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Toward the Modern Consciousness Intellectual and Cultural Developments.

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Presentation on theme: "Toward the Modern Consciousness Intellectual and Cultural Developments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toward the Modern Consciousness Intellectual and Cultural Developments

2 The Emergence of the New Physics By the end of the nineteenth century, after more than two thousand years of intellectual struggle that began with the Greek philosophers, physical scientists had reason to believe that they were beginning to understand the universe.


4 Their theories of matter and energy, of electricity and magnetism, of heat and sound and light were confirmed in laboratories throughout the world with increasing precision.

5 "Everything that can be invented has been invented.". - Charles Durrell 1899 “Most of the underline principles of physics have been firmly established.” - The University of Chicago 1893

6 Experimentation was the method, and mathematics the language, of a powerful, coherent body of knowledge called classical physics.

7 For a few years before and after the turn of the century, the monumental achievements of science, technology, and industry inspired hopes for a peaceful and prosperous future.

8 But beneath the calm surface, in politics as well as in science, the roots of future turmoil were quietly gathering strength. Even the sturdy foundations of classical physics were developing alarming cracks.

9 X - RAYS On November 8, 1895 the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen stumbled upon a way to make strange rays with the power to penetrate black paper, and even living flesh. Since x is the unknown in algebra - Röntgen called them X rays.


11 Radioactivity The chance discovery of radioactivity finally signaled the beginning of a new era in physics. As the element polonium, identified by Polish-born Marie Curie in 1898, emits radiation, it changes spontaneously into lead. This discovery shattered the belief inherited from the Greeks that the elements are immutable and their atoms indestructible.


13 The quantum of energy is discovered. To explain the colors of hot, glowing matter, the German physicist Max Planck assumes that emission and absorption of radiation occur in discrete, quantized amounts of energy. His idea initiates the quantum theory of matter and of light.


15 The Theory of Relativity redefines time and space Albert Einstein publishes his Special Theory of Relativity, which postulates that nothing can move faster than light, that time and space are not absolute, and that matter and energy are equivalent ( e=mc 2 ).

16 According to Einstein's General Relativity, gravity warps space and deflects light beams.

17 Quantum theory explains the spectrum of hydrogen. The Danish physicist Niels Bohr uses the idea of the quantum to predict the wavelengths of light emitted by glowing hydrogen, which classical physics could not do.


19 Schrödinger's Cat A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi- function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.

20 Friedrich Nietzsche Prussian born philosopher - At 24 years of age, he earned a professorship at Basel His most productive years were after he left Basel, with the culmination of his work (not to mention notoriety) coming with the writing of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

21 For many years, Nietzsche had been closely associated with the German composer, Richard Wagner. The extent of their relationship is speculation at best, but at some point around 1887-1888, there was a deep rift wedged between the two men.

22 In 1889, less than two weeks after the completion of Nietzsche contra Wagner, he broke down, insane. Accounts tell of a frail Nietzsche draping himself around the neck of an old horse which was being brutally beaten in the street.

23 Sigmund Freud 1885 Studied under Jean Charcot in Paris who was using hypnosis to treat hysteria. 1900 - Published The Interpretation of Dreams 1923 - presented structural model of id, ego, & superego

24 Freud's theory of normal personality: Id : instinctive energy - primitive, impulsive, operates by pleasure principle, unable to distinguish fantasy from reality, unconscious.

25 Ego: reality principle, needs to contain and delay the id's impulsiveness, channels libido through cathexis (object choice), partly conscious, partly unconscious. {a Freudian term for sexual urge or desire} Libido =

26 Superego : "Internalized parent," social rewards and punishments, irrational, absolutistic, made up of conscience and ego- ideal. Anticipates social response to ego's cathexes, unconscious.

27 CATHEXES - The libido's charge of energy. He often described the libido as the producer of energies that, if blocked, required release in other ways. If an individual is frustrated in his or her desires, Freud often represented that frustration as a blockage of energies that would then build up and require release in other ways: for example, by way of regression and the wishes to repress such desires.


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