Thursday, January 30, 2020

The European Renaissance Essay Example for Free

The European Renaissance Essay The European Renaissance was one of the most important periods of time in all of Western Civilization’s history as many of the cultural, social and philosophical movements that derived from this movement not only greatly effected the people who lived during the time period of the Renaissance, but much of what occurred during this time period still resonates and influences cultures, ideologies and philosophical beliefs to this very day. As such, it becomes critical to examine the European Renaissance so as to understand what it achieved and how it still resonates to the modern era. A significant reason for this is that most arts and sciences build upon one each another in a logical progression. The attitudes of freedom in art, for example, slowly evolved into the more mature themes in art and film that were previously held back due to religious and government censorship. Current advances in science such as stem cell research are not much different than the arguments for and against spontaneous generation in prior centuries. As such, there is still much that exists today that is a logical extension of what was started many years ago. There were several areas of social change that derived from the Renaissance and the most important of these areas included art (painting, sculpture, architecture all evolved into phases that were far removed from what had been considered â€Å"classical† art), humanism (a theory of instilling knowledge that was a radical departure from traditional modes of education), religion (it was during this era that the concept of secularism as a response to classical religion began to take shape) and the philosophical notion of self awareness (this essentially refers to those living during the time period acknowledging the changes that were occurring). These changes were not mere changes within the realm of the elites, however. The changes that occurred in all these phases greatly affect the infrastructure of the western world as a whole and it did so by changing the fabric of the society and this would resonate with the population as a whole with the end result of civilization as a whole radically changing from a classical society that had become stagnant and overly reliant on tradition for its very existence. To a great degree, the scientific community was strongly affected but the knowledge that was derived from the renaissance period. While primitive compared to today’s standards, the concepts and ideas regarding astronomy have greatly impacted the way the modern world operates. For example, the common telescope was invented during the period of the Renaissance and from the telescope the study of the stars and the planets derived. This, of course, has manifested into what is now the modern space age of satellites and explorations to the moon. While this may seem like a â€Å"jump† if one does not look at the complete timeline or progression of such achievements, however, if one were to look at the advent of a number of modern achievements, the achievments can be traced back to the era of the renaissance. Of course no mention of the development of astronomy during the period of the Renaissance without mentioning the great advancements provided by Galileo; of course, Galileo was the inventor of the telescope as well as the man who developed the theory that the sun was the center of the universe and this, of course, forever sent science on the path of accuracy that is of paramount importance to subscribe to for scientific theories to remain accurate and relevant in the modern era. In terms of the modern era, it would be doubtful that the great expansion of the space age would exist without the foundations that were devised by Galileo. Considering the fact that the primary principles founded by Galileo have not been discarded or altered, it would be safe to say that their accuracy is irrefutable and, as such, still permeate in the sciences today. The American and European political institutions of the modern are also heavily reliant upon theories and ideologies of political thought that derive from the Renaissance period. In particular, the module of â€Å"classical liberalism† still manages to affect political thought in the modern western world today. (Please note: there are significant differences between classical liberalism and the modern version, although there are certain similarities between the two) For example, consider the classic renaissance thinker Voltaire and his famous statement â€Å"I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. This is clearly a contributing influence on the notion of freedom of speech to this day. In fact, in can be seen in the Constitution of the United States, a document which often used the common wisdom of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment as a guiding principle in the modern political theory of the United States. There are a number of examples of how events from the Renaissance shape modern cultural, social and political life and this can be seen in the following four examples: Skepticism: the notion of self awareness led greatly to the concept of questioning traditional norms and beliefs. From this, a number of examples can be put forth but one of the most prevalent in the news these days is the modern atheism movement, much of which derives its origins from the thought process of the Renaissance period. (Skepticism can be seen today in much of the modern political discourse that forces both parties to the center) Secularism: some confuse the notion of secularism with atheism and this is an inaccurate assessment. In reality, secularism simply means that religious law does not provide the basis for the supreme law of the land. In a secular society such as Europe and to varying extents, the United States, the law derives from secular origins and not from religious rule. Modern Art: While some would say that the Pop Art as devised by Andy Warhol is far removed from the Renaissance, the reality is that it, along with many different forms of modern art, derives from the changing concepts of art that originated in the Renaissance period. During the Renaissance, there was a significant shift away from art that centered on traditional images of â€Å"gods and kings† and this deviation from the classical module still exists to this day. Psychology: The field of psychology is also based in the concept of self-awareness that originated during the Renaissance period. Much of what exists in modern psychology centers on understanding oneself, the world and one’s surroundings and this was a notion that was born of the renaissance that still exists to this very day. The notion of looking inward, for example, as opposed to gods and mystics for enlightenment is the hallmark of modern psychology and looking inward as opposed to external structures is what is commonplace today in modern American pop culture and psychology and its origins are found in the Renaissance. To that extent, much of what exists in the United States today and well as the Western World in general is an extension of the success of the models of thought of the Renaissance. The perpetual extension of these modules of thought speak volumes for their accuracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.