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Postmodern art[edit]

The article doesn't cite any support for its contention that "some art may be CALLED postmodern art, but IN REALITY this is a continuation..." I find this to be terribly POV. Until there is some support from a scholarly source and the wording reflects that it is a contention, I think it doesn't belong in the article.

overlap with Modern World[edit]

This article may overlap with the one at Modern world. --Joy [shallot] 18:25, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it does, but I believe this term is better suited for an encyclopedia. I have started a discussion about a merge at Talk:Modern Times (history).
Peter Isotalo 15:49, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Nah, leave it. Modernity is a philosophical concept, as well, and renaming it "Modern Times" would take away from the usefulness of the article.
I left the link to Talk:Modern Times (history) to keep the discussion together. Please make your post there.
Peter Isotalo 19:58, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
In my discipline (Geograpy) modernity is often looked on independant of any time period. Perhaps this article should cover the project of modernity instead of a particular time period, while the other article focuses on the historical meaning. -Halidecyphon 15:30, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree; 'Modernity' is a philosophical concept, and not necessarily the same as Modern Times, Modernism or Modern. --Yanemiro 04:23, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

i dont think the pages should be merged. and although modernity is an ideological concept, it still must be placed in a context of time as ideologies rise and fall depending on socio economic factors. an explanation of modernity/ modernism without placing it in a certain time and place removes the ability of the article to explain which factors contributed to the rise of any movement. jojoman 5/6/06

modernity and modern times should not be merged, particuarly as sociologists regard modernity as a concept separate to modern times. by merging the two, essentially the philosophical component of modernity (particuarly relating to the changes involved in the Great Transformations of the enlightenment period and the revolutions) is overpowered by the actual events themselves. Modern times also implies todays era, whereas sociologists make a distinction between modernity (17th/18th century to roughly late 20th century) and now (postmodernity).

For the third time, please refer to the joint discussion at Talk:Modern Times (history). Split discussions will lead to fewer people reading your posts.
Peter Isotalo 08:24, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion, "Modern Times" should not merge with "modernity". I believe it will cause more confusion than already exists. Modern Times refers to a specific time period that historians refer to. Modern Times is not generally thought of as including the time in which we live now (2006). Contrastingly, modernity is a broad concept that has completely different connotations, such as fashion, architecture, modern technology, etc.

It should not be merged, transition is history and politics should not be confused with history labeling. imper 19/09/2006

Some might argue the Modernity is an ELEMENT of Modern Times. While there is overlap between the two concepts, these articles should be separate for the same reasons that "White House" is separate from "The President of the United States"

thank you, peter, for linking to the other discussion. the only problem is that the "discuss" link on the Modernity site about its merging with Modern Times leads to this discussion. That could help ensure people don't end up here and stay here if they want to talk about it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:46, 8 November 2006

Well, I'll try to sum this up, removing the merge-tag. --FlammingoParliament 10:16, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Modernity and "Modern Times"[edit]

What is the rather strict separation of modernity and the modern period based on? Does this reflect the consensus among historians at the moment?Peter Isotalo 14:29, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Adding sources... FlammingoHey 07:39, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Modernity is an era then? But what would one call the struggle between 'modern times', now and the next step, modernising? What will come after postmodernity? There is a struggle between what is and what will be which needs to be focused on rather than whats gone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Outdoor08 (talkcontribs) 13:10, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

modern, post modern?[edit]

Doesn't "modern" mean simply generally 'what is around today', i.e. 'up to date'? ...'what is around today'. That is not implying in any way that "modern" is better or worse. How can something be post that? VeriGGlater 20:06, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

post means "reaction to", and not that anything "modern" is over; there are many pages this needs to be added to. --FlammingoHey 07:38, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

The term "postmodern" was coined by Jean-François Lyotard in his essay "La Condition postmoderne" (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1979). Lyotard was tasked to write a report on the condition of knowledge, its acquisition, its status... Lyotard's conclusions were alarming: knowledge was becoming unstable, ever changing and evolving. There were no more certainties. This new relationship to knowledge was radically different in nature from the optimism that was characteristic of "Modernité". So, in my opinion, the notion of the "postmodern" has its place in this article. To answer the question above, the article is about Modernity, not what is "modern". Modernity defines a historical period. The postmodern as defined by Lyotard would be the slow demise of Modernity. It has more to do with sociology than pure historical chronology. I hope this makes sense... Scoob777 (talk) 02:08, 9 January 2017 (UTC)Scoob.

