Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissance—in the "Age of Reason" of 17th-century thought and the 18th-century "Enlightenment". Some commentators consider the era of modernity to have ended by 1930, with World War II in 1945, or the 1980s or 1990s; the following era is called postmodernity. The term "contemporary history" is also used to refer to the post-1945 timeframe, without assigning it to either the modern or postmodern era. (Thus "modern" may be used as a name of a particular era in the past, as opposed to meaning "the current era".)
|Part of a series on|
|↑ Prehistory (Pleistocene epoch)|
Depending on the field, "modernity" may refer to different time periods or qualities. In historiography, the 17th and 18th centuries are usually described as early modern, while the long 19th century corresponds to "modern history" proper. While it includes a wide range of interrelated historical processes and cultural phenomena (from fashion to modern warfare), it can also refer to the subjective or existential experience of the conditions they produce, and their ongoing impact on human culture, institutions, and politics.
As an analytical concept and normative idea, modernity is closely linked to the ethos of philosophical and aesthetic modernism; political and intellectual currents that intersect with the Enlightenment; and subsequent developments such as existentialism, modern art, the formal establishment of social science, and contemporaneous antithetical developments such as Marxism. It also encompasses the social relations associated with the rise of capitalism, and shifts in attitudes associated with secularisation, liberalization, modernization and post-industrial life.
By the late 19th and 20th centuries, modernist art, politics, science and culture has come to dominate not only Western Europe and North America, but almost every civilized area on the globe, including movements thought of as opposed to the West and globalization. The modern era is closely associated with the development of individualism, capitalism, urbanization and a belief in the possibilities of technological and political progress. Wars and other perceived problems of this era, many of which come from the effects of rapid change, and the connected loss of strength of traditional religious and ethical norms, have led to many reactions against modern development. Optimism and belief in constant progress has been most recently criticized by postmodernism while the dominance of Western Europe and Anglo-America over other continents has been criticized by postcolonial theory.
In the context of art history, "modernity" (modernité) has a more limited sense, "modern art" covering the period of c. 1860–1970. Use of the term in this sense is attributed to Charles Baudelaire, who in his 1864 essay "The Painter of Modern Life", designated the "fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis", and the responsibility art has to capture that experience. In this sense, the term refers to "a particular relationship to time, one characterized by intense historical discontinuity or rupture, openness to the novelty of the future, and a heightened sensitivity to what is unique about the present".
The Late Latin adjective modernus, a derivation from the adverb modo "presently, just now", is attested from the 5th century, at first in the context of distinguishing the Christian era from the pagan era. In the 6th century, Cassiodorus appears to have been the first writer to use modernus "modern" regularly to refer to his own age. The terms antiquus and modernus were used in a chronological sense in the Carolingian era. For example, a magister modernus referred to a contemporary scholar, as opposed to old authorities such as Benedict of Nursia. In early medieval usage, modernus referred to authorities younger than pagan antiquity and the early church fathers, but not necessarily to the present day, and could include authors several centuries old, from about the time of Bede, i.e. referring to the time after the foundation of the Order of Saint Benedict and/or the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
The Latin adjective was adopted in Middle French, as moderne, by the 15th century, and hence, in the early Tudor period, into Early Modern English. The early modern word meant "now existing", or "pertaining to the present times", not necessarily with a positive connotation. Shakespeare uses modern in the sense of "every-day, ordinary, commonplace".
The word entered wide usage in the context of the late 17th-century quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns within the Académie française, debating the question of "Is Modern culture superior to Classical (Græco–Roman) culture?" In the context of this debate, the "ancients" (anciens) and "moderns" (modernes) were proponents of opposing views, the former believing that contemporary writers could do no better than imitate the genius of classical antiquity, while the latter, first with Charles Perrault (1687), proposed that more than a mere "Renaissance" of ancient achievements, the "Age of Reason" had gone beyond what had been possible in the classical period. The term modernity, first coined in the 1620s, in this context assumed the implication of a historical epoch following the Renaissance, in which the achievements of antiquity were surpassed.
Modernity has been associated with cultural and intellectual movements of 1436–1789 and extending to the 1970s or later.
According to Marshall Berman, modernity is periodized into three conventional phases dubbed "Early," "Classical," and "Late," respectively, by Peter Osborne:
- Early modernity: 1500–1789 (or 1453–1789 in traditional historiography)
- People were beginning to experience a more modern life (Laughey, 31).
- Classical modernity: 1789–1900 (corresponding to the long 19th century (1789–1914) in Hobsbawm's scheme)
- Consisted of the rise and growing use of daily newspapers, telegraphs, telephones and other forms of mass media, which influenced the growth of communicating on a broader scale (Laughey, 31).
- Late modernity: 1900–1989
- Consisted of the globalization of modern life (Laughey, 31).
