modernage

modernage - The of Scientific Determinism Determinism...

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Unformatted text preview: The of Scientific Determinism Determinism Umberto Boccioni: “Dynamism of a Soccer Player” Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase Nonnude not descending a staircase Piet Mondrian: “Broadway Boogie Woogie” Piet Mondrian: Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue The Medieval Outlook The world and our lives are Teleological They have a purpose, an aim) The world is Absolutist in religious and political thought The earth’s design and purpose centers on God’s plan for our Earthly existence This earth is the center and centerpiece of God’s creations The old World View is dynamistic, not mechanical The Rise of the Modern World Challenges to the Old World View The Copernican Model of the Universe The Earth was no longer the center of God’s universe; it had become periphery The new timetables for the Earth’s age suggested that human existence on the earth was only a minor appearance during the last brief moment of geologic time; humans were not the central actors The Rise of the Modern World Challenges to the Old World View The Slow Shift from Religious tradition and authority to the Scientific Method The Rise of inductive methods of scholarship The Mechanistic view of Nature The Expansion of Secular Learning The Rise of the Modern World Challenges to the Old World View The Rise of Humanism and democratic reform Greek and Roman Models of Government were imitated over Judeo-Christian, authoritative systems The Modern World The Rise in the 19th Century of Naturalism or Determinism Naturalism means Humans are creatures who have no free will; they are as controlled and determined by natural forces (genetic and environmental) as are the stones on the hill or the water in a stream. This mechanistic view also suggests moral relativism or the irrelevance of moral constraints The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Science and Philosophy have slowly built arguments and evidences for UNIVERSAL CAUSATION, the idea that humans have no free will. Synonyms --- Universal causation = determinism = naturalism = materialism = no free will = no free agency The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Descartes theorized that much of the universe was purely mechanical and materialistic, including all of a human being except the mind. Robotic Sheep Dog The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Newton first worked out in detail the formulas for physical determinism in the laws of motion in the natural universe with his study of inertia and gravity. The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Hegel developed a theory of historical determinism in which we all play scripted parts in the progress of the world. The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Charles Darwin developed a theory of biological determinism, saying that the very development of all species was determined by natural forces playing upon the biological traits of species. The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Karl Marx developed the idea of economic determinism, arguing that the social class and economic conditions in which humans found themselves are largely responsible for what they are. The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Freud argued for psychological determinism, saying that prenatal and early childhood experiences determine much of our life. The physical brain, with its ego, id and super-ego, replace the concept of soul. Ego Id Superego The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism B. F. Skinner, a Harvard psychologist, has developed a similar theory of psychological determinism, arguing that we humans can be shaped by stimulus-response conditioning in the same way Pavlov’s dogs could be. Much of modern psychology is based on such theories. Yes, Master! The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism Emile Zola and other naturalistic writers have produced literature in which humans seem to have no ability to alter the course of their lives. Genetics plus environment make the human, not reason and will. Zola’s novel, The Experimental Novel, in 1880, was the first naturalistic work Fate Naturalism in Literature “One viewed the existence of man then as a marvel, and conceded a glamour of wonder to these lice which were caused to cling to a whirling, fire-smitten, ice-locked, disease-stricken, space-lost bulb.” (Stephen Crane, The Blue Hotel) The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism It is a familiar idea to all of us that we are conditioned and governed by past events in our lives. It is part of our psycho-therapy, our legal system, and our everyday conversation. He could not help being a thief. His mother took drugs. The Modern World: The Rise of Naturalism With the rise of science, words like “soul” or “mind,” as things separate from the physical brain, have no place. The “Mind” is essentially a damp computer. This led Nietzsche to conclude: “God is dead.” And Tennyson laments the decline of genuine spirituality in the formal churches: “But the churchmen fain would kill their church, As the churches have killed their Christ.” The Modern World: The Loss of Faith “Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.” (Julian Huxley, director-general of UNESCO, qtd. in Johnson, Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1999: 62+.) “Dover Beach” by Mathew Arnold “The sea is calm tonight, The tide is full, the moon lies fair The Upon the straits;--on the French coast the light Upon Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, Begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow Of human misery; we Of Find also in the sound a thought, Find Hearing it by this distant northern sea, The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Retreating, Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles* of the world. *Pebbled beaches Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and Swept flight, flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.” (1867) The Rise of Naturalism--Cubism Picasso, Pablo -- Les Demoseilles d’Avignon The Rise of Naturalism--Cubism Pablo Picasso Self Portrait The Rise of Naturalism--Cubism Braque, George Pitcher and Violin Giacometti’s “Hollow men” in the modern world Anti-war Themes Reber’s Graphic Depiction of the Modern World ...
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modernage - The of Scientific Determinism Determinism...

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