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In November, 1917, the German sociologist Max Weber delivered a now-famous lecture, “Science as a Vocation,” before an assembly of students and faculty at the University of Munich. “The fate of our times,” he declared, “is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’” Weber intended this remark as a global characterization of a modern society in which the natural sciences and bureaucratic rationality had conspired to undermine confidence in religious values and traditional sources of meaning. But we may also take his words as a more general verdict on the condition of modern European thought at the dawn of the twentieth century, when intellectuals from across the continent looked upon the wreckage of the First World War as a turning point in civilization, as a violent end to the nineteenth century and a grim foretaste of the world to come. Weber himself remained in a posture of ambivalence: He feared that the higher ideals of the Enlightenment were “irretrievably lost” and that only the imperative of “economic compulsion” would prevail.
It is something of a truism that each age must work through the legacy of its predecessors. In the case of the nineteenth century, this obvious statement gains poignancy when one considers the novel challenges and possibilities of the eighteenth century, which was, after all, the age of the Enlightenment. In its many guises and national variations, the Enlightenment asserted provocative and epoch-making claims about the role of reason, science, and criticism vis-à-vis the traditional authority of religion, state, and received knowledge. It drew new roadmaps for the conscious and reflexive reform of society and the betterment of people. At its core, it articulated a new emancipatory project – at once philosophical and political – chiefly oriented toward the ideal of individual autonomy. The cultural, social, and political configuration that shaped the Enlightenment came to something of an end in the closing decade of the eighteenth century, partly through processes of internal critique but also, spectacularly, through the political collapse of the Old Regime. In the changed circumstances of the early nineteenth century, the Enlightenment fragmented into a multitude of contests over the meaning of its legacy. What is the status of reason, and what is its proper relationship to other modes of knowledge? What of religion? What is the key discipline or cultural form that will, depending on one’s perspective and priority, advance, hinder, or deepen the impulses of enlightenment? What are the promises and perils of the project of emancipation, and how might it be continued, radicalized, or restrained? Are there limits to the pursuit of individual autonomy? What is the proper relation between the past and the future, tradition and innovation? None of these questions admitted definitive answers, but they fueled creative efforts, debate, and conflict across a great range of intellectual and cultural pursuits.
On November 7, 1917 Max Weber offered his comments on “Science as a Vocation” before an assembly of students and faculty at the University of Munich, declaring that “disenchantment” was an “inescapable condition” and “the fate of our times.” But history tells us that nothing is truly inevitable. Although modern European intellectual history is replete with narratives of disenchantment and religious decline, the fact remains that religious speculation and formal discourses of theology survived well through the end of the twentieth century. For intellectuals who have shed the last remnants of personal faith, the endurance of theology in late modernity may seem perplexing, a symptom of what Nietzsche called Unzeitgemäßigkeit, or a decalibration in time. Already in 1882 Nietzsche’s madman declared that “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.” But even the madman recognized that he had come “too early.” What he called the “tremendous event” of God’s death was “still on its way”; it had “not yet reached the ears of men.” Critics who harken to the madman’s prophesy may likewise insist that European religious thought is a remnant of an earlier and more pious age.
The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought is an authoritative and comprehensive exploration of the themes, thinkers and movements that shaped our intellectual world in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth century. Representing both individual figures and the contexts within which they developed their ideas, each essay is written in a clear accessible style by leading scholars in the field and offers both originality and interpretive insight. This second volume surveys twentieth-century European intellectual history, conceived as a crisis in modernity. Comprised of twenty-one chapters, it focuses on figures such as Freud, Heidegger, Adorno and Arendt, surveys major schools of thought including Phenomenology, Existentialism, and Conservatism, and discusses critical movements such as Postcolonialism, , Structuralism, and Post-structuralism. Renouncing a single 'master narrative' of European thought across the period, Peter E. Gordon and Warren Breckman establish a formidable new multi-faceted vision of European intellectual history for the global modern age.