It would be a good idea first to read at least the Wikipedia article Postmodernism, where you will find that the term was around for almost a hundred years before Leotard "coined" it in 1979.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 02:43, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Merge with Modern history, oppose to Modernism[edit]

The way the articles have developed, this one just lists what should go to Modern history, although it should be the term opposed to Modernism (there's even the template there), meaning it's the history of late 18th century until the First World War, WWII at the latest. Cf also 1 a : of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past : CONTEMPORARY b : of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from a relevant remote past to the present time, so that it might even be the concept relevant to, and to be distinguished from, Contemporary history.--FlammingoHey 07:44, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure how bad the page was two years ago, but 'modernity' should differ from 'modern history' by describing the sociological and philosophical processes related to the period. A wikipedia without a 'modernity' page would be fairly woeful, bearing in mind how central this concept is to social science, social history, and social philosophy. --Tomsega (talk) 09:47, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
You might take a look further down this talk page, under the header "Revert back some years". I see you are substantially in agreement with my views, expressed there, and I hope we may soon be assisted by some editors with more expertise in these areas than I have got.
While we are about it, you will note that I reversed your reversal of my edit correcting the format of one recently added reference in footnote format. The inline references in this article are not as numerous as they should be, but they all use in-text, parenthetical formats, not footnotes, as recommended at Wikipedia:Citing sources/example style: "There is currently no consensus on a preferred citation style or system for Wikipedia. If you cannot decide on which style to use, or if you do not know what information to include, an example partially based on the APA style is given below". APA style, which uses this in-text, parenthetical citation format, is especially suitable for articles in the Social Sciences.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:07, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Might try to rewrtite[edit]

This take on modernity is overly historicist and eurocentric. It seems to be oblivious of the more nuanced discussion of modernity, its relation to coloniality and to the allied terms of modernism and modernization. I am working on a rewrite. 07:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC) sj

questionable external link[edit]

I am not convinced that The Telegraph article "TAMING THE WILD WATERS" adds much to an encyclopedia article on modernity. I am not arguing that it is untrue, rather, that it is superfluous here.

Ellensn (talk) 16:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Acceptable forms of citation[edit]

Editor Arthur Rubin has cited Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to present citations as authority for the unacceptability of in-text citations, while at the same time saying "although Chicago is quite acceptable". Since Chicago format is in-text citation format, and the authority cited presents at item no. 4 an example of this very in-text citation format, I must submit that he is in error. Further, Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Citation_styles also sanctions APA style and MLA style, both of which discourage the use of footnotes in favor of in-text author-date citations. Chicago style was the only citation format used in the present article up to the addition in September of a source using footnote-reference style. In order to conform with the already established format, I converted this footnote (which also was incomplete and inaccurate, in that it offered a series title as the publisher, and did not include the actual book title or place of publication) to Chicago style, and inserted the source in the Source list at the end of the article.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:12, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

(ec) The recent change to pure inline text citations, which I've been reverting, is destroying links to the actual references. Example #4 in Wikipedia:Citing sources#How to present citations appears to be the same format, but it has modified Harvard-style links to the reference section. (They don't work for me, either, but they work for some people.) Internal links to the full citation should not be destroyed by a selected format. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:13, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what links you are referring to. The only one I can see is an external link (not an internal one) to the source at this URL. It still works fine for my browser (Safari 3.2.1, running under Mac OS X version 10.4.11), though it is very slow to load the PDF. At the moment, this link is on the page-number range in the in-text citation. If you feel it should be placed otherwise, or duplicated in the Source list entry, I certainly have no objection to that. I have never seen internal links of the type you describe (presumably a link from the reference entry to the full-biblio entry in a reference list in the same article) in any Wikipedia article. Can you point me to an example?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 02:25, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Example 4 reads:
By placing the citation in the list and naming the author, year, and page number in parentheses {{Harv|Ritter|2002|p=45}}.
{{Harv}} creates an internal link if Harvard tags are placed in the reference section. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:49, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I didn't know that. Is there a similar template for MLA, Chicago, and APA formats (all of which, like Harvard, use author-date citations, but vary in the way the reference list is formatted)? It doesn't seem like it should be difficult to implement this in the present case, if a Chicago template exists.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:02, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I now see why I hadn't discovered this before. That text is hidden, and I was reading only the displayed text, which says nothing about such links.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:08, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


