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The Emergence of Subjectivity in the Ancient and Medieval WorldAn Interpretation of Western Civilization$
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Jon Stewart

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198854357

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198854357.001.0001

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The Dialectic of the Ancient and Modern Principles: Homer and the Internet

The Dialectic of the Ancient and Modern Principles: Homer and the Internet

Chapter:
(p.352) 14 The Dialectic of the Ancient and Modern Principles: Homer and the Internet
Source:
The Emergence of Subjectivity in the Ancient and Medieval World
Author(s):

Jon Stewart

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198854357.003.0015

Chapter 14 serves as a conclusion to the work. It attempts to show how the key theme of the development of inwardness and subjectivity has come to play an important role in our modern world. It is easy for us living in the twenty-first century to identify with this story of emerging freedom since we generally celebrate the value of individuality. We recognize that inwardness and subjectivity are constituent elements in the development of what it is to be fully human. However, in our modern world there has been a high price to pay for our hard-won individuality and subjectivity. As these modern principles develop, other traditional principles begin to recede. With the loss of community and tradition, the modern world is characterized by alienation, relativism, and the loss of self-identity. This is a dominant feature of modernity as people struggle desperately to establish some fixed sense of themselves in the absence of any external relations. An appreciation of the centrality of this for our modern life makes the study of the development of the idea of subjectivity and inwardness in the past more relevant than ever.

Keywords:   freedom, individuality, inwardness, subjectivity, modernity, community, tradition, alienation, relativism, loss of self-identity

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