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“The Grand Theories” -Key Concepts-. I. The Wonders of Steel, Electricity and Chemistry The Development of Steel The New World of Chemical Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "“The Grand Theories” -Key Concepts-. I. The Wonders of Steel, Electricity and Chemistry The Development of Steel The New World of Chemical Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 “The Grand Theories” -Key Concepts-

2 I. The Wonders of Steel, Electricity and Chemistry The Development of Steel The New World of Chemical Technology Alfred Nobel and Explosives Dmitri Mendeleev and the Periodic Table Electricity: Capturing the Imagination of the West The Telephone and the Internal Combustion Engine

3 II. Science and Technology: The Ultimate Solutions Science and Technology can solve all problems Faith in human progress appeared endless and automatic The scientific model permeated popular thought We still live with these perspectives to a degree

4 III. The Triumph of Science in Art and Literature: Realism Realism: Literature should depict life exactly as it is Favorite genre: novel Favorite subject: the poor Naturalism = unalterable natural laws are the source for human actions

5 III. Realism in Art and Literature (cont) Famous Realist Artists and Writers: --Charles Dickens, Hard Times --Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets --Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin --Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

6 III. Realism in Art and Literature (cont) Famous Realist Artists and Writers: --George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) --Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbevilles --Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace --Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie --Edgar Degas, “Women Ironing”

7 George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

8 Edgar Degas’ “Women Ironing”

9 IV. Auguste Comte ( ) and Positivism Insistence on verifiable facts in all things Comte’s three stages of history Highest Science = Sociology, the Science of Society Fascination with evolution and dynamic development Note the scientific theory of history here Emphasis on explaining how things change—path of evolution

10 V. Charles Darwin ( )

11 A. His Life and Writings Intellectual Climate favorable to the theory of biological evolution --Charles Lyell -- “uniformitarianism” Does not originate the idea of evolution but provides a wealth of data to support it Proposed the theory of “natural selection” -- “Survival of the fittest”

12 A. His Life and Writings (cont) The influence of Thomas Malthus Idea of Natural Selection was “in the air” rooted in free-market economics On the Origin of the Species (1859) “Social Darwinism” --Herbert Spencer

13 B. His Conclusions Nature was the scene of struggle Nature is not a friend nor a model of mechanistic order No evidence for God No real morality in the universe—adaptation replaced virtue

14 B. His Conclusions (cont) Human Beings were no longer “special”: the human mind was simply a product of evolution New anxieties about man’s place in the world Darwin’s theories could spawn tragic results --Descent of Man

15 VI. Sigmund Freud ( )

16 A. Conflict Within the Individual Mind Hysteria related to early childhood experiences Leads to the tendency to repress trauma Free association, dreams, hypnosis all helped to bring the repressed trauma to the surface “Oedipus Complex” “Defense Mechanisms”

17 A. Conflict Within the Individual Mind (cont) The notion of the unconscious was “in the air”—Freud did not invent it Id, Ego and Superego in conflict with each other Neurosis is the result of repressing the Id

18 B. His Conclusions The centrality of sex in the human experience and at the root of neurosis The centrality of sex in the human experience and at the root of neurosis Tragic conflict between the needs of the individual and the needs of society Tragic conflict between the needs of the individual and the needs of society Civilized beings are sick and depressed Civilized beings are sick and depressed Threatens the whole idea that we can know ourselves Threatens the whole idea that we can know ourselves Never comfortable in a civilization of our own making Never comfortable in a civilization of our own making A world of despair, anxiety and uncertainty A world of despair, anxiety and uncertainty --Civilization and Its Discontents

19 VII. Karl Marx ( )

20 A. French Utopian Socialism Romantics who believed in the power of reason and the goodness of mankind Pushed for cooperation over competition Saint-Simon Charles Fourier and his “phalansteries” Louis Blanc and national workshops Pierre Joseph Proudhon and property as theft --labor theory of value

21 B. Marx’s Life and Writings Early Years and Enlightened Humanism Identified with the exploited and downtrodden Modern Society had perverted the social nature of human beings Factory proletarian = the ideal type of the alienated man whose own production oppressed him

22 A. Marx’s Life and Writings (cont) Marx as journalist and political activist Marx’s marriage and family --Jenny von Westphalen Friendship with Friedrich Engels --The Conditions of the Working Class in England (1845) The Communist Manifesto (1848) Marx and the notion of evolution

23 C. “Dialectic Materialism” Society and the world are ever changing Change comes through the clash of antagonistic elements Building on the foundation of Hegel History is linear and inevitable

24 C. “Dialectic Materialism” (cont) Laws govern historical change The main forces behind change are economic Bourgeois = dominant class of 19 th century History will come down to the ultimate class war

25 D. Threat to the Bourgeois Capitalist Order Marxist socialism became very popular among members of the working class in the late 19 th century Positivist 19 th century scientific approach turned against itself Destruction of the bourgeois class was inevitable

26 D. Threat to the Bourgeois Capitalist Order (cont) The “democratic” disease of mass civilization The problem of spreading mediocrity and decadence The “herd instinct”: inferiority rules and ruins The ideas of Friedrich Nietschze


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