It would be interesting if the article could discuss the issue of modernity as a form of social exclusivity. One of the main goals of 19th-century colonialism was to impose modernity on vast amounts of non-civilized African and Asian peoples, and as a result several anti-colonial social movements emerged which saw the ideology of modernity as a major source of alienation for many non-white and non-Western peoples and civilizations. And while modernity was primarily seen as a Western movement, there were many Christians in the West who, for a very long time, were deeply critical of the phenomenon of modernity, which was perceived as an anti-Christian Masonic conspiracy (see Catholicism and Freemasonry). ADM (talk) 06:10, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

"Modernity", or "modernism"? As this article (and indeed all sources of which I am aware) defines "modernity", it is a condition or historical era (imposition of which of course could be the goal of some agent), not a "movement" or an implement in itself. The "ideology" or "movement" is called "modernism". The section "anti-globalization" of the article "Globalization" covers this in some detail, and with specific reference to the condition called "modernity", the section "Criticisms of modernism" in the article "Modernism". If you find any of these discussions do not adequately address this issue, why don't you go ahead and expand them, with documentation from reliable sources (which should not be difficult to find, considering the enormous amount of ink that has been spilled on this subject)?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:49, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Christianity and modernity[edit]

There should perhaps be an article on Christianity and modernity, an issue that the Roman Catholic Church took a long time to resolve, an issue which was mostly settled during the time of the Second Vatican Council. ADM (talk) 20:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Reversion 'back some years'[edit]

I have reversed User:Srnec's attempt to revert this article 'back some years', mainly on the grounds that this removed the only three verifiying source citations in the entire article. I can sympathize to an extent with your action, Srnec, because the state of this article is disgraceful. Unfortunately, the earlier forms were no better, and it is a huge backward step to revert to an article amounting entirely to original research. What this really needs is a complete rewriting, starting from the definition provided by Toulmin and the citations from Giddens and Leppert.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:34, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I think a clear distinction must be drawn between modernity, modernism and the modern era/period/age. Do you disagree? I think that talk of modernity in 1436 is little else but sloppy usage: events in the fifteenth century helped open the way to the modern era in history, the latest age in the traditional trifold division. And anything can be "modern" in its time. Do you disagree? If you disagree with either of these points, I suggest redirecting this title to modern history. If Modernity is merely the West since the Middle Ages, there is no difference. Srnec (talk) 21:10, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

What you or I think really doesn't matter, since that amounts to original research. The expert POVs quoted in the article are all we are allowed to depend on, and removing all of them in an effort to have a clear field for expressing some other unverified position is not the way Wikipedia is supposed to work. FWIW, Toulmin does not agree that 1436 is a suitable starting date, but rather argues (at considerable length and, in my opinion persuasively) for the end of the Thirty Years' War. The point is that Toulmin cites 1436 as one which is sometimes argued to be the end of the middle ages and the beginning of modernity (which is indeed one widely held point of view, whether you or I or Toulmin agree with it or not). If you can find a source that says Toulmin is wrong, and that no one has ever argued for that date, then by all means please cite it. Toulmin also cites (as the article lede presently points out) a number of other years, down to as late as 1895, which various authors have held to be suitable starting points. Perhaps Toulmin's arguments, as well as tose of other authors who have differing points of view, should be summarized more fully later in the article, but the spread of years should be sufficient for the introduction. As for the rest, I think a clear distinction can and should be made between modernism and modernity (the former being an attitude or program, the latter a condition or state), but making a distinction between the latter and "modern era/period/age" is more problematic, especially when such eminent authorities as Toulmin often do not make this distinction.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:36, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

