Some books are well worth reading and Stephen Toulmin’s books, ‘Cosmopolis’ and ‘Return to Reason’ are certainly two of these. They are. In Cosmopolis, Stephen Toulmin initially gives a series of proposed dates for the origin of modernity (see p. 5). Proposed dates: Gutenberg and the. An attempt to reevaluate the intellectual beginnings and basis of modernism and, in so doing, to provide the next century with a more.

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What is needed for the next century, Toulmin states, is the rebirth of humanist thinking with its classical skepticism to complement–not compete with–today’s overly burdened rational and scientific thinking, Success here would intertwine the sciences and liberal arts and thus bridge the rift in 20th-century thought that C.

Things did not, of course—two world wars separated by economic disaster. It’s the kind of book that I wish had been a lecture or discussion instead so that I could say things like, “Well, what did you mean by this? John Donne Grieves for Cosmopolis My respect for such a law is thus not qualified: Jun 13, Imen added it Shelves: Susan Snyder rated it it was amazing Apr 25, The 17th-Century Counter-Renaissance pp. Toulmin again concludes with historiographic reflections, here worth noting.

Shared assumptions about rationality: From here Toulmin turns to the 16th-century Humanists, particularly Montaigne. The creation of nation states, alongside the shift to more market-based economic communities, shifted identities from vertical feudal regions to horizontal classes.

From the very first pages of Cosmopolis Toulmin also establishes the forward-reaching effects of how we choose to narrate Modernity. Descartes, and subsequetly natural science and philosophy, sought universal, stable theories that would rise above the conflicts of the day.

Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity by Stephen Toulmin

Interesting, but for all the lip service to supranational cooperation and the legitimacy of “the lower orders'” demands this account still woefully and wilfully avoids any serious attempt to flatten or reverse inequalities of resources and political voice. The ends of technology must be morally justified. Classical skepticism and the limits of human rationality: A couple of issues.


There are no discussion topics on this book yet. The Thirty Cosmoplois War has created a sense of urgency with Descartes and others to rethink society and to come up with a universal language helped by mathematics and philosophy.

Toulmin tries to distinguish himself from Habermas but really his argument and position is paralell. Most places treat it as an artistic period, following modernism in architecture, art, and literature.

Rorty, University of Virginia “[Toulmin] has now tackled perhaps his most ambitious theme of all. Berman’s modernity lives in the streets of New York; Toulmin remained in the abstract cloud-city of Cosmopolis, even when he desired to escape from it.

In this view, phase two Modernity effects something of an anit-Renaissance. Read, highlight, and take ccosmopolis, across web, tablet, and phone. It is ridiculous to suggest that any kind of cultural consensus existed in the s or 30s on logical positivism or guided by the Vienna Circle; plenty of movements were pulling in other directions.

All the major figures of the western canon are called on stage Descartes, Montaigne, Locke, Hobbes, Galileo, Newton, Freud, Darwin, Marx and Einstein, to name just a few and evaluated not just for what they said but for the context in which they said it.

Perhaps there are cases in medical science, for example, where it may be reasonable to be absolute? When we do something because it is our moral duty, Kant argued, we are motivated by the thought that, insofar as we are rational beings, we must act only as this fundamental law of practical reason’s prescribes, a law that would of how any rational being in our agendda should act.

Perhaps I have a greater sense of looking beneath the surface of what mocernity like Modernity apparently mean, versus a deeper modernitt.


So it seems natural that modernnity these premises and embracing a contextualized view of the world, especially in focusing on the factors that shape human reason, would be a central part of the scientific method and philosophy.

He doesn’t bring in the concept of cosmopolis often enough, for one thing, but maybe he does and I just don’t see it. They are part of the trend of our time toward anonymity.


vosmopolis Toulmin ends by arguing that we must humanize Modernity or the post-modern and return to the diversity and plurality that marked the writings of the 16th century writers. Freud and the birth of psychoanalysis. Today, the program of Modernity – even the very concept – no longer carries anything like the same conviction [as it did twenty years ago, i.

In Aristotle’s view, the orator should, when fashioning his speech, take into consideration factors such as age, habits, social status, wealth, aspirations, and political constitution or ideological point of view. I read Toulmin’s Cosmopolis hldden a DMin course. No keywords specified fix it. I’ve long been interested in how one Zeitgeist gives way to another.

Brian O’C Leggett

The process also entailed divining a balance between religious toleration and the power of common religion to unite the new nation-state. The utter devastation and ruin of the Thirty-Years Warfought in the name of which Christian denomination was the one true faith, had made it clear that a quest for certain knowledge could not rest on such a shaky and shifting foundation.

Social sciences, it seems, have to adapt themselves conceptually to the new world in which, perhaps, the nation-state may not be playing the decisive role traditionally ascribed to it by modernity. The book is relatively academic, but I think anyone with a moderate smattering of intellectual and philosophical knowledge will find it accessible.

View all 5 comments. Stephen Toulmin confronts that agenda—its illusions and its consequences for our present and future world. Toulmin on modern philosophers’ view of rhetoric: The fabric of cosmopolis was felt to be unraveling. The individual is losing significance; his destiny is no longer what interests us. Toulmin on Kant’s predecessors: Twitter Facebook Youtube Tumblr.

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