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Birth of Modern European Thought

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Mr. Driscoll

on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of Birth of Modern European Thought

Famous intellectuals; Charles Darwin, T.H. Huxley, Karl Vogt, Sigmund Freud, Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Herbert Spencer all believed women were born inferior to men
distinguished woman psychoanalysts; Karen Horney and Melanie Klein challenged, especially Freud’s view on women that they would be mothers destined to lead unhappy mental lives Antifeminism in Late-Century Thought questioned rational thinking, Christianity, democracy, nationalism, science and progress
in The Birth of Tragedy (1872) urged the non-rational aspects of human nature are as noble as rational characteristics
declared the death of God
critical of racism and anti-Semitism
sought the heroism he saw in the Greek Homeric age
appealed to feelings and emotions in questioning rationalism Friedrich Nietzsche modernism – critical of middle class society, but more concerned with beauty than social issues
Keynesian economics – John Maynard Keynes claimed governments spent their way out of depressions by running deficits to encourage employment and the production of goods
famous modernist writers
Virginia Woolf – portrayed individuals seeking to make their way in a world with most 19th century social and moral certainties removed
Thomas Mann – explored social experience of middle-class Germans
James Joyce – wrote famous novel, Ulysses (1922) Modernism Literature of Early 20th Century Anti-Islamic thought
Islam considered to be a religion incapable of developing scientific ideas
Europeans championed the superiority of the white race and Christianity
Eventually some Christian missionaries become more sympathetic to Muslims
the Salafi movement along with some Islamic leaders want to modernize Islam, but reject Western principles / its effects are still felt today Late 19th Century and Islam church revivals occur in Britain, Ireland and France
cult of the miracle at Lourdes grows Religious Revival history – writers question the historical accuracy of the Bible, citing no genuine historical evidence
science – Darwin and other scientists doubt the story of Creation citing that the Earth is much older than the Bible
morality
liberal intellectuals question the cruelty and sacrifices mentioned in the Bible
Friedrich Nietzsche – felt Christianity glorified weakness, rather than strength
movement towards secularism Christianity Under Siege / Intellectual Skepticism Herbert Spencer – British philosopher who believed in social Darwinism, society progresses through competition where the strong defeat the weak
Thomas Henry Huxley – strongly supported Darwin, but opposed Spenser, declared the physical process of evolution was at odds with human ethical development Science and Ethics developed positivism - a philosophy of human intellectual development based on science
wrote The Positive Philosophy in which he argued human thought has three stages
(1) theological – physical nature explained by divinity
(2) metaphysical – abstract principles explained by operative agencies of nature
(3) positive – explanations of nature become matters of exact description of phenomena
considered “father” of modern sociology Auguste Comte number of newspapers, books, magazines, mail-order catalogs, and libraries grow rapidly
sometimes the publications were mediocre catering to sensationalism, scandal, and pornography
still new reading materials led to a popularization of knowledge Reading Material feminists were outraged by Contagious Diseases Act (1864), which in Britain gave the police permission to force women to undergo examinations for venereal diseases (Act was repealed in 1886)
Austrian feminists combated the government regulation of prostitution
in Germany, feminists form Mothers’ Protection League, which contended that both married and unmarried mothers required the help of the state for pregnancy and child care New Feminism – Sexual Morality anti-Semitism seen in Vienna with the Christian Socialist Party, in Germany with the ultraconservative chaplain Adolf Stoecker, and the Dreyfus affair in France
Zionist movement – the movement to found a separate Jewish state led by Theodor Herzl / Herzl’s ideas eventually lead to the birth of the state of Israel Anti-Semitism and Zionism Count Arthur de Gobineau – in his four volume Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1854) argued the white Aryan race was being weakened by inferior yellow and black races
Houston Stuart Chamberlain – anti-Semite who believed through genetics a superior race could be developed
late-century nationalism – new nationality defined itself through race and blood opposed the ideas of liberalism and socialism and led to racism throughout Europe and North America against African and Native-Americans Racism – the pseudoscientific theory that biological features of race determine human character and worth Max Weber
saw bureaucratization as the basic feature of modern social life
people develop their own self-worth from large organizations
non-economic factors might account for developments in human history