If no distinction is made between "modernity" and "modern era", then we should direct this page to modern history to avoid duplication. That is my point. I make such a distinction and will continue to do so, but, as you say, it doesn't matter here what I do. Srnec (talk) 04:18, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Please do not rename or blank and redirect articles without first obtaining editorial consensus.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 06:43, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I will be bold. You stated above that your cited source does not distinguish between the two concepts. What justification can you provide, then, for having two articles, one based primarily on the definition provided by your source (and otherwise full of unsourced hogwash)? This must be redirected until we can reference a distinction between the concepts. Srnec (talk) 19:50, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I said that "such eminent sources as Toulmin" do not make this distinction. Giddens also does not, Leppert on the other hand seems to be discrimiating the terms and, if memory serves, so does John Ralston Saul (found in the list of Sources but not specificlly cited in the text. Perhaps I should have said "some sources, such as Toulmin, do not make this distinction". I agree that this article is full of unsourced claims, and certainly it is my opinion that some if it (but not all) is hogwash. However, simply converting the article to a redirect is merging articles without prior discussion (not necessarily a problem, if no one objects, but I do object—at least to merging without first obtaining consensus). I see that you are a relative newcomer to Wikipedia, and so likely do not understand many of the procedures used here. If you believe that this article should be merged with Modernism, Modern history, or some other article. then the correct procedure is to make a Proposal to merge. If you will check the discussion history on this page, you will discover that you are not the first person to bring this up, though no formal proposal has been made, at least not in the past two years.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:22, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

My first edit was on 13 October 2005 (diff), and yours was almost a year later on 2 August 2006 (diff). According to Soxred93's tools, I have created 2,387 articles. I'm not sure what makes me a relative newcomer.
I do not like formal proposals, and so will not be making one. I would urge you to consider not whether some action is procedurally correct, but whether it will make this project better for the reader. When I get the chance I will pare this article down to only its sourced statements, then if there is nothing which distinguishes modernity and the modern era, I will merge what is left of it into that article. Srnec (talk) 04:41, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

My apologies, I misread your profile, which made it appear you had only been editing since August of this year. In any case, I have now had the opportunity to read the Talk history of this page in some detail, and I notice that, when this same proposal to merge was made some three years ago, it failed to gain consensus, largely on grounds that claims were made that the fields of Geography, Sociology, and Philosophy regard "modernity" as distinct from the "modern era". I am not at all familiar with the conventions of the discipline of geography, and am not particularly well-read in sociology. My field is music theory and historical musicology, which puts me into contact more with philosophy, but even here I have to confess to being on shaky ground with regard to the use of this particular term. However, a little fairly superficial research has brought to my attention sources that verity the distinction holds, especially for sociology, but also for art history and philosophy (and my earlier recollection that John Ralston Saul makes this distinction is now confirmed). I shall add these references in the appropriate places, and rewrite the lede to reflect them. In the meantime, please feel free to pare away the rubbish. There is plenty of work for us both.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:19, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Alright. I'd like to see how you improve it. Srnec (talk) 20:58, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Have a look and see. The waters of the Alpheus and Peneus will need to flow through their temporary courses for some while still before we are done cleansing these Augean Stables, but I have removed a large part of the irrelevant and largely OR material. I am still not too happy about the Politics section, which is tied too much to historical periodization, but it contains a relevant reference to John Ralston Saul, elaboration of which should help to clarify how the historico-philosophic identification of "modernity" with "enlightenment" makes the term both narrower and more general than the historical "modern era".—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:51, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

We don't need an article about the term "modernity". We need an article about modernity. I was under the perhaps mistaken impression that it was a technical term, a term of art, consistently distinguishable from "modern era" and "modernism" and other related terms. Sure, it is used colloquially (just like "modern" is, without prejudice to its technical usage related to modern history), but I thought it had a technical meaning (not an agreed upon referent, but an agreed upon meaning). If not, then this article must go. And I have never heard modernity equated either with small-e enlightenment or with large-E Englightenment. Certainly, not with the Age of Enlightenment. In what ways is this article as it stands an aid to the reader? Srnec (talk) 19:06, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

It is a technical term, but not one used that way so much by art historians as by sociologists and philosophers. I thought my revisions made this very clear but, if not, please point me to the passages that remain ambiguous on this point. If you have not previously heard of the equation with "enlightenment", then perhaps the sources cited here will give you the opportunity to explore this further. (And this is only tangentially to do with the Age of Enlightenment.) I should think that this article is an aid to any reader who is puzzled by the distinctions made in sociology, philosophy, and the philosophy of science by writers such as Giddens, Eisenstadt, Rosenau, Baudelaire, Toulmin, and, especially, Gaonker, between the concept of modernity and its identification with particular historical periods or geographic locations.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:04, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Citations and recent edits[edit]

