The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution

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Description

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self:

Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution

by Carl R. Trueman

“Carl Trueman has given us what is undoubtedly the most accessible and informed account of the modern self and how it has shaped and informed the cultural battles of the first quarter of the twenty-first century.” —Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University

The sexual revolution is one manifestation of the larger revolution of the self

“The origins of this book lie in my curiosity about how and why a particular statement has come to be regarded as coherent and meaningful: ‘I am a woman trapped in a man’s body.’….The sexual revolution is as much a symptom as it is a cause of the culture that now surrounds us….The sexual revolution is simply one manifestation of the larger revolution of the self that has taken place in the West. And it is only as we come to understand that wider context that we can truly understand the dynamics of the sexual politics that now dominate our culture.”

“Freud provided a compelling rationale for putting sex and sexual expression at the center of human existence and all its related cultural and political components in a way that now grips the social imaginary of the Western world….Thinking of human beings as fundamentally defined by their sexual desire is now virtually intuitive for us all.”

“Sexual iconoclasm…has been baked into Western culture over the last 300 years. The modern West is simply bearing the bitter fruits of a rotten tree.”

Freedom of speech becomes the problem, not the solution

“While earlier generations might have seen damage to body or property as the most serious categories of crime, a highly psychologized era will accord increasing importance to words as means of oppression….Once harm and oppression are regarded as being primarily psychological categories, freedom of speech then becomes part of the problem, not the solution, because words become potential weapons.”

Ethics becomes a function of feeling

In our highly psychologized modern society, “the only moral criterion that can be applied to behavior is whether it conduces to the feeling of well-being in the individuals concerned. Ethics, therefore, becomes a function of feeling.”

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Additional information

Weight 25 oz