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Not to be confused with Contemporary history.

The term "present age" is a concept in the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. A formulation of the modern age can be found in Kierkegaard's work Two Ages:

The present age is one of understanding, of reflection, devoid of passion, an age which flies into enthusiasm for a moment only to decline back into indolence. ... Action and passion is as absent in the present age as peril is absent from swimming in shallow waters.

—Kierkegaard, Søren, Two Ages: A Literary Review.[1]

Kierkegaard argues the present age drains the meaning out of ethical concepts through passionless indolence. The concepts are still used, but are drained of all meaning by virtue of their detachment from a life view which is passion-generated and produces consistent action.[2]

Interpretations[edit]

Several contemporary philosophers, including Anthony Rudd, John Davenport, and Alasdair MacIntyre[3] allocate this concept and apply it as an analysis of nihilism. Hubert Dreyfus, for example in his essay "Anonymity vrs. Commitment in the Present Age", argues that Kierkegaard, "who was always concerned with nihilism, warns that his age is characterized by a disinterested reflection and curiosity that levels all differences of status and value."[4]

Other thinkers apply the concept as a symptom of herd behavior or mob mentality. Norman Lillegard argues that the present age is "incapable of anything but 'crowd actions' which are not true actions at all."[5]

The indie rock band Arcade Fire have cited Kierkegaard's writings on "the present age" as a major influence for their 2013 album Reflektor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kierkegaard, Søren. The Present Age and of the Difference Between a Genius and an Apostle, trans. Alexander Dru (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1962) [1]
  2. ^ Lillegard, Norman. Thinking with Kierkegaard and MacIntyre about Virtue. Page Section II
  3. ^ Davenport, John; Rudd, Anthony; and MacIntyre, Alasdair. Kierkegaard after MacIntyre: essays on freedom, narrative, and virtue p. 226 - 229
  4. ^ Hubert L. Dreyfus (2004). "Kierkegaard on the Internet: Anonymity vrs. Commitment in the Present Age". Regents of the University of California. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Lillegard, Norman. Thinking with Kierkegaard and MacIntyre about Virtue. Page Section II

Web[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Present_age — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

116 news items

 
American Press
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:37:30 -0700

She said St. Paul's is committed to serving the community of North Lake Charles with more outreach plans in the coming weeks. “We move forward ready to serve the present age,” said church member Alvin Rideaux. Pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church Rev.
 
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OpEdNews
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

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The Phuket News
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With the wane of the century-old era of tin-mining came the dawn of the present age of tourism, the lifeblood of which tens of thousands depend on to this day. Credited with propelling if not catalyzing that shift is Dr Siripattra's beloved uncle, Khun ...
 
The Decatur Daily
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Even by its usual messed-up standards, the world is a big mess: Iraq is being overrun by terrorists; Libya is disintegrating; Afghanistan stumbles to doom; Ukraine is battling Russian-supported separatists; and the Israelis and Palestinians are pausing ...
 
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Sun, 17 Aug 2014 16:03:45 -0700

In the present age, health problems related to lifestyle choices absorb a large proportion of the NHS budget. It needs pointing out that the NHS, as presently constituted, is just an insurance scheme, with the premium compulsorily collected through ...
 
AllAfrica.com
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:41:15 -0700

The present age has inherited a vastly altered Africa, thanks to the dynamic exploits of the Pan-Africanists. We are admittedly confronted by an intimidating array of problems but our own challenge is not faulting that on the leaders; nay, it is to ...
 
Eagle-Tribune
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

In fact, the troubles of the present age are almost always no worse than the crises of the past. History, that stern old school marm, has a way of teaching perspective. The summer of our discontent falls in August 2014. As it happens, 100 years ago ...
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