I apologise if I have clashed with any editor, particularly Jerome Kohl. However, after taking the time to place all of the citations into the proper inline format I see it has been undone. Harvard, end-of-sentence referencing is of course better than none, which is why it remains a common sight, but it is not the preferred form of referencing on wikipedia - a website which aims to automatically create a references list in chronological order at the bottom of the page. A specific nofootnote stamp exists, and states clearly: "This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate." It is quite evident you will not find Harvard referencing in featured status articles - it's be nice to aim that high. I do apologise if, in the process, a few page numbers were lost, but otherwise there is nothing here one should have any authority to remove with respect to wiki rules, irrespective of whatever style of referencing you think is more attractive. I am reverting back the changes, also, because the Giddens quote has now fallen out of proper formatting and produced errors on the page. --Tomsega (talk) 22:00, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I in turn apologise if I screwed up the Giddens quote, and it shall be fixed, but I think you are making an error by equating "inline citation" with "footnote". They are not the same thing. The main Wikipedia article on citations, Wikipedia:Citing sources, states in its lede: "Each article should use the same method throughout. If an article already has citations, adopt the method in use or seek consensus before changing it." Fine, let's discuss this, and if you can convince me there is a good reason the format should be changed in this article, I shall cheerfully concede the point. In the meantime, let us respect Wikipedia guidelines. An "inline reference" is a reference source attached to a statement in an article (as opposed to a "general reference", which is a work consulted for an article, but from which no directly cited statements are annotated). Inline references may use either footnotes, or parenthetical referencing, according to Wikipedia guidelines. The How to present citations section of this same article says:

Citations are usually presented within articles in one of five ways:

  1. General reference: By placing the citation in a list at the end of an article.
  2. Footnote: By placing it in a footnote, with a link following the assertion (whether a clause, sentence, paragraph, etc.) that it supports.
  3. Shortened footnote: By placing the citation in the list and naming only the author, year, and page number in a footnote.
  4. Parenthetical reference: By placing the citation in the list and naming the author, year, and page number in parentheses (Ritter 2002, p. 45).
  5. In addition, embedded links may be used if the source is a web page.
I have previously pointed to the section Wikipedia:Citing_sources/example_style, where it says further:

There is currently no consensus on a preferred citation style or system for Wikipedia. If you cannot decide on which style to use, or if you do not know what information to include, an example based on the APA style is given below. In APA style, a widely accepted format for writing research papers, the references are listed at the end of the article in alphabetical order by author, and by year for identical authors. Also see MLA style and Harvard referencing.

Now, if you disagree with thee cited guidelines and believe that they should be changed, the place to argue your case is at Wikipedia talk:Citing sources. If, on the other hand, you believe there are special conditions here that make this particular article an exception to these guidelines, or that there are particular local conditions (such as establishing a uniform citation style for a set of offspring articles from a single parent article), then please state them. I am listening.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:30, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I see how the Giddens quote got spoilt: I accidentally deleted the closing double-braces along with the footnote formats. But this raises a question: Why have you chosen to format this citation as a pull quote? Is it somehow to be regarded as apart from the article proper, or did you merely mean to use blockquote format?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:40, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
You're right - Harvard is just another type of inline citation, what I mean to say is embedded referencing. However, it stands as evident that absolutely all featured-quality articles use embedded references, with the subsequent automatic, chronological reference list. This is the optimum standard, and similarly, very few good articles deviate from it. Other than your own personal preferences I see absolutely no reason why the embedded referencing, which I took time to insert (albeit with a couple of errors), shouldn't remain. Are we not aiming for featured status here? Overall I think this article is rather weak, considering the importance of the subject to sociology and philosophy. It'd be wrong to sit on it, undoing fair edits.
With respect to the format of the Giddens quote, I simply think it looks better, but if there's an official reason I'm not aware of why that format shouldn't be used, by all means change it back.

