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Classical Humanism and the Challenge of Modernity by Bas van Bommel

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1. The Challenge of Science

Introduction

In the last decade of the 18th century, current ideas about classical education were influenced by the rise of a new concept of science (Wissenschaft). The publication of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and Critique of Judgment (1790) nourished the belief that the term ‘Wissenschaft, ’ up to then mostly used in the plural (‘Wissenschaften’) and in a variety of different meanings, was unacceptably ill-defined. Due to this increased need for conceptual clarity, various concepts of knowledge that had been generally accepted in the past were discredited, leaning as they did on such hard-to-grasp phenomena as common sense, tradition or belief. Ideas about classical ...

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