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The Shock of the AncientLiterature and History in Early Modern France$
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Larry F. Norman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226591483

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226591506.001.0001

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Splintered Paths of Progress

Splintered Paths of Progress

(p.51) 3 Splintered Paths of Progress
The Shock of the Ancient

Larry F. Norman

University of Chicago Press

The two models of historical change examined in this chapter, complex in and of themselves, often diverged—and sometimes annulled each other. Furthermore, the two parties, Ancient and Modern, often gave very different values to such paradigms of time that resulted. Contending visions of historical evolution thus flourished. Which human endeavors were subject to the accumulation of knowledge, which to the rationalist rupture with past learning? At what rate or rhythm did varying domains progress—and might progress in the future? And what value should be assigned to such “progress”? The most basic divergence in the pathway of progress, all agreed, concerns the distinction between the arts and the sciences. The growing perception of the gulf between these two domains, the distinct awareness of what we call the “two cultures,” is among the key legacies left by the quarrel.

Keywords:   historical change, Ancient, Modern, past learning, quarrel, arts and science, pathways of progress

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