essay assignment

timer Asked: Dec 20th, 2018
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Question description

Essay #2: Topic, Tips and Guidelines

The essay should be between five pages, no more, no less.

The topic is for you to apply your choices of theories of the course to the films.

These are the theories we have covered in the course and their corresponding films

Freud and the Civilization and Its Discontents and Pleasantville

Nietzsche: My lectures on his Genealogy of Morals, The Superman and The Birth of Tragedy and Fight Club and Black Swan.

My lecture on Avatar and Myth; the lecture A Postmodern Pagan Myth; my lecture on The Dialectic of Enlightenment; my lecture on The Hero, my lecture on Dystopia and Avatar and V for Vendetta

For this essay, I want you to use two theories to analyze two films. Your thesis is simple. These two theories correlate to these two movies

Choose two theories and two movies. However, they cannot be the original film they are paired with.

For example, you can use any film to analyze with Freud’s ideas except Pleasantville.

Or any film to Nietzsche except Fight Club and Black Swan.

Conversely, you could use my lecture on The Dialectic of Enlightenment to analyze Pleasantville or Fight Club,

Or my lecture on the Hero myth and Black Swan; or Freud and V for Vendetta, or Dystopian and Fight Club.

Or Freud and Avatar.

Do you see? Two theores / two films. = one theory per film.

If you are unsure if you are doing this topic the correct way, you should email me your ideas and I will comment on them.


You need at least five direct quotes, not paraphrases from five different sources. These can be from Freud’s essay, my lectures, other’s lectures or the film itself. You need to use correct in-text citations and a correct References page. The librarians are happy to help you with this, as am I, so there is no real excuse for any of these to be incorrect

You need to proofread your essay. See the file Six Common Errors in Students’ Writing in the final module. Most of you are using run-on sentences. They are easy to fix.Use Grammarly. The writing rubric scores grammar and APA

APA: it is crazy to lose points for formatting your essay incorrectly. The librarians are happy to show you as am I.

As always, I am here to help you….prior to the deadline.

