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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]


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Christian Post (blog)

Christian Post (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:22:30 -0700

Howe says, “Since the seventy sevens is decreed upon Israel and Jerusalem, and since the present age is focused upon the Gentiles, it stands to reason that a gap would be introduced between the end of the sixty-ninth and the beginning of the seventieth ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Here in the third reflection, we consider whether the Kingdom of Heaven discourages care for this present age. Thucydides, the first great historian, says cities collapse into revolution and chaos because in a crisis, a demagogue makes being sensible ...
 
Slate Magazine (blog)
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:47:41 -0700

Last month a regional grocery chain in New England—Market Basket—was struck by employee strikes, work slowdowns, and customer protests after popular President Arthur T. Demoulas was fired in a power struggle with his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.
 
Slate Magazine (blog)
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Last month a regional grocery chain in New England—Market Basket—was struck by employee strikes, work slowdowns, and customer protests after popular president Arthur T. Demoulas was fired in a power struggle with his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.
 
Hanford Sentinel
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 05:56:15 -0700

The researchers made no correlation between our present age of constant stimulation and distraction, and people's inability to sit “doing nothing,” yet I cannot help but make that connection. I know that from my own experience, it seems more and more ...

Headlines & Global News

Headlines & Global News
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:18:45 -0700

An international team of astronomers captured the best view of two colliding galaxies, which occurred at the time when the known Universe was still half of its present age. (Photo : Hubble/ESA). An international team of astronomers captured the best ...

Tech Times

Tech Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:52:30 -0700

... coordinated follow-up effort from ALMA, VLA, and other observatories around the world has dramatically improved our understanding of galaxy mergers when the universe was half its present age," says Shane Bussmann from Cornell University in New York ...
 
The Daily Star
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Thereupon he finds the present age enervating. The next poem, 'Dusomoy' (Bad Time) carries the essence of the preceding poem. Here the poet argues that as the days go by, the darkness of the human mind is getting deeper and deeper. This composition ...
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