In the second phase Berman draws upon the growth of modern technologies such as the newspaper, telegraph and other forms of mass media. There was a great shift into modernization in the name of industrial capitalism. Finally in the third phase, modernist arts and individual creativity marked the beginning of a new modernist age as it combats oppressive politics, economics as well as other social forces including mass media.
Some authors, such as Lyotard and Baudrillard, believe that modernity ended in the mid- or late 20th century and thus have defined a period subsequent to modernity, namely Postmodernity (1930s/1950s/1990s–present). Other theorists, however, regard the period from the late 20th century to the present as merely another phase of modernity; Zygmunt Bauman calls this phase "liquid" modernity, Giddens labels it "high" modernity (see High modernism).
Politically, modernity's earliest phase starts with Niccolò Machiavelli's works which openly rejected the medieval and Aristotelian style of analyzing politics by comparison with ideas about how things should be, in favour of realistic analysis of how things really are. He also proposed that an aim of politics is to control one's own chance or fortune, and that relying upon providence actually leads to evil. Machiavelli argued, for example, that violent divisions within political communities are unavoidable, but can also be a source of strength which lawmakers and leaders should account for and even encourage in some ways.
Machiavelli's recommendations were sometimes influential upon kings and princes, but eventually came to be seen as favoring free republics over monarchies. Machiavelli in turn influenced Francis Bacon, Marchamont Needham, James Harrington, John Milton, David Hume., and many others
Important modern political doctrines which stem from the new Machiavellian realism include Mandeville's influential proposal that "Private Vices by the dextrous Management of a skilful Politician may be turned into Publick Benefits" (the last sentence of his Fable of the Bees), and also the doctrine of a constitutional "separation of powers" in government, first clearly proposed by Montesquieu. Both these principles are enshrined within the constitutions of most modern democracies. It has been observed that while Machiavelli's realism saw a value to war and political violence, his lasting influence has been "tamed" so that useful conflict was deliberately converted as much as possible to formalized political struggles and the economic "conflict" encouraged between free, private enterprises.)
Starting with Thomas Hobbes, attempts were made to use the methods of the new modern physical sciences, as proposed by Bacon and Descartes, applied to humanity and politics. Notable attempts to improve upon the methodological approach of Hobbes include those of John Locke, Spinoza, Giambattista Vico, and Rousseau. David Hume made what he considered to be the first proper attempt at trying to apply Bacon's scientific method to political subjects, rejecting some aspects of the approach of Hobbes.
Modernist republicanism openly influenced the foundation of republics during the Dutch Revolt (1568–1609), English Civil War (1642–1651), American Revolution (1775–1783), the French Revolution (1789–1799), and the Haitian revolution (1791–1804).
A second phase of modernist political thinking begins with Rousseau, who questioned the natural rationality and sociality of humanity and proposed that human nature was much more malleable than had been previously thought. By this logic, what makes a good political system or a good man is completely dependent upon the chance path a whole people has taken over history. This thought influenced the political (and aesthetic) thinking of Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke and others and led to a critical review of modernist politics. On the conservative side, Burke argued that this understanding encouraged caution and avoidance of radical change. However more ambitious movements also developed from this insight into human culture, initially Romanticism and Historicism, and eventually both the Communism of Karl Marx, and the modern forms of nationalism inspired by the French Revolution, including, in one extreme, the German Nazi movement.
On the other hand, the notion of modernity has been contested also due to its Euro-centric underpinnings. This is further aggravated by the re-emergence of non-Western powers. Yet, the contestations about modernity are also linked with Western notions of democracy, social discipline, and development.
In sociology, a discipline that arose in direct response to the social problems of "modernity", the term most generally refers to the social conditions, processes, and discourses consequent to the Age of Enlightenment. In the most basic terms, Anthony Giddens describes modernity as
...a shorthand term for modern society, or industrial civilization. Portrayed in more detail, it is associated with (1) a certain set of attitudes towards the world, the idea of the world as open to transformation, by human intervention; (2) a complex of economic institutions, especially industrial production and a market economy; (3) a certain range of political institutions, including the nation-state and mass democracy. Largely as a result of these characteristics, modernity is vastly more dynamic than any previous type of social order. It is a society—more technically, a complex of institutions—which, unlike any preceding culture, lives in the future, rather than the past.
Other writers have criticized such definitions as just being a listing of factors. They argue that modernity, contingently understood as marked by an ontological formation in dominance, needs to be defined much more fundamentally in terms of different ways of being.
The modern is thus defined by the way in which prior valences of social life ... are reconstituted through a constructivist reframing of social practices in relation to basic categories of existence common to all humans: time, space, embodiment, performance and knowledge. The word 'reconstituted' here explicitly does not mean replaced.
