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The Second BirthOn the Political Beginnings of Human Existence$
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Tilo Schabert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226038056

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226185156.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

In Time

In Time

(p.96) In Time
The Second Birth

Tilo Schabert

, Javier Ibáñez-Noé
University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers the rise and fall of states or civilizations. Human creation happens in time and also succumbs to time. Thus, civilizations must meet their end, which, however, also ushers in a time-Gestalt in which a new beginning can be made, in such a way that historical existence has, in its totality, the shape of a recurrence. A state or civilization arises, as Plato has shown, in a time in which a previous civilization has died and has been forgotten. The scattered human communities that continue existing in this emptiness eventually come together to make a new beginning toward an end, which, however, is never perfectly reached. This is because, in the political existence thus begun, the meaning of this existence, and along with it the need for government, are forgotten, and, spoiled by their long time in time, human beings allow their political civilization to become extinguished. Thus the cycle starts again.

Keywords:   time, rise and fall of civilizations, Time-Gestalten, recurrence

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