Counter Enlightenment Theory #1 Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents  Objectives:  How is Freud’s theory counter to some of the core values of the Enlightenment?  How does the film Pleasantville exemplify the ideas Freud sets forth in his essay?  In other words, what would Freud say about the film?  Context:  Civilization and Its Discontents was authored in 1929 and published in 1930 with the original title as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ("The Uneasiness in Culture").  Freud’s essay reflects the Zeitgeist of the interwar period of the twentieth century  Freud explains these new horrors of World War I and the 20th century through psychological analysis.  The result is a negative view of the future, and the inability of the ideals and goals of civilization to do much about it.  Context cont.  Civilization and Its Discontents is no less that Freud’s account of the development of civilization through the lens of his psychoanalytical thought.  The scope of the text conflates Freud’s ideas of the workings of the mind of the individual to those of society at large.  Freud sees the inner workings of the mind in direct conflict with the most basic ideals of religious and moral thought, as well as the concepts of human nature and progress espoused in the core values of the Enlightenment.  Overview: Freud’s First Premise  Human being possess a basic sex instinct that fundamentally functions as a way of reproducing the species.  As societies have transformed from primitive to civilized, the way the humans manifest the sex instinct has been altered. In general some manifestations of the sex instinct were considered contrary to the development of civilization  One example would be how polygamy evolved into to monogamy.  Monogamy defines the pairing of people into couples and into families This allows civilization to hold couples responsible for children. For Freud the Issue Is Libido  Freud is examining the reasons why there are “frustrations in respect of sexual life” : the problems of the development of civilization and the part of human nature he calls “libido.”  What is libido?  The Latin word libido, meaning "desire, lust", was borrowed by Sigmund Freud as the name for a concept in his own theories. At first he defined libido to mean the instinctual energy associated with the sex drive.  Later he broadened the word's meaning and began using it to mean the mental energy behind purposeful human activity of any kind; in other words, the libido (for which Freud also used the term eros, a Greek word meaning "sexual love") came to be regarded as the life instinct, which included sex along with all the other impulses we rely on to keep us alive. But those of us who aren't psychologists use the word simply as a synonym for "sex drive".  Libido [Def. 1]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. In MerriamWebster. Retrieved February 4, 2017, from  Freud implies that as civilization has evolved; however, our nature – libido – has not evolved with it, nor we are reluctant to “relinquish an old position in favor of a new one.”  As in the development of social structure, we mate in pairs. Libido’s primary function is to reproduce the species.  In other words we can deal with the above on the level of the individual couple; however, what about libido within civilization?  Freud says: “It is much the same thing if we say that the conflict between civilization and sexuality is caused by the circumstance that sexual love is a relationship between two people, in which a third can only be superfluous or disturbing, whereas civilization is rounded on relations between larger groups of persons  Freud’s First Premise cont.  To restrict sexual behavior civilization developed morality, laws and religion, which were then internalized. Freud called this the super ego.  However. Freud cites the “inertia” of the sex instinct. In a sense it was resistant to the demands of civilization, giving humans a very basic reason to feel “discontent.”  Freud’s analysis is pro-Enlightenment in that it is a scientific based theory. However, it views run counter to other of the core beliefs of the Enlightenment.  The nature of human beings “in this world” is not to be essentially happy.  Instinctual irrationality is as strong a force as “reason” or rationality. The irrational instincts conflict with the rational concepts and laws that create “civilization.” Hence, the conflict of the two makes people “discontent.”  The instincts must be expressed. Concepts like the democracy and the social contract sound good, but in truth will not completely suppress peoples’ need to express their instincts, especially aggression, which I will discuss later in this lecture.  Progress, social and technological, is not inherently good for Freud.  How do people cope? Substitute-Gratifications  Freud begins with a reference to some of his patients, specifically those who suffer unendurable pain due to “frustrations in respect of sexual life”  To deal with their problems Freud says they “manufacture substitute-gratifications [substitutes] for themselves in their symptoms, which, however, are either painful in themselves [fetishes] or become the cause of suffering owing to the difficulties they create with the person's environment and society at large.”  He says this is easy to understand, but the issue is larger in that culture [civilization] demands other sacrifices besides that of sexual gratifications. Freud on substitution gratifications: “The substitute gratifications, such as art offers, are illusions in contrast to reality, but none the less satisfying to the mind on that account, thanks to the place which phantasy has reserved for herself in mental life. The intoxicating substances [drugs, alcohol] affect our body, alter its chemical processes. It is not so simple to find the place where religion belongs in this series. We must look further afield” (Freud, 2005, p.10). Substitute Gratifications cont. Baudrillard (1988) argued that “Psychoanalysis opens a variety of windows into understanding contemporary consumption and consumerism. The psychoanalytic theory of defense and the unconscious enables us to understand why commodities, from fast cars to luxury chocolate, so readily stand in to offer substitute gratification for deeper repressed desires and why the meaning of such commodities is liable to become mobile and unstable” (as cited in Gabriel, Y, 2015, p. 25).  