--Tomsega (talk) 22:52, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

"Embedded referencing" is not a term I am familiar with, but if you mean the <ref>[Reference goes here].</ref> format (in which the citation referenceare embedded in the code, but the references are displayed unembedded in endnotes), it is far from standing as evident that all featured-quality articles must use footnote formats. In fact, Wikipedia:Featured article criteria explicitly states there must be "consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes (<ref>Smith 2007, p. 1.</ref>) or Harvard referencing (Smith 2007, p. 1)". Further, the footnote system does not—and cannot—automatically produce a chronological reference list. Chronological lists are in any case exceedingly rare, in my experience; an alphabetical list is the norm, with multiple entries under one author then listed chronologically, either in ascending or descending order, and the footnote system cannot do this, either. What footnote referencing does is to present each reference separately and, in cases where different pages in a single work are cited, force repetition of the entire bibliographical apparatus at each entry. (Multiple references to the same page or page range can be clustered, though this looks unspeakably ugly, in my opinion.) The reason this is necessary (and the same goes for "Ibid." or "loc cit." abbreviations) is that subsequent edits may re-order paragraphs or interpolate new references, making a shambles of citations that were meant to refer to preceding footnotes. The bottom line is that—in larger articles than this one, at least—it becomes difficult to assess whether the references used include the most important authors, since the reader must sift through dozens or even hundreds of notes.
FWIW, about a year ago I successfully shepherded the article on Karlheinz Stockhausen through the Good Article review process (which is the first step toward featured article status), and the question of footnotes never even came up. You may care to take a look at it. At present, there are about 200 citations there, in parenthetical reference format. Some other representative articles (on which I have been only peripherally active as an editor) are the ones on Serialism, Tonality, 20th-century classical music, Milton Babbitt, Arnold Schoenberg, Luigi Nono and Béla Bartók.
Regarding the Giddens quote, it is not so much a matter of "official reason" as the editorial intent for use of the quotation. A pull quote (also called a "call-out") can be formatted in a variety of ways. The template you have chosen simply draws a box around a block quote; others increase the font size, enclose the indented quotation in oversized blue quotation marks, etc. The pull quote is normally used to highlight a short excerpt of the main text, often setting it in the margin of the page, like this:
or to present an apropos aphorism, rather than simply to present a quotation too long to comfortably set off with quotation marks in a normal line of text. In this case, I cannot quite make out which is your intention. The Wikipedia guidelines for pull quotes can be found at Template:Cquote.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:59, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Citations and recent edits - revisited[edit]

I just stumbled upon this article following a look into the term "modernism" as related to Catholicism. I am not an expert on this subject so I will not comment on the article content but I do feel the need to comment on the article editing...

  1. I have corrected a missing "(" in one of the inline references. This was lost when the citations were changed (back) in this edit.
  2. With respect to both Mssr. Tomsega and Jerome Kohl: To pursue your goal of FA status ought not the references, regardless of format, include more page numbers? Would this not be beneficial to the concept of "...introducing more precise citations where appropriate."? (emphasis added)
  3. Finally, with my respects to Mr.Kohl: I must strongly disagree with your actions...

In your eagerness to wikilawyer the citation styles issue you seriously failed to respect the essence of WikiLove and Collegiality, without which WP would dissolve into a vulgar bar-room brawl. Mr. Tomsega apparently invested a great deal of time and effort to revise the citations... time and effort that you then callously disregarded in pursuit of adherence to a Style Guideline which states, in part:

"[This] is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply." (emphasis added)

