Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Change
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Change

Change, the quality of impermanence and flux, has had a chequered history as a concept. In ancient Greek philosophy, while Heraclitus saw change as ever-present and all-encompassing, Parmenides virtually denied its existence.

Ovid produced a classic thematic handling of change as metamorphosis in his Metamorphoses.

Ptolemaic astronomy envisioned a largely static universe, with erratic change confined to less worthy spheres.

Medieval thought fostered great respect for authority and revelation, severely cramping any encouragement of change.

Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz harnessed mathematical concepts into calculus to provide mathematical models of change. This constituted a major step forward in understanding flux and variation.

With the rise of industrialisation and capitalism, the importance attached to innovation grew, and social and political upheavals and pressures often forced change by violent revolution (as in North America in the late 18th century and in later imitators). By the late 20th century much business and New Age thought focussed enthusiastically on transformation in management, in function and in mental attitudes, while ignoring or deploring changes in society or in geopolitics. And Madison Avenue receives payment to repeat the litany of the fad for change: In the fast-changing world of today, you need ... productX.

Cultural attitudes to change itself may fall into one of at least two categories:

Change may require organisms and organizations to adapt. (see evolution).

Compare identity and change, globalisation.

Depending on context, the term 'change' may in particular refer to:

Bells used in music are often played in a pattern known as change ringing.


Change is also the name of a commune in the Côte-d'Or département in France.