Collective Behavior – the belief in the necessity of collectively shared ideals in society / proponents of this theory differed from Weber Retreat from Rationalism in Politics Sigmund Freud’s early theories
early studies were on psychic disorders
theorized that human beings are sexual from birth through adulthood
sexuality as one of the bases of mental order and disorder
Freud and dreams – argued that unconscious drives and desires contribute to conscious behavior
Freud’s later thought – internal mind is based on the struggle of three entities
id – amoral, irrational, driving instincts of sexual gratification
superego – the external moral imperatives and expectations imposed on the personality put on by society and culture
ego – mediates the impulses of the id with the morals of the superego
Carl Jung – Freud’s student who goes away from his teacher’s theories and believes collective memories along with personal experience constitute a human being’s soul / saw value in religion Psychoanalysis – Freud and Jung Impressionism
concentrated on modern life, using light, color, and the momentary, largely unfocused visual experience of the social landscape
famous impressionists included; Edward Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas
Post-Impressionism
form and structure, rather than the impression of the movement marked these works
famous post-impressionists included; Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin
Cubism
instead of painting as a window to the real world, painting was an autonomous realm of art itself with no purpose beyond itself
famous cubists were Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso Modern Art realist and naturalist writers brought scientific objectivity and observation to their work portraying the hypocrisy and brutality of the bourgeois life
famous early realist writers included; Charles Dickens, Honore de Balzac, and George Eliot
Gustave Flaubert and Emile Zola
Flaubert in Madame Bovary (1857) describes colorless and hapless search of love by a woman
Zola wrote of alcoholism, prostitution, adultery, and labor strife
Henrik Ibsen and George Bernard Shaw
Ibsen in his works strips away the illusory mask of middle-class morality
Shaw defended Ibsen and wrote against romanticism and false respectability Realist and Naturalist Literature of Early 20th Century few scientists believed they could portray the “truth” about physical reality, instead offering hypothesis or symbolic models of nature
x-rays and radiation – major steps in the study of the atom and radioactive materials
Max Planck – quantum theory of energy – energy is a series of discrete quantities rather than a continuous stream
Albert Einstein – theory of relativity – time and space do not exist separately, but rather as a combined continuum
Werner Heisenberg – uncertainty principle – behavior of subatomic particles is a matter of statistical probability rather than of exactly determinable cause and effect Science towards the 20th century – the physics revolution Pope Pius IX after Italian unification turns from liberal to conservative issuing Syllabus of Errors – setting Catholic Church against science, philosophy and politics
papal infallibility – pope is incapable of error on the issues of faith and morals
Pope Leo XIII – Pius successor, moderate who defended religious education and religious control of marriage, but also wanted a corporate society based on moral religious principles rather than socialist or capitalist ideals
Pius X – rejected modernism and required all priests to take an anti-Modernist oath Late 19th Century and the Roman Catholic Church in On the Origin of Species formulates principle of natural selection which explained how species evolved over time
together with Alfred Russel Wallace comes up with natural selection – principle of survival of the fittest
theory undermines deistic argument for the existence of God
in Descent of Man, applies principle of evolution to human beings Charles Darwin 85% literacy rates in Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and Scandinavia / far lesser rates in Italy, Spain, Russia, Austria-Hungary and the Balkans
liberals and conservatives call for more primary education and literacy Advances in Reading and Primary Education some women became active in socialist circles
Virginia Woolf – wrote A Room of One’s Own (1929) – argued that women should have separate intellectual and psychological philosophies then men
World War I – feminism becomes grouped with sexual immorality, and extreme political radicalism leading to repression by such leaders as Lenin and Stalin New Feminism – Women Defining Their Own Lives Great Britain – churches opposed improvements in government schools because it raised the costs of church schools / Education Act of 1902 – provided state support for religious and non-religious schools
France – public schools expanded, religious teachings replaced by civic training and Napoleonic Concordat terminated separating church and state
Germany
education secularized in 1870-1871 under Bismarck
“May Laws” of 1873 – require priests to be educated in German schools and pass state examinations
Bismarck’s Kulturkampf “cultural struggle” provokes Catholic resentment against the German state Conflict Between Church and State
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