"Common sense" would suggest that there was no urgency to undo all of Mr. Tomsega's work and that the matter could have been discussed in a collegial fashion first. You could have initiated the talk page and explained your reasons for preferring one format over the other. You could have been the one with an open mind and willing to listen to the other side. You could have been the bigger man. Instead you chose to invest a not insignificant quantity of your own time to manually undo the painstaking work of another editor. Worse, you executed your editorial mission so poorly that by your own admission you damaged content contribution and (per my above edit) failed to consistently use accurate style, both by simple carelessness. No one disputes that Tomsega breached WP Style Guidelines. Likewise no one appears to dispute that his efforts were in good faith. You were within "your rights" to do what you did, but was it the "right thing" to do given the circumstances? I believe, no. Tomsega seems to have responded to your actions with respect and deference, yet I suspect there was a sharp sting to see his well intentioned bold efforts "undone". I believe, Mr. Kohl, you owe your colleague, Mr. Tomsega, an apology for acting with haste, carelessness and lack of regard -- I urge you to look beyond the "rules" and do what is right. I urge you to set an example of real civility by proffering him a sincere apology. (talk) 15:11, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, To my mind it seemed blatantly obvious smart inline referencing, the type you see on all featured status articles, is the optimum standard, to the extent I let the issue go. I didn't want to spend more time simply arguing about it! --Tomsega (talk) 15:19, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Dear That is quite a diatribe! If you will go back and read the earlier part of the format discussion, you will find that I did in fact apologise to Tomsega. I do not believe that any of the arguments I put forth subsequent to that apology were taken "with haste, carelessness and lack of regard", though if Tomsega feels this may be so, then I unreservedly apologise for inadvertently creating this impression.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:57, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
The point remains, you didn't just undo a good faith edit, you undid a perfectly justified edit. As far as I'm concerned 9/10 wiki users will tell you referencing of the type I installed is preferable. It just so happens only two of us were arguing and you're in that 1/10! Even if it were 50/50, that wouldn't be just cause to undo what took me 20 minutes. Anyway. No worries ;) --Tomsega (talk) 12:55, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, quite so. If my previous apology didn't cover that, then please let me apologize again now. Did I not also restore your justified edit? I thought I had, but that was a long time ago now.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:44, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Just came here to try and figure out what modernity is. In the first sentence it has the meaningless term, "post-traditional". It might be some type of jargon, but it is meaningless to most people. It links to "tradition". I know what a tradition is. Is post-traditional something like what you do after a tradition? Maybe the post-traditional football game on Thanksgiving. You watch it after the traditional turkey dinner.

Please, could someone write a first sentence that describes modernism. If it's just a time period like the 18th century just say so. You can get to the complicated stuff after the first sentence.

Ydorb (talk) 22:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

The entire point of having this article in addition to the one titled "Modern era" is supposed to be that "modernity" is a condition, and not a chronological descriptor. So, no, it is not a time period like the 18th century—or like the "modern era". For the description you request of modernism, see the article on that subject—its definition does not belong in the lede of this article. These are three separate, though strongly interconnected ideas. I agree, however, that using chronology identifiers like "post-traditional" is confusing and misleading.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:41, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The first sentence currently says "Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period . . ." That makes it sound like time period, not a condition. Looking further down the article, someone defines it as shorthand for industrial civilization. Is that what it is? If so, maybe the first sentence could say something like "Modernity is shorthand for industrial civilization."

Ydorb (talk) 18:36, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

As I said, I agree with you that the opening sentence is confusing and misleading, in that it too-strongly suggests ties to one or more historical periods. However, the term is not exactly "shorthand for industrial civilization", as a patient reading of the article will show. Perhaps it should be stated up front that it is first and foremost a technical term from the field of Sociology, though it is also used in much the same sense in other fields, such as the Philosophy of Science and History of Philosophy.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:37, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Trying to separate the time frame from the intellectual movements seems OK to me, but I see no reason to deny a connection between the two? Of course these intellectual movements did in fact happen, irregularly of course, over a certain typical time period.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:43, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

This article is completely sub standard[edit]

Not only is the language abtruse, there is also a strong bias. For example, a strong influence from neo-marxists thought. To describe marxism as modern and to include modes of "surveillance" in the fundamental definition of modernity just goes to show that this article must completely reworked. Much of the initial definition is also repetitive withour clarifying the issues. One other point: According to Giddens we are in high-modernity, not post-modernity. There is no agreement that we should be in post-modernity. Modernity is three things:

1. Not the middle ages (early defintion from 17th century) 2. Freedom, equality and reason (French revolution) 3. Urbanity and industrial society (turn of the century 1900).

