6. The rise of the Modern era
and the intellectual Enlightenment of Europe during that time led to an
emphasis on scientific reasoning and empirical decision-making. We might be
inclined to think that the culture of that time was losing its focus on God or
divinity, and replacing it with an emphasis on Nature, or science itself. Then
again, perhaps a commitment to religion was still alive and well during this
period. Carefully consider our assigned texts and comment.
7. John Lewis Gaddis, in The
Landscape of History, makes extensive use of C. D. Friedrich’s The
Wanderer above a Sea of Fog. Gaddis opens and closes the book with chapters
that discuss this famous work of art. How is the painting related to Gaddis’
ideas concerning the nature of history and the task of the historian?
14. Neil Postman, in Amusing
Ourselves to Death, notices what he takes to be important differences
between Orwellian and Huxleyean pictures of the future. Describe the
significance of those differences. Explain how that is related to the “problem”
with television that seems to concern Postman.