East–West Bifurcation as Reflection of the Worldview Collision in «Axial Age»
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East-West bifurcation, Axial Age, aridization, Iron Age cooling, comparative analysis, «N>S» worldview formula

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Nikolova, N. (2019). East–West Bifurcation as Reflection of the Worldview Collision in «Axial Age». Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, (1-2), 215-237. https://doi.org/10.35423/2078-8142.2019.1-2.12


The article is devoted to the problem of defining cultural paradygms of the West and of the East. The reasons of division of western and eastern cultural traditions are treated. It is accentuated that East-West bifurcation must be related to the Axial Age (VIII–II centuries BC) that Karl Jaspers called central moment and departing point of the world’s history. Acccording to the scholar, shedding light on this period facilitates the understanding of the whole world’s history. As for reasons of the Eats-West bifurcation, E. Kulpin’s study seems to be useful and fruitful because he showed that socionatural history influenced the expansion of eastern and western values caused generally by two negative factors of Earth’s climate in the axial age: aridization and cooling in the early Iron Age.The article pays special attention to the reasons of the split between eastern and western spiritual values. In this respect one must say that K.Jaspers managed only to identify the phenomenon of the Axial Age, but he could not explain it in the context of «pre-axial» and «axial» cultures, that what resulted in some lacunas, problems raised but not solved in his conception. It was shown in this connection that the problems in question can be studied via comparison of two concepts – that of K. Jaspers and M. Chmyhov. The main achievement of such a juxtaposition is the idea that the striking difference between eastern and western worldviews is caused by the danger of transformation: the «N>S» worldview (natural things are more important than social) turning to be «S>N» in the Axial Age. Moreover, in this way it is possible to attach the radical difference between eastern and western social values to their opposed worldview paradygms.

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Chmykhov, M., Kravchenko, N., & Chernyakov, I. (1992). Archaeology and Ancient History of Ukraine: Lecture course. Kyiv: Lybid. [In Ukrainian].

Jaspers, K. (1991). The History’s Sense and Vocation. Мoscow: Political edi-tions. [In Russian].

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