The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought is an authoritative and comprehensive exploration of the themes, thinkers and movements that shaped our intellectual world in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth century. Representing both individual figures and the contexts within which they developed their ideas, each essay is written in a clear accessible style by leading scholars in the field and offers both originality and interpretive insight. This first volume surveys late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European intellectual history, focusing on the profound impact of the Enlightenment on European intellectual life. Spanning twenty chapters, it covers figures such as Kant, Hegel, Wollstonecraft, and Darwin, major political and intellectual movements such as Romanticism, Socialism, Liberalism and Feminism, and schools of thought such as Historicism, Philology, and Decadence. Renouncing a single 'master narrative' of European thought across the period, Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon establish a formidable new multi-faceted vision of European intellectual history for the global modern age.
New radiocarbon (14C) dates suggest a simultaneous appearance of two technologically and geographically distinct axe production practices in Neolithic Britain; igneous open-air quarries in Great Langdale, Cumbria, and from flint mines in southern England at ~4000–3700 cal BC. In light of the recent evidence that farming was introduced at this time by large-scale immigration from northwest Europe, and that expansion within Britain was extremely rapid, we argue that this synchronicity supports this speed of colonization and reflects a knowledge of complex extraction processes and associated exchange networks already possessed by the immigrant groups; long-range connections developed as colonization rapidly expanded. Although we can model the start of these new extraction activities, it remains difficult to estimate how long significant production activity lasted at these key sites given the nature of the record from which samples could be obtained.
New radiocarbon dating and chronological modelling have refined understanding of the character and circumstances of flint mining at Grime’s Graves through time. The deepest, most complex galleried shafts were worked probably from the third quarter of the 27th century cal bc and are amongst the earliest on the site. Their use ended in the decades around 2400 cal bc, although the use of simple, shallow pits in the west of the site continued for perhaps another three centuries. The final use of galleried shafts coincides with the first evidence of Beaker pottery and copper metallurgy in Britain. After a gap of around half a millennium, flint mining at Grime’s Graves briefly resumed, probably from the middle of the 16th century cal bc to the middle of the 15th. These ‘primitive’ pits, as they were termed in the inter-war period, were worked using bone tools that can be paralleled in Early Bronze Age copper mines. Finally, the scale and intensity of Middle Bronze Age middening on the site is revealed, as it occurred over a period of probably no more than a few decades in the 14th century cal bc. The possibility of connections between metalworking at Grime’s Graves at this time and contemporary deposition of bronzes in the nearby Fens is discussed.
To assess the association of fish consumption with risk of dementia and its dose–response relationship, and investigate variations in the association among low-, middle- and high-income countries.
A new community-based cross-sectional study and a systematic literature review.
Urban and rural communities in China; population-based studies systematically searched from worldwide literature.
Chinese adults aged ≥60 years in six provinces (n 6981) took part in a household health survey of dementia prevalence and risk factors. In addition, 33 964 participants from eleven published and eligible studies were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis.
In the new study in China, 326 participants were diagnosed with dementia (4·7 %); those who consumed any amount of fish in the past two years v. those who consumed no fish had reduced risk of dementia (adjusted OR=0·73, 95 % CI 0·64, 0·99), but the dose–response relationship was not statistically significant. The meta-analysis of available data from the literature and the new study showed relative risk (RR) of dementia of 0·80 (95 % CI 0·74, 0·87) for people with fish consumption; the impact was similar among countries with different levels of income. Pooled dose–response data revealed RR (95 % CI) of 0·84 (0·72, 0·98), 0·78 (0·68, 0·90) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·98) in people with low, middle and high consumption of fish, respectively. Corresponding figures for Alzheimer’s disease were 0·88 (0·74, 1·04), 0·79 (0·65, 0·96) and 0·67 (0·58, 0·78), respectively.
Greater consumption of fish is associated with a lower risk of dementia. Increasing fish consumption may help prevent dementia worldwide regardless of income level.