Another Coping Mechanism For Civilization: Aim Inhibited Libido  Civilization endeavors to bind the members of the community to one another by libidinal ties as well, that it makes use of every means and favors every avenue by which powerful identifications can be created among them, and that it exacts a heavy toll of aim-inhibited libido in order to strengthen communities by bonds of friendship between the members. Restrictions upon sexual life are unavoidable if this object is to be attained.  So….two married friends may be attracted to one and another; however, they inhibit or transform sexual attraction to friendship to keep the relationship safe and acceptable to others/  Hence, all relations between people in civilization have a sexual basis. The only way for people to bond into a community is to “inhibit the aim” of libido, is for civilization control it, deflect it, channel it into “friendships.”  To avoid…[conflict], an alternative formulation arises, a displacement of sexual energy to create “ aim- inhibited love,” in which one loves mankind in general, not specific sexual objects at all. For examples, a world in which all people love each other to be Pleasant!!!  • For Freud the means by which civilization becomes an enemy to libido. For aim-inhibited love gets high value—it is the root of friendship. Yet “ Love with an inhibited aim was in fact originally fully sensual love, and it is so still in man’s unconscious.” There will always be conflict.  Restrictions upon sexual life are unavoidable = civilization in conflict with our basic nature = we are discontent.  Less satisfying than genital love, this aim- inhibited love nevertheless helps escape the exclusiveness of genital love, and is thus less risky. It is also a founding notion, along with need, for civilization, as opposed to individual pleasure. But both get called “love,” and they thus are confusingly commingled.  Lastly, The Reality Principle Versus The Pleasure Principle:  For Freud (2005) erotic drive also gets displaced not just to friends, but to other things as well, as human beings substitute work for sex. And this is especially in men, not women, who “are little capable” of such sublimations of instinct” (p.59).  • Indeed, Freud imagines that women have become hostile to civilization, since it withdraws man from woman, and from the family. “What he employs for cultural aims he to a great extent withdraws from women and sexual life” (p. 59).That is a major deformation of the individual’s original mental economy of pleasure seeking:  Thus: the sexual life of civilized man is... severely impaired; • “One is probably justified in assuming that its importance as a source of feelings of happiness, and therefore in the fulfillment of our aim in life, has sensibly diminished” (p.61) • So, “civilization impairs sexuality and (therefore) happiness, at least at the level of sensuality”(N2). The Instinct for Aggression  Overview: Freud’s Second Premise  Like the sex instinct human beings possess an instinct for aggression.  This instinct is eradicable  The instinct for aggression can be released collectively by groups  Freud counters the Enlightenment again:  “Men are not gentle, friendly creatures wishing for love, who simply defend themselves if they are attacked…”  Even though civilzation tries to bind humans into relationships and groups that serve thier common interests, the needs of the instinct to aggression cannot be denied.  Important. Freud says,  “…their neighbour is to them not only a possible helper or sexual object, but also a temptation to them to gratify their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without recompense, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him.”  about “Homo homini lupus”? [In Latin: “A man is a wolf to another man]  For Freud the instinct to aggression, “lies in wait for some provocation…”  Aggression, too, can find substitute gratification. In situations that could be settled in milder, more civilized have been achieved by milder measures, people will take that opportunity to release its energy. E.g. road rage  According to Freud, aggression manifests itself “spontaneously and reveals men as savage beasts to whom the thought of sparing their own kind is alien.”  For Freud, the Enlightenment’s ideal – Reason – is not match for instinct.  The consequences are dire: “the passions of instinct are stronger than reasoned interests.”  Hence, “Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.” What about civilization’s ideals?  For aggression the ideal to “to love one's neighbor as oneself” attempts to provide a reaction to instinctual aggression.  Freud's’ comment? “Nothing is so completely at variance with original human nature as this.” .
