- Slides: 27
Darwin, Freud, Einstein Three pillars
Darwin’s Background • Born 1809 in Shrewsbury, England • British Naturalist • Did not love school, but father insisted he go to medical school (which he never finished) • Learned taxidermy from a Creole freed slave • Took an interest in Botony and Geology at school
HMS Beagle • Darwin asked to be naturalist on study of South America aboard HMS Beagle • Biggest revelations were on the Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador. • Realized that individual species of birds and lizards had developed similar, but different traits across barrier. • They were “adapting” to environment of Galapagos.
Natural Selection • Darwin attempts to apply natural laws to his discovery of adaptation. • This led to the concept of Natural Selection – where events and geography “choose” which species survive. • Darwin argued that those species with the right adaptations survive. • Writes by 1859 “On the Origin of Species”
Ape to Man • Darwin extends his theory to man saying that natural selection and adaptation allowed man to become the dominant species. • Man evolved to circumstances = evolution.
Impact of Darwin • Destroyed the notion of God as the ultimate creator for some. • Further eroded Christianity • Takes control of destiny out of the hands of man and puts it into nature • Justified our belief in hard science as the answer. • Social Darwinism
Social Darwinism • Herbert Spencer the “originator” of Social Darwinism • Applies it to social classes and societies. • Justification for imperialism, racism, ethnocentrism, eugenics, scientific racism.
Sigmund Freud • Austrian Physician who spent most of his adult life in Vienna. • Freud believed early on that our conscious thoughts are determined by hidden unconscious forces. • Freud attempted to put the scientific method to the very “irrational” issue of thought and psychosis.
The Basis of Freud’s Theories • Sought to explore the unconscious mind • Freud specialized in treating nervous disorders and through this research established the concept of neuroses. • Often the result of childhood fears and experiences, usually sexual in nature. • Would treat these by trying to bring those experiences to light • Oedipal complex – he felt that boys have a poor relationship with father based upon mother
Techniques Developed by Freud • Free Association – the basis of much psychoanalysis today • Dream Analysis – sought to analyze why people have dreams and saw them as a window into their neurosis.
Freud’s Large Conclusion • Id – subconscious instincts – primitive and irrational. This is the ultimate in gratification and anger • Ego – the reasonable side of consciousness – society becomes the method for repressing the Id through the ego. • Superego – the balance to the Id, seeks to almost punish for its instincts and faults – it gives us a sense of right and wrong
Implications for Freud • Establishment of Psychology as a social science • Is it an ideology or a science? • Made people relinquish control of their mind sub conscious. • Began the serious study of the brain. • Eventually leads to concepts of brain as an electrical entity.
Albert Einstein • Born in Ulm, Germany in 1879 • Trained in the Swiss Polytechnic School in Zurich – worked in Patent Office during Doctoral Work. • Did most of his best work from 1905 -1911. • Eventually moved back to Berlin but renounced his citizenship in 1933. • Moved to US and became professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton
Special Theory of Relativity • The Special Theory of Relativity – E=mc 2 • Remarkably, he derived all his work from two simple postulates applying to inertial frames (i. e. , objects that move with constant velocity with respect to each other): – The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames. – The speed of light is a constant in all inertial frames. – So in essence time can be at at different rates throughout the universe, depending on how fast you moved
General Theory of Relativity • Explains how gravitation is a distortion of the structure of space time by matter, affecting the inertial motion of other matter • This is why Copernicus’ theory finally holds water – it explains why gravity maintains motion around a sun. • It also demonstrates why light bends.
• http: //www. pbs. org/wgbh/nova/einstein/rela tivity/
Implication for the Special Theory and General Theory • Indirectly, relativity became associated with a new relativism in morality and art and politics. There was less faith in absolutes, not only of time and space, but also of truth and morality. • Moral Relativism – there are no universal truths • Nuclear Energy – the basis of all nuclear energy and nuclear weapons
Nietzsche • German Philosopher in the late 1800’s • He believed in life, creativity, health, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. • Existentialist philosopher • Postmodernist thinker
• “God is dead” – an atheist and believed that the death of God would kill objective truth. • Nihilism – the belief in nothingness – credited to him although not always espoused
Existentialism • Existentialism in the broader sense is a 20 th century philosophy that is centered upon the analysis of existence and of the way humans find themselves existing in the world. The notion is that humans exist first and then each individual spends a lifetime changing their essence or nature. • Biggest proponent is Satre – credited with starting it. – No Exit • “existence precedes essence”
Jean Paul Satre
So in the end…. • How do these men influence thought at the end of the century?
Man Is Left Adrift • God is gone (Nietzsche) • Your existence is in question (Satre) • You have no free will to determine your place in nature (Darwin) • Your mind is not completely under your will (Freud) • Your physical view of time and space is ripped apart (Einstein) • You are…. the modern man.