This means that modernity overlays earlier formations of traditional and customary life without necessarily replacing them.
Cultural and philosophical
The era of modernity is characterised socially by industrialisation and the division of labour and philosophically by "the loss of certainty, and the realization that certainty can never be established, once and for all". With new social and philosophical conditions arose fundamental new challenges. Various 19th-century intellectuals, from Auguste Comte to Karl Marx to Sigmund Freud, attempted to offer scientific and/or political ideologies in the wake of secularisation. Modernity may be described as the "age of ideology."
For Marx, what was the basis of modernity was the emergence of capitalism and the revolutionary bourgeoisie, which led to an unprecedented expansion of productive forces and to the creation of the world market. Durkheim tackled modernity from a different angle by following the ideas of Saint-Simon about the industrial system. Although the starting point is the same as Marx, feudal society, Durkheim emphasizes far less the rising of the bourgeoisie as a new revolutionary class and very seldom refers to capitalism as the new mode of production implemented by it. The fundamental impulse to modernity is rather industrialism accompanied by the new scientific forces. In the work of Max Weber, modernity is closely associated with the processes of rationalization and disenchantment of the world.
Critical theorists such as Theodor Adorno and Zygmunt Bauman propose that modernity or industrialization represents a departure from the central tenets of the Enlightenment and towards nefarious processes of alienation, such as commodity fetishism and the Holocaust. [page needed] Contemporary sociological critical theory presents the concept of "rationalization" in even more negative terms than those Weber originally defined. Processes of rationalization—as progress for the sake of progress—may in many cases have what critical theory says is a negative and dehumanising effect on modern society. [page needed]
Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. Yet the wholly enlightened earth radiates under the sign of disaster triumphant.
What prompts so many commentators to speak of the 'end of history', of post-modernity, 'second modernity' and 'surmodernity', or otherwise to articulate the intuition of a radical change in the arrangement of human cohabitation and in social conditions under which life-politics is nowadays conducted, is the fact that the long effort to accelerate the speed of movement has presently reached its 'natural limit'. Power can move with the speed of the electronic signal – and so the time required for the movement of its essential ingredients has been reduced to instantaneity. For all practical purposes, power has become truly exterritorial, no longer bound, or even slowed down, by the resistance of space (the advent of cellular telephones may well serve as a symbolic 'last blow' delivered to the dependency on space: even the access to a telephone market is unnecessary for a command to be given and seen through to its effect.
Consequent to debate about economic globalization, the comparative analysis of civilizations, and the post-colonial perspective of "alternative modernities," Shmuel Eisenstadt introduced the concept of "multiple modernities". Modernity as a "plural condition" is the central concept of this sociologic approach and perspective, which broadens the definition of "modernity" from exclusively denoting Western European culture to a culturally relativistic definition, thereby: "Modernity is not Westernization, and its key processes and dynamics can be found in all societies".
Modernity, or the Modern Age, is typically defined as a post-traditional, and post-medieval historical period, 66–67). Central to modernity is emancipation from religion, specifically the hegemony of Christianity (mainly Roman Catholicism), and the consequent secularization. According to writers like Fackenheim and Husserl, modern thought repudiates the Judeo-Christian belief in the Biblical God as a mere relic of superstitious ages. It all started with Descartes' revolutionary methodic doubt, which transformed the concept of truth in the concept of certainty, whose only guarantor is no longer God or the Church, but Man's subjective judgement.
Theologians have adapted in different ways to the challenge of modernity. Liberal theology, over perhaps the past 200 years or so, has tried, in various iterations, to accommodate, or at least tolerate, modern doubt in expounding Christian revelation, while Traditionalist Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and fundamentalist Protestant thinkers and clerics have tried to fight back, denouncing skepticism of every kind. Modernity aimed towards "a progressive force promising to liberate humankind from ignorance and irrationality", but as of 2021, Hindu fundamentalism in India and Islamic fundamentalism particularly in the Middle East remain problematic, meaning that intra-society value conflicts are by no means an intrinsically Christian phenomenon.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and others developed a new approach to physics and astronomy which changed the way people came to think about many things. Copernicus presented new models of the solar system which no longer placed humanity's home, on Earth, in the centre. Kepler used mathematics to discuss physics and described regularities of nature this way. Galileo actually made his famous proof of uniform acceleration in freefall using mathematics.
Francis Bacon, especially in his Novum Organum, argued for a new methodological approach. It was an experimental based approach to science, which sought no knowledge of formal or final causes. Yet, he was no materialist. He also talked of the two books of God, God's Word (Scripture) and God's work (nature). But he also added a theme that science should seek to control nature for the sake of humanity, and not seek to understand it just for the sake of understanding. In both these things he was influenced by Machiavelli's earlier criticism of medieval Scholasticism, and his proposal that leaders should aim to control their own fortune.