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Counter Enlightenment Theory #2 Nietzsche’s Biography Nietzsche, (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, He wrote subjects from religion and culture to morality and art. His work on drama is The Birth of Tra g e dy (1872). Nietzsche’s attacked the Enlightenment for three reasons: 1. Its faith in reason vs. myth 2. Its support of the bourgeoisie, the middle class and its morality and laws 3. Its effect on what the individual can and should become. The Birth of Tragedy was in part a criticism of the Enlightenemt and its faith in Reason. For Nietzsche the cult of Reason transformed 19th century Europe into a mechanized version of life dependent upon rules, laws, and morality that altogether sapped the passion and excitement of being alive. Nietzsche felt modern life had lost its vitality and sense of myth, which is in stark contrast to classical ancient Greek society, wjich he felt should be a model for how moderns Hence he structured his theory around two gods: Dionysius and Apollo. The Dionysian The Dionysian and the Apollonian to Nietzsche represented two sides of human nature, which were reflected in Greek society and culture, specifically tragedy. One part of the nature of human beings Nietzsche likened to a Greek god: Dionysius. Dionysius was the Greek god of wine, rituals, sex / orgy, song, dance, passions, creativity, drama and art. All these come from the irrational side of the human minds. These are instinctual, free, spontaneous, uncivilized and uncontrollable forces within our nature itself. The Dionysian represented the tribal life of Greek culture from which civilized society later sprang. The Apollonian The opposite of the Dionysian side of the human experience Nietzsche named after another Greek god – Apollo. The Apollonian is the side of human nature that seeks rationality, order, control, civilization and it ideals [Democracy] , and perfection in dreams and appearances. Greek classical architecture is an excellent example of the Apollonian. These columns in their natural form, as simply rock with no form or specific shape or look started as Dionysian. In essence it is wild and uncivilized. It was the idea and skill of the sculptor transformed them in the Apollonian, an ordered form and look. These opposing forces, the Dionysian and Apollonian find their “collision and synthesis” in tragedy in Nietzsche’s view. Nietzsche: The Dionysian and Apollonian The Dionysian impulse is to give free rein to the passions and to lose oneself in ecstatic frenzy. According to Nietzsche, it was in the Dionysian that “the most savage natural instincts were unleashed.” We cannot properly appreciate or criticize the Dionysian from within a tradition of rational thinking because the Dionysian stands outside rationality. As much as the civilized world may wish to deny it, the Dionysian is the source of our myths, our passions, and our instincts, none of which are bounded by reason . The civilizing force of the Apollonian is an essential counterbalance—contrary to some stereotypes of Nietzsche; he is firmly against the complete abandonment of reason and civilization. However, Nietzsche warns that we lose the deepest and richest aspects of our nature if we reject the Dionysian forces within us – an occurrence caused by the Enlightenment and Reason. Nietzsche: Tragedy in the Modern World In Nietzsche’s view since the Age of the Enlightenment in the 18th century, reason (the Apollonian) has come to dominate belief, myth, passion (the Dionysian). Advances in science and technology and trust in reason led to almost, ironically, a religious belief in reason. Where did this lead as as a civilization – too greater irrationality disguised as reason? Nietzsche: Tragedy in the Modern World cont. The cult of reason, according to Nietzsche shields from the reality of the human condition: that within our nature lies vital drives that make make us alive and vital and often lead to collisions with the forces of order and control in the world. Where does tragedy teach us about this collision? That there is essential darkness in our lives as well as light? And how do we deal with that? How can facing this truth, this essential suffering, release us from the illusory dream of reason? Ways to View The Birth of Tragedy o o o o In essence Nietzsche is asking us to see where irrationality [Dionysian energy], absent in the modern world, is in collision with rationality / reason, which dominates the modern mind. As stated, the reconciliation of these in Nietzsche’s view is in classical Greek tragedy, where passion meets order to create beauty. In drama in a play or film: where is the collision between irrationality and rationality, or if you will belief and reason; hence the connection to our course’s theme… In the content of the drama itself? In our reactions to it? In the mind / intentions of the playwright / screenwriter? Ways to View The Birth of Tragedy cont. Remember for Nietzsche the ability of tragedy to release the Dionysian spirit within the context of the form and context of the Apollonian is its beauty and lifts us as moderns. Synthesis is achieved through balance. If the work is too Apollonian and too rational, it lacks vitality and is all appearance. If it is too Dionysian it is too terrifying and chaotic.
Nietzsche’s Ubermensch or Superman Nietzsche’s attacked the Enlightenment for three reasons: 1. Its faith in reason vs. myth 2. Its support of the bourgeoisie, the middle class and its morality and laws 3. Its effect on what the individual can and should become. For Nietzsche to live was to be “beyond good and evil” This was the achievement of only the rarest of individuals The ideal man of the noble, aristocratic, warrior caste is what Nietzsche named the Ubermensch, which is translated as the Overman or Superman. He is the superior person who rises out of and above the the mass, the “herd” as Nietzsche called them, that were defined by the the common people, the meek, afraid and humble. Nietzsche’s Overman – Superman “Nietzsche proclaims the Overman as the end goal of humanity. The overman is someone who has so refined his will to power that he has freed himself from all outside influences and created his own values.” “The noble type of man regards himself as a determiner of values; he does not require to be approved of. . . he is a creator of values. The Overman and The Will to Power Will to power - The fundamental drive motivating all things in the universe. The will to power, which Nietzsche refers to elsewhere as the "instinct for freedom," is the drive for autonomy from and dominance over all other wills. It is a prime characteristic of the Overman.” Six signs that you might be an Overman: 1. You Have Perfected the Art of Self-Overcoming: [you have re-fashioned yourself rather than let society do it] You have freed yourself from the smoke and mirrors of “security” [society and its rules] and the illusion of “comfort.” Indeed, you have freed yourself to create new freedom. You have once again transformed yourself into a self-propelled beast, a sacred cycle, the walking personification of the lifedeath-rebirth process of the human condition. 