An Inquiry into the Historical Meaning of “The Fifth Discipline”

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Abstract

This paper shows a possible way to unfold the historical meaning of “The Fifth Discipline.” The thread of this way is the question about the new way to be human promoted by “The Fifth Discipline.” It is shown that this new way of being is not modern and coincides at several points with the ancient one. This situation is given two opposed interpretations. The first one points to a sort of a returning of our cultural worldview to the ancient one. A critique to this interpretation leads to a second possibility, which points to a radicalization of the instrumental trends of high modernity. Then a second critique is articulated which shows that the shift in the idea of humanity manifested by “The Fifth Discipline” remains obscure and problematic for our current way of thinking.

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