Influenced both by Galileo's new physics and Bacon, René Descartes argued soon afterward that mathematics and geometry provided a model of how scientific knowledge could be built up in small steps. He also argued openly that human beings themselves could be understood as complex machines.
Isaac Newton, influenced by Descartes, but also, like Bacon, a proponent of experimentation, provided the archetypal example of how both Cartesian mathematics, geometry and theoretical deduction on the one hand, and Baconian experimental observation and induction on the other hand, together could lead to great advances in the practical understanding of regularities in nature.
One common conception of modernity is the condition of Western history since the mid-15th century, or roughly the European development of movable type and the printing press. In this context the "modern" society is said to develop over many periods, and to be influenced by important events that represent breaks in the continuity.
After modernist political thinking had already become widely known in France, Rousseau's re-examination of human nature led to a new criticism of the value of reasoning itself which in turn led to a new understanding of less rationalistic human activities, especially the arts. The initial influence was upon the movements known as German Idealism and Romanticism in the 18th and 19th century. Modern art therefore belongs only to the later phases of modernity.
For this reason art history keeps the term "modernity" distinct from the terms Modern Age and Modernism – as a discrete "term applied to the cultural condition in which the seemingly absolute necessity of innovation becomes a primary fact of life, work, and thought". And modernity in art "is more than merely the state of being modern, or the opposition between old and new".
In the essay "The Painter of Modern Life" (1864), Charles Baudelaire gives a literary definition: "By modernity I mean the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent".
Advancing technological innovation, affecting artistic technique and the means of manufacture, changed rapidly the possibilities of art and its status in a rapidly changing society. Photography challenged the place of the painter and painting. Architecture was transformed by the availability of steel for structures.
From conservative Protestant theologian Thomas C. Oden's perspective, "modernity" is marked by "four fundamental values":
- "Moral relativism (which says that what is right is dictated by culture, social location, and situation)"
- "Autonomous individualism (which assumes that moral authority comes essentially from within)"
- "Narcissistic hedonism (which focuses on egocentric personal pleasure)"
- "Reductive naturalism (which reduces what is reliably known to what one can see, hear, and empirically investigate)"
Modernity rejects anything "old" and makes "novelty ... a criterion for truth." This results in a great "phobic response to anything antiquarian." In contrast, "classical Christian consciousness" resisted "novelty".
Within Roman Catholicism, Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius X claim that Modernism (in a particular definition of the Catholic Church) is a danger to the Christian faith. Pope Pius IX compiled a Syllabus of Errors published on December 8, 1864 to describe his objections to Modernism. Pope Pius X further elaborated on the characteristics and consequences of Modernism, from his perspective, in an encyclical entitled "Pascendi dominici gregis" (Feeding the Lord's Flock) on September 8, 1907. Pascendi Dominici Gregis states that the principles of Modernism, taken to a logical conclusion, lead to atheism. The Roman Catholic Church was serious enough about the threat of Modernism that it required all Roman Catholic clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors and seminary professors to swear an Oath Against Modernism from 1910 until this directive was rescinded in 1967, in keeping with the directives of the Second Vatican Council.
Of the available conceptual definitions in sociology, modernity is "marked and defined by an obsession with 'evidence'," visual culture, and personal visibility. Generally, the large-scale social integration constituting modernity, involves the:
- increased movement of goods, capital, people, and information among formerly discrete populations, and consequent influence beyond the local area
- increased formal social organization of mobile populaces, development of "circuits" on which they and their influence travel, and societal standardization conducive to socio-economic mobility
- increased specialization of the segments of society, i.e., division of labor, and area inter-dependency
- increased level of excessive stratification in terms of social life of a modern man
- Increased state of dehumanisation, dehumanity, unionisation, as man became embittered about the negative turn of events which sprouted a growing fear.
- man became a victim of the underlying circumstances presented by the modern world
- Increased competitiveness amongst people in the society (survival of the fittest) as the jungle rule sets in.
- Quotation from Fackenheim 1957, 272–73:
But there does seem to be a necessary conflict between modern thought and the Biblical belief in revelation. All claims of revelation, modern science and philosophy seem agreed, must be repudiated, as mere relics of superstitious ages. ... [to a modern phylosopher] The Biblical God...was a mere myth of bygone ages.Quotation from Husserl 1931,[page needed]:
When, with the beginning of modern times, religious belief was becoming more and more externalized as a lifeless convention, men of intellect were lifted by a new belief, their great belief in an autonomous philosophy and science.
- Quotation from Heidegger 1938[page needed]:
The essence of modernity can be seen in humanity's freeing itself from the bonds of Middle Ages... Certainly the modern age has, as a consequence of the liberation of humanity, introduced subjectivism and indivisualism. ... For up to Descartes... The claim [of a self-supported, unshakable foundation of truth, in the sense of certainty] originates in that emancipation of man in which he frees himself from obligation to Christian revelational truth and Church doctrine to a legislating for himself that takes its stand upon itself.
