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The Print Media in Modernity The purpose of this research is t

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between print and modernity in the context of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment society. The plan of the research will be to set forth an elaboration of modern culture relative to the conception of the economic sphere, to the strengthening of capitalism and industrialization, and to the shift in religious praxis to the private rather than public realm of experience, all vis-a-vis the post-Enlightenment tendency away from theocratic points of departure and toward a programmatically secularist world view. The cultural context thus established, the research will discuss the interplay between print media in modernity, which is to say the influence of print, including the nexus of print and a typology of information, on the culture of secularist modernity, and the influence of modernity on the development of print.

A connection between any medium of communication and any world view may be clarified by analogy or syllogism. The difference between the experience of the world before and after the Enlightenment, as mediated by print, is something like the difference in that experience before and after the discovery of fire. The medium produces some manifest or intended consequences, and other latent or unintended ones, and in either case the consequences may range from good to bad to somewhere in between. What is undeniable, however, is that certain consequences were irrevocable, and that is a difference between the Renaissance and Enlightenment world view on one hand and between the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment world on the other.

There was written material available even before the invention of the printing press, and the difference that movable type made to the dissemination of information and literacy is well documented. But between the time of Guttenberg, a continental Renaissance figure, and Hume, a major Enlightenment figure, there was an even greater difference...

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