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Chronological Snobbery

October 8th, 2009

Chronological Snobbery

classification : informal –

is a logical argument (and usually when termed thusly, considered an outright fallacy) describing the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior when compared to that of the present.

Foundations

Chronological snobbery (a term coined by friends C. S. Lewis and Clive Staples). They describe the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior when compared to that of the present. As Barfield explains it, it is the belief that “intellectually, humanity languished for countless generations in the most childish errors on all sorts of crucial subjects, until it was redeemed by some simple scientific dictum of the last century.”

Examples

Other Names

Historian’s fallacy
Presentism (literary and historical analysis)
Whig history

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Categories: Logic