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Related: history - intellectual - culture - period - time

Related by title: The Adventures of Phoebe Zeitgeist

But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence... illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness. -- Feuerbach, Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity (1841)

image sourced http://azothgallery.com/images/zeitgeist_maier_17c.jpg [May 2005]


Zeitgeist is originally a German expression, which means "the spirit (Geist) of the time (Zeit)". It denotes the intellectual and cultural climate of an era.

It is a term that refers to the ethos of a cohort of people, that spans one or more subsequent generations, who despite their diverse age and socio-economic background experience a certain worldview, which is prevalent at a particular period of socio-cultural progression. Zeitgeist is the experience of a dominant cultural climate that defines, particularly in Hegelian thinking, an era in the dialectical progression of a people or the world at large. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist [May 2005]

Blockbusters reflect zeitgeist
One theory of cultural historians has been that the biggest box office successes of a given year reflect thematic resonance with the Zeitgeist of the time. However, they believe that it is impossible to really see what elements of the film resonated with people without some historical distance. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockbuster_motion_picture [May 2005]

Geist is German for mind, also for spirit and ghost. It is a central concept in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, and is similar to Heidegger's concept of Dasein, in that both are terms to describe the aspects of a being that are attempting to apprehend and understand the world.

It is a component of the adopted words zeitgeist and poltergeist. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geist_%28philosophy%29 [May 2005]

In philosophy, essence is the attribute (or set of attributes) that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is. The notion of essence has acquired many slightly but importantly different shades of meaning throughout the history of philosophy; most of them derive from its use in Aristotle and its evolution within the scholastic tradition. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essence [May 2005]

see also: history - periodization

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