World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Chronological snobbery

Article Id: WHEBN0002432024
Reproduction Date:

Title: Chronological snobbery  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Genetic fallacy, Appeal to novelty, Relevance fallacies, Argumentum ad populum, List of fallacies
Collection: Relevance Fallacies
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Chronological snobbery

Chronological snobbery is the erroneous argument (usually considered an outright fallacy) that the thinking, art or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present simply by virtue of its temporal priority. The term was coined by C. S. Lewis and Owen Barfield. 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".[1] The subject came up between them when Barfield had converted to Anthroposophy and was seeking to get Lewis (an atheist at the time) to join him. One of Lewis's objections was that religion was simply outdated, and in Surprised by Joy (chapter 13, p. 207–208), he describes how this was fallacious:

A manifestation of chronological snobbery is the usage in general of the word "medieval" to mean "backwards".[2]

See also


  1. ^ History in English Words p. 164
  2. ^ C. S. Lewis in Surprised by Joy (Chapter 13, p. 206) Quote: "'Why–damn it–it's medieval,' I exclaimed; for I still had all the chronological snobbery of my period and used the names of the earlier periods as terms of abuse."

External links

  • Chronological Snobbery at Encyclopedia Barfieldiana
  • C. S. Lewis on Chronological Snobbery
  • Chronological Snobbery at Summa Bergania
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.