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The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental (Paperback)
  • The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental (Paperback)
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The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental (Paperback)

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£16.95
Paperback 152 Pages / Published: 28/02/2017
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How should we think about the "shape" of human history since the birth of cities, and where are we headed? Sociologist and historian John Torpey proposes that the "Axial Age" of the first millennium BCE, when some of the world's major religious and intellectual developments first emerged, was only one of three such decisive periods that can be used to directly affect present social problems, from economic inequality to ecological destruction.

Torpey's argument advances the idea that there are in fact three "Axial Ages," instead of one original Axial Age and several subsequent, smaller developments. Each of the three ages contributed decisively to how humanity lives, and the difficulties it faces. The earliest, or original, Axial Age was a moral one; the second was material, and revolved around the creation and use of physical objects; and the third is chiefly mental, and focused on the technological. While there are profound risks and challenges, Torpey shows how a worldview that combines the strengths of all three ages has the potential to usher in a period of exceptional human freedom and possibility.

Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813590509
Number of pages: 152
Weight: 150 g
Dimensions: 203 x 127 x 9 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The boldness and contemporary relevance of arguments like these are what make this small book an enjoyable and 'teachable' tool for sociologists and historians."--Sociology of Religion
"As usual, John Torpey's new book is concisely written, and filled with interesting bits of information and lucid observations ... I'm sure it will attract interest and favorable attention."--R. S. Ratner "Professor Emeritus, Sociology, University of British Columbia "
"For those wondering how recent work on economic and social history bears on the received wisdom of historical sociology, Torpey weaves together a compelling new narrative. [The book] seeks a balance between the pessimistic vision of human history that typically prevails within sociology and the more optimistic view that is characteristic of economics. Torpey does not downplay the perils of the present moment, but he is also attuned to its promise."--Sociological Forum

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