2. You Have the Ability to Transform Suffering Into Strength: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” You are willing to suffer in order to discover your greatness, knowing that pain is the ultimate teacher next to nature herself. You are purposefully vulnerable, realizing that it’s the only way to learn about the weakness within invulnerability. You seek tasks that would cause others to curl up into a ball of fear, because you have learned how to transform fear into courage. You realize that the secret to transforming suffering into strength 3. You Accept Your Own Dionysian Nature and Use it Appropriately: [The Dionysian side of the personality is the individual instinctual one; it is irrational because of that. Its opposite is the Apollonian. It is the rational and is responsible for order and rules; hence, society. #3 Continued… As a liberated artist you represent the Dionysian endeavor toward wild, carefree creativity. You have chosen to embody a wide spectrum of the human experience, lusting for the gruesome ecstasy of the sensual world yet capturing and expressing it all through your art. The Dionysian innovator is a perfect example of divergent thinking, which you embrace with all your heart. The Apollonian artist, on the other hand, relies on convergent thinking; which is fine, as balance is necessary. But since we live in a rigid, stuck-inthe-muck, overly convergent thinking society, you see how important Dionysian energy really is. 4.) You Are Neither Restricted by Tradition Nor Bounded by Convention: “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” –Friedrich Nietzsche. You refuse to live out a harried life of nine-to-five slavery, wasting your days on heartless corporations that don’t give a damn about anything except making money. Instead, you wish to live a life of adventure full of doing what you love to do, despite the powers that be and in spite of the tyranny that wishes to contain you? 5.) You Are Willing to Risk All For the Enhancement of Humanity: He who flies is hated most of all”? You fly anyway, soaring over the culturally constructed illusion of it all. You are willing to be “the odd man out,” refusing to give into the unconscious peer-pressure of the herd-instinct. Your conscious awareness propels you past the unconscious comfort zone, which is infective and causes others to want to do the same. 6.) You Seek Power Over Power: You have learned how to break the chain of obedience that plagues mankind. You have cut the strings dangling down from the highest echelons of power. You are capable of clipping yokes and cutting away the straps that bind the heavy burden of parochial values. You have turned the tables on the “powers that be” by getting power over power. You realize that those at “the top” deserve neither your pity nor your rancor. They deserve nothing more than your unadulterated laughter and high humor: a thumbing of your nose that all at once keeps them in check and prevents their “absolute power” from corrupting absolutely.
Culture in Revolt Theory Friedrich Nietzsche The Genealogy of Morals: an Attack [1887] Nietzsche’s The Ge ne a log y of Mora ls [1887 is an attack on the Enlightenment and its support of the bourgeoisie, the middle class, and its morality and laws. The Ge ne a log y of Mora ls defies the premise that all people are naturally good and equal, and that the social contract and democracy are really illusions to rob the powerful and noble of their right to lead. The ideas and values of the Enlightenment are so woven into the political and social ideologies of western democracy that they are accepted as almost God- given natural laws and values. Nietzsche’s essay shocks us into questioning those assumptions. The essay goes back to the original concepts of good and bad, and good and evil so as to question their meanings. So to simplify the argument, Nietzsche goes back to the era pre-Judaism and Christianity: Those who were less fortunate, who were suffering and weak and unable to help themselves looked to those who were not suffering and strong and self sufficient. When those with more, the strong, helped the weak, the weaker people said that the actions of the strong were “good” In other words, the things that the stronger people did for them were called good. The weaker ones simply said if it makes my life better, then it is good. Over time it came to be that the good actions of people became connected to the people themselves. Good things come from the good people, people who are strong. Bad things happen to other people who are weak. Nietzsche disagrees. It should not be the weak people who selfishly define what is good or not and theirs to define some people as good vs. bad…. In other words good people help the weak, bad people do not. What really happened, according to Nietzsche, is that the strong, the noble and powerful came to see themselves as good because of how they were as people, not just by helping the weak. Good was strength, which was noble [in values and class]; those below them, common people, the poor, were weak. Nietzsche looks to the development of language itself to support this…he notes that in German and other languages when defining classes of