Tag Archives: Western uniqueness

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The Immense Revolution of the Presocratics

Oil painting of Heraclitus by Etienne Parrocel (1696-1775)

6,037 words

To understand why Europeans were the progenitors of the highest accomplishments in history – close to one hundred percent of the great ideas in philosophy, science, anthropology, sociology, economics, geography, geology, astronomy, mathematics, architecture, technology, dance, and music – you must understand the Presocratic self-conscious separation of the knowing “I” from the “not-I.” Read more …

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The European Idea of Progress Supersedes the Axial Age, Part IV

Georg Friedrich Kersting, Faust in his Study

5,530 words

Part 4 of 4 (Part 3 here)

Definition of “Axial thought”

The Axial Age idea is the most concerted effort to retain aspects of the idea of progress while disallowing Western civilization from claiming to be the most progressive in the sciences, technology, cultural creativity, and forms of state organization. This idea has historical merits. Read more …

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The European Idea of Progress Supersedes the Axial Age, Part III

The Mask of Agamemnon

4,700 words

Part 3 of 4 (Part 2 here, Part 4 here)

Rituals in simple mythic cultures

According to Bellah, humans express their highest values and cultural practices in those activities we define as “play” and “ritual,” because these activities are performed when humans are in a “relaxed” state away from evolutionary pressures. Read more …

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The European Idea of Progress Supersedes the Axial Age, Part II

2,468 words

Part 2 of 4 (Part 1 here, Part 3 here)

“New capacities” under conditions of “relaxed selection”

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The European Idea of Progress Supersedes the Axial Age, Part I

Robert N. Bellah, theorist of the Axial Age

3,787 words

Part 1 of 4

Only European peoples have made history and discovered the idea of time, and this is why the idea of progress is uniquely European: Only European history has been characterized by progress, and there can be no conception of historical time and no history without progression or without man becoming conscious of his role in the making of history, as well as the realization that only the mind can be the adjudicator of the truth. Read more …

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Reflections on the Supremacy of the West:
A Critique of Ricardo Duchesne & Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

7,568 words

In 2011 there appeared two major scholarly works that attempted to investigate the sources of Western supremacy in the modern world, especially in view of the recent rise of China as a potential threat to this supremacy. These are the Puerto Rican-Canadian social historian Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization[1] and the British economic historian Niall Ferguson’s Civilization: The West and the Rest.[2] Read more …

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A Conversation with Ricardo Duchesne, Part 3

Plato’s allegory of the cave

3,629 words

Part 3 of 3 (Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

Grégoire Canlorbe: It is not uncommon to claim the self-assertive longing for “prestige,” “respect,” and “fame” is fully intelligible within the framework of the selfish-gene theory, Read more …

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A Conversation with Ricardo Duchesne, Part 2

An idol of the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis, a common deity in the Indo-European pantheons

2,839 words

Part 2 of 3 (Part 1 here, Part 3 here)

Grégoire Canlorbe: Western civilization, originating from the Indo-European heroic ethos, turned out to be both the most creative and Faustian civilization and the most war-ridden and war-dominated one. Islamic civilization has been equally militaristic and expansionist; yet it quickly became frozen and hostile towards innovation and individual genius, despite the fact that praising Muhammad’s heroic lifetime has permeated Islamic societies to this day. How do you explain this duality?

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A Conversation with Ricardo Duchesne, Part 1

3,796 words

Part 1 of 3 (Part 2 here)

Grégoire Canlorbe: In your eyes, the European civilization of the white man has been systemically downsized by contemporary world historians – to name but a few, Patrick O’Brien, Sebastian Conrad, or Ian Morris. Could you develop?

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On the “Unreflected Substantiality” of the Chinese Mind

7,688 words

As the Chinese “silent invasion” of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada continues, you may want to learn something about the Western academics who lay the intellectual groundwork for this invasion. In a prior article, “The Transcendental Mind of Europeans Stands Above the Embedded Mind of Asians,” we met two influential scholars calling upon whites to abandon their “failed” attempts to formulate transcendental truths for the sake of the more “profound” contextual approach of Chinese philosophers with their demonstration that all thinking is “embedded” to a time and a place. Read more …

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