David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophical Research 26:497-546 (2001)
European thought has had contradictory visions of humanity’s place in the cosmos. Some believed that humanity might survive indefinitely. Yet most of the modern thinkers assumed that humanity, in general, was not different from other species and would eventually disappear. In Russia, a different view prevailed. It was assumed that humanity belonged to a sort of “chosen species” and would have a different destiny from the other species. This idea of “humanity as a chosen species” was supported with the idea of Russia as a “chosen nation” that would lead humanity to mastery over nature and ensure its immortality. The end of the conception of the omega of world history in post-Soviet Russia had led to the discarding of humanity’s mastery over nature and its special position in the cosmos. From then on, it was stressed that humanity was an insignificant and perishable speck, and the future would most likely lead to humanity’s disappearance
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