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But as we saw, the impact of modern science and the loss of trust in the senses were also contributing factors in the emergence of the worldview of animal laborans, insofar as both forced man to concentrate on processes as found in nature or in the internal workings of the mind. The overall result was to make labor, the endless repetitive cycle of man’s metabolism with nature, the highest of man’s capacities, and to elevate life, or the preservation of our biological species, into the highest value.
Is that he has caused the edifice of traditional metaphysics . . 32 Once liberated from the artificial and distorting incrustations of the tradition, the original meaning of our metaphysical categories could be discovered anew. It is in this redemptive sense that we must do violence to the tradition, so as to recover for the present the forgotten and occluded Urphaenomene. 33 The “deadly impact” of new thoughts can thus re-establish our links with the past in fresh and novel ways, endowing it with an authority that issues from a critical reappropriation of its meaning.
54 EARTH ALIENATION: SECOND STAGE OF MODERNITY “Earth alienation,” to which we may now turn, represents an intensification of the trends identified with world alienation. It was partly induced by the discovery of America and the subsequent exploration of the whole earth, culminating in the invention of the airplane and in the conquest of space. This had the unintended effect of making the earth seem much smaller, to the point where modern man could see it as a mere ball from which, first in imagination and then in reality, he could detach himself and view it from a point in space.