The representation of time liberated humans from nature – Boorstin.


Daniel Boorstin posits that by marking time according to distinct parts, humans were freed from the cyclical nature of the world. Humanity’s liberation from a repetitive natural condition, via the various conceptions of time, is further claimed to have conditioned the first communities of shared human knowledge.

The first grand discovery was time, the landscape of experience. Only by marking off months, weeks, and years, days and hours, minutes and seconds, would mankind be liberated from the cyclical monotony of nature. The flow of shadows, sand, and water, and time itself, translated into the clock’s staccato, became a useful measure of man’s movements across the planet. The discoveries of time and of space would become one continuous dimension. Communities of time would bring the first communities of knowledge, ways to share discovery, a common frontier on the unknown (Boorstin 1985, 1).

Boorstin, Daniel. 1985. The discoverers. New York: Random House Inc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s