern and the pre-modern, and that would be to separate them by years. Unfortunately this would not be cut and dried; it would be a rough estimate because no one really knows when the change took place, or if there even was a change. What is known for sure is that things did change. The ““moderns” (became) set against “ancient” modes of thought and practice” (Shapin, p. 5), and this led to a so-called scientific revolution. In science the old ways of the pre-modern world were being questioned and torn apart by the people of the modern era. People began to lose faith in the medieval scholastic interpretation of the Bible and began to question all that they knew. Many discrepancies became obvious in what they knew at the time, how each came to the conclusion of what they knew, and finally what the knowledge that they had acquired was worth. This did have an adverse affect though, many Protestant movements turned even more back to the Bible to explain what was happening.

The level of knowledge that was known in the pre-modern is minuscule compared to the amount of information that was added to what had already been established during the modern period. Of course the exception of subjects that interested people, then in that case they were very knowledgeable. This adding to and explanation of many old ideas was the ushering in of the new age. This questioning and explanation began somewhere around 1611 when Gaileo “observed dark spots, apparently on (the sun’s) surface.”(p.15). His interpretation of what these sunspots were “was widely taken as a serious challenge to the whole edifice of traditional natural philosophy as it had been ...

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...f truth as a revelation had become doubtful, and with it the unquestioning faith in a revealed God” was said by Arendt yet throughout Shapin’s The Scientific Revolution he notes that some modern scientists and 17th century natural philosophers believed that “God’s Book of Nature as a source of truth”(p. 136). Shapin also suggests that God can still exist with science because God was a creation of science in order to explain the workings of the universe. Overall Shapin is in agreement with the quote from Arendt, and they both agree that science is a working hypothesis that is constantly changing and growing to fit man’s needs. Throughout time this has occurred, the improving on nature to improve man’s life. It is quite possible from what we have read that they both believe that the improvement on nature will further man, but still cannot take man to perfection.
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