toulmin - Emily Capdeville What is the problem about...

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Emily Capdeville November 22, 2006 What is the problem about Modernity? (Stephen Toulmin, “Cosmopolis”) p. 5-22 Paper 9 Word Count: 345 Thesis: Toulmin in What is the problem about Modernity?, focuses the reader’s attention on what’s missing from a modernity that misses out on new ways of thinking in realms other than the scientific one. His method, by exposing the flaws in the one-sided way of thinking, makes the transition into understanding these flaws and embracing new ideas about the beginnings of the modern, easier. Summary: In What is the problem about Modernity?, Stephen Toulmin questions the commonly regarded starting points about modernity and takes a look at different ideas of when modernity started, what it then consists of (as it is necessarily defined by its time period) and what it means now. He acknowledges that the beginning of modernity ranges for many from 1436 (Gutenberg) to 1520 (Luther) or 1776/89 (American/French Revolutions.) But he acknowledges that the date is only one of the issues.
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