History and Theory 24 (3):235-246 (1985)

Revolution and industrialization meant for the patrician Burckhardt the end of Western civilization and the dehumanization of men and women. He upholds the idea of the historical unity of European culture as the core of historical consciousness while characterizing his own time as the breakdown of historical continuity in Western civilization by "anth ropo logi zing,"" structuralizing, "and "aestheticizing "history. He surpasses the age of revolution by having recourse to the suprahistorical nature of the human mind, using his historical topics as paradigms of transhistoric potentialities of human life. The historian sits in untimelv contemplation of the creative forces of the human mind in history, recalling the importance of culture in a time of increasing loss of culture. In evaluating Burckhardt's postmodernist, apolitical attitude, we should not forget the historical experience which Europe and especially Germany have had with antimodern thought
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DOI 10.2307/2505168
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