sexta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2014

Dark Ages, Middle Ages, New Ages - Part 2

Today, in history studies, the researchers do not assume anymore a fixed unique date to separate the historic eras. They see the transitions as processes evolving step by step before and after remarkable events. But, in some moment, a new paradigm arrives…
When Thomas Kuhn wrote about “paradigm” he meant only “scientific paradigms” in “scientific revolutions”; he even was not sure about use his concepts to understand biological sciences. Anyway, with the success of his ideas, other fields of knowledge started to use de concept of “paradigm” to understand several kinds of changes under human thinking. So, in the transition from Middle Ages to Renascence Period, it came a moment when people, mainly scholars and professors, did not see anymore themselves and the world as people of decades before. In a certain way we could say that “suddenly” Gothic Art became “strange” or “ugly”, Aristotelian knowledge lost part of its force, and so on… In 14th century Petrarch started to think that Ancient Times, the time of Romans and Greeks, was a time of knowledge, and between those times and his own time it was a kind of “dark period”. Later this was used to reinforce the caricatured image of Middle Ages that was built mainly by Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thinkers.   
For Petrarch the old was new, and the new was old. This is a key to understand certain moments and concepts in history.
From time to time in history and even nowadays someone like to speak about something that he called “new”, but in true it is something older than several things around. The vice versa happens too. Sometimes when someone try to start something really new, quickly appears another person to label it as “old”, just to devalue that innovation. Under that way of expression there is also some kind of prejudice about anything considered “old” or even the concept of “old”. In after-Postmodern times is yet difficult to say what is truly “new” or truly “old”…  

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