- Quotation from Kilby 2004, 262:
... a cluster of issues surrounding the assessment of modernity and of the apologetic task of theology in modernity. Both men [Rahner and Balthasar] were deeply concerned with apologetics, with the question of how to present Christianity in a world which is no longer well-disposed towards it. ... both thought that modernity raised particular problems for being a believing Christian, and therefore for apologetics.
- Berman 2010, 15–36.
- Hroch & Hollan 1998.
- Goody 2013.
- Almond, Chodorow & Pearce 1982.
- Ihde 2009, p. 51.
- Marx, Durkheim, Weber: Formations of Modern Social Thought by Kenneth L. Morrison. p. 294.
- William Schweiker, The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics. 2005. p. 454. (cf., "In modernity, however, much of economic activity and theory seemed to be entirely cut off from religious and ethical norms, at least in traditional terms. Many see modern economic developments as entirely secular.")
- Kompridis 2006, 32–59.
- O'Donnell 1979, 235 n9.
- Hartmann 1974, passim.
- Delanty 2007.
- Toulmin 1992, 3–5. sfn error: no target: CITEREFToulmin1992 (help)
- Berman 1982, 16–17.
- Osborne 1992, 25.
- Laughey 2007, 30.
- Bauman 1989, ?[page needed].
- Giddens 1998, ?[page needed].
- Strauss 1987.
- Rahe 2006, 1.
- Kennington 2004, chapt. 4[page needed].
- Rahe 2006, chapt. 1[page needed].
- Bock, Skinner, and Viroli 1990, chapt. 11[page needed].
- Rahe 2006, chapt. 4[page needed].
- Strauss 1958.
- Rahe 2006, chapt. 5[page needed].
- Mansfield 1989.
- Berns 1987.
- Goldwin 1987.
- Rosen 1987.
- Vico 1984, xli.
- Rousseau 1997, part 1.
- Hume & 1896 , intro..
- Bock, Skinner, and Viroli 1990, chapt. 10,12[page needed].
- Rahe 2006, chapt. 6–11[page needed].
- Orwin and Tarcov 1997, chapt. 8[page needed].
- Orwin and Tarcov 1997, chapt. 4[page needed].
- Regilme 2012, 96.
- Harriss 2000, 325.
- Giddens 1998, 94.
- James 2015, 51–52.
- Calinescu 1987, 2006.
- Larraín 2000, 13. sfn error: no target: CITEREFLarraín2000 (help)
- Adorno 1973.
- Bauman 1989.
- Bauman 2000.
- Adorno 1973, 210.
- Bauman 2000, 10.
- Eisenstadt 2003.
- Heidegger 1938, 66–67.
- Fackenheim 1957, 272-73.
- Husserl 1931, [page needed].
- Alexander 1931, 484-85.
- Heidegger 1938, [page needed].
- Davies 2004, 133. sfn error: no target: CITEREFDavies2004 (help)
- 133[full citation needed]
- Cassirer 1944, 13–14.
- 13–14[full citation needed]
- Rosenau 1992, 5.
- Kennington 2004, chapt. 1,4[page needed].
- Bacon 1828, 53.
- Kennington 2004, chapt. 6[page needed].
- d'Alembert & 2009 .
- Henry 2004.
- Webster 2008, [page needed].
- The European Reformations by Carter Lindberg
- The new Cambridge modern history: Companion volume by Peter Burke
- Plains Indian History and Culture: Essays on Continuity and Change by John C. Ewers
- Weber, irrationality, and social order by Alan Sica
- Orwin and Tarcov 1997, chapt. 2,4[page needed].
- Smith 2003.
- Baudelaire 1964, 13.
- Hall 1990.
- Pius IX 1864.
- Pius X 1907.
- Pius X 1910.
- Leppert 2004, 19.
- Adorno, Theodor W. 1973. Negative Dialectics, translated by E.B. Ashton. New York: Seabury Press; London: Routledge. (Originally published as Negative Dialektik, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1966.)
- d'Alembert, Jean Le Rond. 2009 . "Preliminary Discourse", The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project, translated by Richard N. Schwab and Walter . Ann Arbor: Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library (accessed 19 December 2010).
- Alexander, Franz. 1931. "Psychoanalysis and Medicine" (lecture read before the Harvey Society in New York on January 15, 1931). Journal of the American Medical Association 96, no. 17:1351–1358. Reprinted in Mental Hygiene 16 (1932): 63–84. Reprinted in Franz Alexander The Scope of Psychoanalysis, 1921–1961: Selected Papers, 483–500. New York: Basic Books, 1961.