Whatever you may want to add or retract this core remains the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:35, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

No doubt the article can be improved, but your concerns could be argued a bit more convincingly and constructively. Marxism is generally seen as a typical form of modernism? Why would Giddens' term be considered more notable than "post modern"?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:45, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
If I understand's complaint correctly, he/she is objecting that Giddens is being made to say "we are in post-modernity", whereas he should be made to say "we are in high-modernity". I have just checked the article, and is flat wrong on this point. The article baldly states: "this phase is called "Liquid" modernity by Bauman or "High" modernity by Giddens". I don't see that relative notability even comes into it (unless we are to dismiss Giddens entirely on grounds of non-notability, of course).—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:42, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I do think I am constructive. I have proposed a basic scheme for structuring the article and defining the concept of modernity. Nothing could be more constructive. Have you at all read what I have written about the meaning of the concept of modernity? I believe that the article is truly substandard and biased. Let us do some Fisking:

"modernity tends only to refer to the social relations associated with the rise of capitalism. Nevertheless modernity may characterise tendencies in intellectual culture: particularly, those movements intertwined with secularisation and post-industrial life, such as Marxism and existentialism, as well as the formal establishment of social science"

That is an abtruse characterisation. What is meant by that? Nothing is clarified, but the tone is clearly materialistic, i.e. Marxist. Liberty, equality and reason are better ways of defining what modernity is than "the social relations associated with the rise of capitalism", which is not really a clarification or definition. What are the social relations? What are they characterised by? What does capitalism have to do with reason, for example? Reason is a product of science, not of capitalism. The whole interpretation is reductionist, biased, Marxist/materialistic and therefore botched. Unless everything that has happened in modern times is related to capitalism, in which case the defintion is circular: capitalism = modernity. The tone and style of writing is also typical of neo-marxism, piling abstractions on top of each other.

The phrasing, which is wordy without clarifying the issues, does associate marxism with modernity, not just modernism:

"Nevertheless modernity may characterise tendencies in intellectual culture: particularly, those movements intertwined with secularisation and post-industrial life, such as Marxism". What is menat by "modernity may characterise".

How and in what way does modernity "characterise?" I thought the goal was to define modernity, but here it is modernity that defines something else. This is a very confused way of writing. In any case, the article associates marxism with modernity, not just modernism. Modernity "characterises" marxism. That is what the sentence says. The connection to modernism is also unclear, because it follows in the sentence after marxism is mentioned. There is a vagure reference to intellectual movements. However, during this period there have been several counter-modern currents of thought. Green ideology, to just mention one. It is just not acceptable to have an article with this kind of vagueness and even factual errors, as a result of that vagueness.

No, marxism is not a part of modernity, per se, but it is an expression of modernism! I will let you ponder that one! By the way, why should modernism be mentioned at all? Can it not be left to the article with that title? Must modernity be defined in relation to modernism? I believe that type of discussion or contrastive definition does not belong in the first paragraph. It only displays a certain anxiety and uncertainty about the concept of modernity. Keep the eyes on the ball! Since modernity is a complex concept, the wording in the initial paragraph needs to be much more open-ended. For example, a clear statement that the concept is disputed or that it can have different meanings depending on ideology.

A final example: "In context, modernity has been associated". Which context? Associated in what way? Whoever has written this does not command the clear and simple style of writing that is necessary in a dictionary.

At the bottom of this lies a confusion which is a product of the dominance of the political left in the social sciences. This article can not solve this, but whoever writes about such concepts should be aware of this and give equal treatment to different points of view.

[[[Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 16:46, 10 January 2011 (UTC)]


The first paragraph says that modernity includes surveillance, but never touches on that again, and the linked page on Surveillance never mentions modernity. Would like to understand better.--BooksXYZ (talk) 09:54, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

The reference given is to Barker 2005, 444, but I'm afraid you will find little further illumination in that book. As in too much social theory, no time is wasted on defining terms that "everybody knows". However, on Wikipedia what matters most is that a claim can be verified by a reliable source. Comprehensibility takes second place. You are quite right to complain, however, since statements made in the lede of any article are supposed to summarize material discussed in more detail in the main body of the text. This is why references should not need to appear in the lede.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:05, 15 July 2013 (UTC)


There seems to be some redundancy in this article. There is a both a "defining modernity" subheading, and a "modernity defined" subheading. The material under the "modernity defined" subheading is rather scant, and taken only from one source, while the material under "defining modernity" tries to encompass the many different ways in which this term is used in different intellectual/artistic fields. I would suggest deleting the second, "modernity defined" section, or incorporating what it says into the "sociology" section of the more thorough definitional section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Independebubble (talkcontribs) 12:54, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

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