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Chapter Eight - The Fourth Phase: Integrating the New Four Causal Understandings with the Traditional c.1820– c.1860

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2021

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Summary

The traditional four causes that preceded Modernism were still alive in the minds and actions of a majority of the Western population. The final cause, formal cause, the efficient causes that constitute the patterns pursued as thorough research that realizes the formal cause and the material cause in each discipline of this period of time sought to integrate with the new perspectives that had begun in the 1760s. That meant traditional monarchy as an absolute authority, or constitutional monarchy at best, the Divine, even as a “proximate” presence, and the traditional self-limitations on the nature of inquiry into material reality, sought to integrate all into its perspective, and in so doing had to find a common ground with those who pursed the new four causes. The new four causes were the final cause of the human in and for themselves, the formal cause of a systematic inquiry into every facet of the material realities within which humans had always and now lived, and the efficient causes in all their complexity of coexisting, mutually affecting, organic and inorganic life.

There had been two major revolutions in Europe in the initial three phases of this metaparadigm between the 1760s and 1820. Both republicanism and democratic governance had emerged as national systems. Through the third phase pragmatism of inquiry and agentive action what had been theory became accustomed possible practice. Moreover, the traditional position in governance smarted under the successful rebellions. With their successful defeat of Napoleon in France in 1815, and the chastening of the United States by England with the War of 1812, monarchs were more conservative than before, much less willing to integrate new thought through the change of laws. The Congress of Vienna where the leaders of the major European nations met between 1814 and 1815, coordinating their conservative policies until 1820, agreed, except for England, to a Holy Alliance of orthodox religion as national religion in their respective countries in 1815. They agreed in 1820 to the Troppau Protocol, where their armies would put down republican or democratic rebellions in any monarchy in Europe that requested aid. England eschewed both the Holy Alliance and the Troppau Protocol, yet the Regency period with the future George IV as Regent for George III, was a Tory regime until 1822.

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The Metahistory of Western Knowledge in the Modern Era
Four Evolving Metaparadigms, 1648 to Present
, pp. 129 - 144
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2021

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