- Almond, Gabriel Abraham; Chodorow, Marvin; Pearce, Roy Harvey (1982). Progress and Its Discontents. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520044784.[page needed]
- Bacon, Francis. 1828. Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human. London: J. F. Dove.
- Barker, Chris. 2005. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. London: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-4156-8.
- Baudelaire, Charles. 1964. The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays, edited and translated by Jonathan Mayne. London: Phaidon Press.
- Bauman, Zygmunt. 1989. Modernity and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Polity Press.; Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-7456-0685-7 (Polity, cloth); ISBN 0-7456-0930-9 (Polity, 1991 pbk), ISBN 0-8014-8719-6 (Cornell, cloth), ISBN 0-8014-2397-X (Cornell, pbk).
- Bauman, Zygmunt. 2000. "Liquid Modernity". Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 0-7456-2409-X.
- Berman, Marshall. 1982. All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-24602-X. London: Verso. ISBN 0-86091-785-1. Paperback reprint New York: Viking Penguin, 1988. ISBN 0-14-010962-5.
- Berman, Marshall. 2010. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity. London and Brooklyn: Verso. ISBN 978-1-84467-644-6
- Berns, Laurence. 1987. "Thomas Hobbes". In History of Political Philosophy, third edition, edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 369–420. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Bock, Gisela, Quentin Skinner, and Maurizio Viroli. 1990. Machiavelli and Republicanism. Ideas in Context. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-38376-5.
- Cassirer, Ernst. 1944. An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture. Chapter 1.3. New Haven: Yale University Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press. Reprinted, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1953; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962, 1972, 1992. ISBN 0-300-00034-0.
- Calinescu, Matei. 1987. "Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism". Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 0822307677.
- Call, Lewis. 2003. Postmodern Anarchism. Lanham, Boulder, New York and Oxford: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0739105221.
- Delanty, Gerard. 2007. "Modernity." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. 11 vols. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-2433-4.
- Eisenstadt, Shmuel Noah. 2003. Comparative Civilizations and Multiple Modernities, 2 vols. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
- Fackenheim, Emil L.. 1957. Martin Buber's Concept of Revelation. [Canada]: s.n.
- Foucault, Michel. 1975. Surveiller et punir: naissance de la prison. [Paris]: Gallimard.
- Foucault, Michel. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, translated by Alan Sheridan. London: Penguin Books, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-14-013722-4. American edition, New York: Pantheon Books, 1978. ISBN 9780394499420. Second Vintage reprint edition, New York and Toronto: Vintage Books, 1995. ISBN 0-679-75255-2
- Freund, Walter. 1957. Modernus und andere Zeitbegriffe des Mittelalters. Neue Münstersche Beiträge zur Geschichtsforschung 4, Cologne and Graz: Böhlau Verlag.
- Giddens, Anthony. 1998. Conversations with Anthony Giddens: Making Sense of Modernity. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3568-9 (cloth) ISBN 0-8047-3569-7 (pbk).
- Goldwin, Robert. 1987. "John Locke". In History of Political Philosophy, third edition, edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 476–512. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-77708-1 (cloth); 0226777103 (pbk).
- Goody, Jack (2013). Capitalism and Modernity: The Great Debate. Wiley. ISBN 9780745637990.
- Hall, Christopher A. 1990. “Back to the Fathers” (interview with Thomas Oden). Christianity Today (24 September; reissued online, 21 October 2011) (accessed 03/27/2015).
- Harriss, John. 2000. "The Second Great Transformation? Capitalism at the End of the Twentieth Century." In Poverty and Development into the 21st Century, revised edition, edited by Tim Allen and Alan Thomas, 325–42. Oxford and New York: Open University in association with Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-877626-8.
- Hartmann, Wilfried. 1974. "'Modernus' und 'Antiquus': Zur Verbreitung und Bedeutung dieser Bezeichnungen in der wissenschaftlichen Literatur vom 9. bis zum 12. Jahrhundert". In Antiqui und Moderni: Traditionsbewußtsein und Fortschrittsbewußtsein im späten Mittelalter, edited by Albert Zimmermann, 21–39. Miscellanea Mediaevalia 9. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-004538-3
- Heidegger, Martin. 1938. "Die Zeit des Weltbildes".[full citation needed] Two English translations, both as "The Age of the World Picture", in Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, and Other Essays, translated by William Lovitt, 115–54, Harper Colophon Books (New York: Harper & Row, 1977) ISBN 0-06-131969-4 (New York: Garland Publications, 1977) ISBN 0-8240-2427-3, and (this essay translated by Julian Young) in Martin Heidegger, Off the Beaten Track, edited and translated by Julian Young and Kenneth Haynes, 57–85 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002). ISBN 0-521-80507-4.
