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The Age of QuestionsOr, A First Attempt at an Aggregate History of the Eastern, Social, Woman, American, Jewish, Polish, Bullion, Tuberculosis, and Many Other Questions over the Nineteenth Century, and Beyond$
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Holly Case

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691131153

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691131153.001.0001

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The Suspension-Bridge Argument

The Suspension-Bridge Argument

The Age of Spanning Contradictions

Chapter:
(p.209) 7 The Suspension-Bridge Argument
Source:
The Age of Questions
Author(s):

Holly Case

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691131153.003.0009

This chapter examines the suspension-bridge argument and how querists wanted to span contradictions between reality and an ideal, between timeliness and timelessness, between the universal and the particular. It begins with a discussion of the paradoxes of the age of questions, including the paradox of the international public sphere; the incoherence of the age of questions is what gives it coherence; and the urgency and momentum toward a definitive solution propounded by querists was fully compatible with their belief that a solution was elusive or simply impossible. Another paradox is that the age of questions gave rise simultaneously to both the belief that a universal war would be the result of a failure to solve them and the belief that only a universal war could solve them. The chapter concludes with the idea that the objective of the age of questions was to overcome contradictions.

Keywords:   suspension-bridge argument, contradictions, timeliness, timelessness, questions, international public sphere, universal war

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