A study in the origins of modern historical consciousness.
In this strikingly bold and original work, Kemp argues that the Western idea of time reversed itself between the fourteenth and the eighteenth century from a static and syncretic image of a temporal world in which all time is uniform, the past is the arbiter of truth and all inherited knowledge is eternally viable, and no secrets lie hidden in time waiting to be revealed to a future age; to a dynamic and supersessive model of history in which the past dispenses only ignorance and error. Kemp describes these two opposed historical worlds, these “time texts,” and traces the transition between them, its mechanism, and its motivation, concluding by drawing out the epistemological consequences of supersessive history for the modern intellect.
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