- Henry, John. 2004. "Science and the Coming of Enlightenment" in The Enlightenment World, edited by Martin Fitzpatrick et al.[full citation needed]
- Hroch, Jaroslav; Hollan, David (1998). National, Cultural, and Ethnic Identities: Harmony Beyond Conflict. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. ISBN 9781565181137.[page needed]
- Hume, David. 1896 . A Treatise of Human Nature, edited by Sir Amherst Selby Bigge, K.C.B. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Husserl, Edmund. 1931. Méditations cartésiennes. Introduction á la phénoménologie, translated by Gabrielle Peiffer and Emmanuel Lévinas. Bibliothèque Société Francaise de Philosophie. Paris: A. Colin.
- Ihde, Don (2009). "Technology and politics". In Olsen, Jan Kyrre Berg; Pedersen, Stig Andur; Hendricks, Vincent F. (eds.). A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Wiley. ISBN 9781405146012.
- James, Paul. 2015. "They Have Never Been Modern? Then What Is the Problem with Those Persians?". In Making Modernity from the Mashriq to the Maghreb, edited by Stephen Pascoe, Virginie Rey, and Paul James, 31–54. Melbourne: Arena Publications..
- Kennington, Richard. 2004. On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy, edited by Pamela Kraus and Frank Hunt. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-0814-X (cloth); ISBN 0-7391-0815-8 (pbk).
- Kilby, Karen. 2004. "Balthasar and Karl Rahner". In The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs von Balthasar, edited by Edward T. Oakes and David Moss, 256–68. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-89147-7.
- Kompridis, Nikolas. 2006. "The Idea of a New Beginning: A Romantic Source of Normativity and Freedom". In Philosophical Romanticism, edited by Nikolas Kompridis, 32–59. Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25643-7 (hbk) ISBN 0-415-25644-5 (pbk) ISBN 0-203-50737-1 (ebk)
- Larraín, Jorge. 2000. "Identity and Modernity in Latin America". Cambridge, UK: Polity; Malden, MA: Blackwell. ISBN 0-7456-2623-8 (cloth); ISBN 0-7456-2624-6 (pbk).
- Laughey, Dan. 2007. Key Themes in Media Theory. New York: University Open Press.
- Leppert, Richard. 2004. "The Social Discipline of Listening." In Aural Cultures, edited by Jim Drobnick, 19–35. Toronto: YYZ Books; Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery Editions. ISBN 0-920397-80-8.
- Mandeville, Bernard. 1714. The Fable of the Bees, or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits. London: Printed for J. Roberts. Ninth edition, as The Fable of the Bees, or, Private Vices, Public Benefits ... with an Essay on Charity and Charity-Schools and a Search into the Nature of Society, to Which Is Added, a Vindication of the Book from the Aspersions Contained in a Presentment of the Grand Jury of Middlesex, and an Abusive Letter to the Lord C.. Edinburgh: Printed for W. Gray and W. Peter, 1755.
- Mansfield, Harvey. 1989. Taming the Prince. The Johns Hopkins University Press.[full citation needed]
- Norris, Christopher. 1995. "Modernism." In The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich, 583. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866132-0.
- O'Donnell, James J. 1979. Cassiodorus. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520036-46-8.
- Orwin, Clifford, and Nathan Tarcov. 1997. The Legacy of Rousseau. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-63855-3 (cloth); ISBN 0-226-63856-1 (pbk).
- Osborne, Peter. 1992. "Modernity Is a Qualitative, Not a Chronological, Category: Notes on the Dialectics of Differential Historical Time". In Postmodernism and the Re-reading of Modernity, edited by Francis Barker, Peter Hulme, and Margaret Iversen. Essex Symposia, Literature, Politics, Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-3745-X.
- Pius IX (1864). "The Syllabus of Errors". Papal Encyclicals Online. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- Pius X. 1907. "Pascendi Dominici gregis" (Encyclical on the Doctrines of the Modernists). Vatican website (accessed 25 September 2018)
- Pius X. 1910. "The Oath Against Modernism". Papal Encyclicals Online (accessed 25 September 2018).
- Rahe, Paul A. 2006. Machiavelli's Liberal Republican Legacy. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85187-9.
- Regilme, Salvador Santino F., Jr. 2012. "Social Discipline, Democracy, and Modernity: Are They All Uniquely 'European'?". Hamburg Review of Social Sciences 6, no. 3 / 7. no. 1:94–117. (Archive from 24 May 2013, accessed 6 December 2017.)
- Rosen, Stanley. 1987. "Benedict Spinoza". In History of Political Philosophy, third edition, edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 456–475. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Rosenau, Pauline Marie. 1992. Post-modernism and the Social Sciences: Insights, Inroads, and Intrusions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08619-2 (cloth) ISBN 0-691-02347-6 (pbk).
- Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1997. The Discourses and Other Political Writings, edited and translated by Victor Gourevitch. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-41381-8 (cloth); ISBN 0-521-42445-3 (pbk).
- Saul, John Ralston. 1992. Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West. New York: Free Press; Maxwell Macmillan International. ISBN 0-02-927725-6.
- Smith, Terry. 2003. “Modernity”. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. (Subscription access, accessed September 21, 2009).
- Strauss, Leo. 1958. Thoughts on Machiavelli. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-77702-2.
- Strauss, Leo. 1987. "Niccolò Machiavelli". In History of Political Philosophy, third edition, edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 296–317. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-77708-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-226-77710-3 (pbk).
- Toulmin, Stephen Edelston. 1990. Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-02-932631-1. Paperback reprint 1992, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-80838-6.
- Vico, Giambattista. 1984. The New Science of Giambattista Vico: Unabridged Translation of the Third Edition (1744), with the Addition of "Practice of the New Science, edited by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch. Cornell Paperbacks. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9265-3 (pbk).
- Webster, Henry Kitchell (October 2008). Early European History. Forgotten Books. ISBN 978-1606209356.
- Adem, Seifudein. 2004. "Decolonizing Modernity: Ibn-Khaldun and Modern Historiography." In Islam: Past, Present and Future, International Seminar on Islamic Thought Proceedings, edited by Ahmad Sunawari Long, Jaffary Awang, and Kamaruddin Salleh, 570–87. Salangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia: Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
- Arendt, Hannah. 1958. "The Origins Of Totalitarianism" Cleavland: World Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8052-4225-2
- Buci-Glucksmann, Christine. 1994. Baroque Reason: The Aesthetics of Modernity. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications. ISBN 0-8039-8975-X (cloth) ISBN 0-8039-8976-8 (pbk)
- Carroll, Michael Thomas. 2000. Popular Modernity in America: Experience, Technology, Mythohistory. SUNY Series in Postmodern Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-4713-8 (hc) ISBN 0-7914-4714-6 (pbk)
- Corchia, Luca. 2008. "Il concetto di modernità in Jürgen Habermas. Un indice ragionato." The Lab's Quarterly/Il Trimestrale del Laboratorio 2:396ff. ISSN 2035-5548.
- Crouch, Christopher. 2000. "Modernism in Art Design and Architecture," New York: St. Martins Press. ISBN 0-312-21830-3 (cloth) ISBN 0-312-21832-X (pbk)
- Davidann, Jon Thares. 2019. "The Limits of Westernization: American and East Asians Create Modernity, 1860-1960." Oxford: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-06820-9
- Davies, Oliver. 2004. "The Theological Aesthetics". In The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs von Balthasar, edited by Edward T. Oakes and David Moss, 131–42. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-89147-7.
- Dipper, Christof: Moderne (modernity), version: 2.0, in: Docupedia Zeitgeschichte, 22. november 2018
- Eisenstadt, Shmuel Noah. 2003. Comparative Civilizations and Multiple Modernities, 2 vols. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
- Everdell, William R. 1997. The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of Twentieth-Century Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-22480-5 (cloth); ISBN 0-226-22481-3 (pbk).
- Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar (ed.). 2001. Alternative Modernities. A Millennial Quartet Book. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2703-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8223-2714-7 (pbk)
- Giddens, Anthony. 1990. The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1762-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-1891-1 (pbk); Cambridge, UK: Polity Press in association with Basil Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN 0-7456-0793-4
- Horváth, Ágnes, 2013. Modernism and Charisma. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137277855 (cloth)
- Jarzombek, Mark. 2000. The Psychologizing of Modernity: Art, Architecture, History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kolakowsi, Leszek. 1990. Modernity on Endless Trial. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-45045-7
- Kopić, Mario. Sekstant. Belgrade: Službeni glasnik. ISBN 978-86-519-0449-6
- Latour, Bruno. 1993. We Have Never Been Modern, translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-94838-6 (hb) ISBN 0-674-94839-4 (pbk.)
- Perreau-Saussine, Emile. 2005. "Les libéraux face aux révolutions: 1688, 1789, 1917, 1933" (PDF). (457 KB). Commentaire no. 109 (Spring): 181–93.
- Vinje, Victor Condorcet. 2017. The Challenges of Modernity. Nisus Publications.[full citation needed]
- Wagner, Peter. 1993. A Sociology of Modernity: Liberty and Discipline. Routledge: London. ISBN 9780415081863
- Wagner, Peter. 2001. Theorizing Modernity. Inescapability and Attainability in Social Theory. SAGE: London. ISBN 978-0761951476
- Wagner, Peter. 2008. Modernity as Experience and Interpretation: A New Sociology of Modernity. Polity Press: London. ISBN 978-0-7456-4218-5