Interesting quote. I'm just finishing up a book on Postmodernism. I am neither a postmodernist nor a modernist, but it's fascinating to study what each of them is. Knowing these types of things and other philosophies can greatly help in the background of a novel, but also remembering that most people embrace parts of these without really knowing what they are and that not everyone believes them are helpful, as well.
Another philosophy that have had a major impact for the past couple of centuries is the philosophy of materialism, and without it and the ensuing theory of uniformitarianism, Darwin and the geologists whose theories influenced him might never have come up with the same theories. I think many times it's easier to research and understand things such as clothing, housing, family life, etc than the pervasive underlying philosophies, etc, underneath what was going on in society at that time. While there are certainly free thinkers in any time, it is so easy to put 20th & 21st century ideas into people's thinking in ways that even free thinkers were unlikely to have thought of at the time.
--- In HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com, "Patricia Rich" <prich@...> wrote:
> I broke away from reading this morning's accumulations of opinions about facts and truth to do the reading for my class in "Modernism and Post-modernism" Today's assignment is Charles Darwin, and from the Conclusion to "The Descent of Man" I came upon the following:
> "False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness: and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened."
> Patricia Rich
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]