Debating the End of HistoryThe Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life

Debating the End of HistoryThe Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life

David W. Noble

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816680580

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

While other scholars have demonstrated that the global marketplace is timeful and complex and not timeless and simple, my book is unique because I analyze how four academic groups-historians, economists, literary critics–and ecologist have responded to the failure of the prophecy of a new world. I am not aware of other scholarship that makes comparisons and contrasts among these four academic groups. I demonstrate that because of the long segregations of the physical sciences from the humanities and social science, historians, literary critics, and economists in the 1990s were not aware that the modem science of the Enlightenment that defined space as timeless had been replaced in the nineteenth century by the heretical sciences of geology, biology, and the physics of Einstein which defined space as timeful. Ecologists, who are aware of this revolution, have used the theory that nature is always timeful and complex to criticize the modem faith in a timeless, single global marketplace. I make a contribution by showing how the humanities have been moving toward the ecological critique of the modem metaphor of two worlds. They are seeing a single world that is timeful and complex.