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By Albert Borgmann

During this eloquent advisor to the meanings of the postmodern period, Albert Borgmann charts the choices sooner than us as we search possible choices to the joyless and synthetic tradition of intake. Borgmann connects the elemental rules using his figuring out of society's ills to each sphere of up to date social existence, and is going past the language of postmodern discourse to supply a powerfully articulated imaginative and prescient of what this new period, at its most sensible, has in shop.

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This was the time when department stores, libraries, and opera houses were erected as magnificent settings in which the public could gather and enjoy itself. But the people who filled these spaces had become silent, passive, and distracted. No longer actors and connoisseurs of public spectacles, they had begun to turn into recipients and consumers of commodities, produced for them by experts. 72 The railroad companies played a central role in the transformation of the common order. They built the most imposing public structures-both the widely spreading network of lines and the massive and luxurious stations.

Chivalry and courtesy, community and celebration, authority and craft are the residual forms of medieval excellence that are being dissolved before our eyes. But the vigor of the medieval order was spent by the late fifteenth century. Unlike the slow and convulsive decay of Greek and Roman culture, the medieval form of life came to a swift and unambiguous end. It was shattered by the three blows that we commonly associate with Columbus, Copernicus, and Luther. All three of these men lived at the turn from the fifteenth to the sixteenth century.

55 The endless variety of local times was overcome through the establishment of standard time in four zones. 56 Most important, the corporation itself is a monument to time universal. Prior to its establishment, business enterprises would rise and fall with the fortunes of particular families or the temporary interests of partners. 57 The corporation was modernism's response to the openness of the physical and social landscape of the New World. Through its methodical and inclusive organization, the corporation was able to mobilize and integrate the gigantic resources needed to conquer a presumably wide-open continent.

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