people bad meant plain and simple [slave] while good meant master, powerful, rich. The strong, Nietzsche claims, were a warrior like caste [class or group]. They were warlike, brave and strong and were also associated with good. As religions developed a priestly caste[religious rulers or leaders] gained power and influence among people. Nietzsche notes there was a major change in what was considered good and evil The religious priestly caste defined good as being “pure. ” To be pure meant abstinence from sex, fighting, and renouncement of these and the noble / warrior values of strength and power. These were considered evil and associated with the noble warrior caste. It came to be that the religious priestly caste came to resent the noble or aristocratic warrior caste and ultimately thought of them as their mortal enemy. Nietzsche claims this hate from a sense of weakness or inferiority or impotency of the religious priestly caste as compared to the strong. Eventually this hate surpassed in strength any of the warlike virtues praised by the noble, warrior caste. The religious priestly caste managed to effect a complete reversal of moral values. They associated the poor, the meek, the wretched as “good” and the lustful, powerful and noble as “evil” and damned for all eternity. Nietzsche called this change the “transvaluation of values” What he meant was that values changed position: the strong were considered bad and evil; the weak considered good and godly. The transformation happened so slowly over the centuries that it was hardly noticed. Nietzsche sees Jesus Christ as the ultimate embodiment of the values and ideals of priestly caste. Christianity in his view was a slave revolt. Nietzsche suggests, the reversal of the moral code became complete: what was once "good" became "evil" and what was once "bad" became "good." Hence, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount…blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who are persecuted…is an exanple of the transvaluation of values – weakness became good; strength became evil. Nietzsche encourages a reading of history that detaches itself as much as possible from moral valuations such as good and evil. He is attempting a critique of what we should call "good" and "bad" in the first place. The Enlightenment thinkers believed in the inherent Christian good was the essential personality of humankind and that such goodness meant happiness as well as liberty and progress. Nietzsche is questioning these very concepts. References Sources: Numerous sources were used in this section of the Lecture including the following: Nietzsche on herd morality and the critique of ‘modern ideas’ df Nietzsche as Critic and Captive of Enlightenment. Doctoral Dissertation. © 1995. Lewis Call. University of California, Irvine Special Credit is deserved for the section on The First Essay of the Genealogy of Morals concisely and clearly published by SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900).” SparkNotes LLC. 2005. (accessed August 10, 2016).
Modern Thought Starts with the Enlightenment History  End of Roman Empire: 470BCE. Rome overrun by barbarians. The end of the golden age of Rome: advances in architecture, government, art and exploration. The collapse of civilization.  The Dark Ages or Middle Ages: 4th to 14th Centuries. Paganism, the development of Christianity. Religion, myth, and superstition rule the thoughts and behavior of humankind.  The Renaissance 14th to 17th Centuries. Humanism: the wonder of what “man” can produce and understand. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, the world discovered by the great explorers. an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment or Age of Reason) was a cultural movement of intellectuals in the 17th and 18th centuries, which began first in Europe and later in the American colonies. Its purpose was to reform society using reason, challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and advance knowledge through the scientific method • It promoted scientific thought, skepticism and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition, intolerance and some abuses of power by the church and the state. • The ideas of the Enlightenment have had a major impact on the culture, politics, and governments of the western world. The Core Beliefs of the Enlightenment 1.Reason; truth could be discerned through reason and logic, as opposed to through myth, superstition, and even religion if not explained through reason without belief 2. Nature; which is to say what is natural is also good and reasonable. And by nature, meaning the inner nature of human beings is good and that is evident in civilization and societies 3. Happiness; which is to say happiness here and now is a moral duty. This is also connected to Nature We are capable of being happy in our natural state and also capable of creating a world in which people can be happy 4. Progress; which is to say humanity can and will progress. This relates to the idea that Man can solve all our problems through scientific and technical progress. 5. Liberty; which is to say all people were free to live their lives as they see fit from the moment they took their first breath. This also implies that our societies and progress, see above, serve to make use free individuals versus controlled by social and economic forces Enlightenment Pro and Con: Quotes “The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America.” “I think the Enlightenment is leading us into a dark hole, really.” “By any reasonable measure of achievement, the faith of the Enlightenment thinkers in science was justified.” “Borrowing knowledge of reality from all sources, taking the best from every study, Science of Mind brings together the highest enlightenment of the ages.” “The Enlightenment has always aimed at liberating men from fear and establishing their sovereignty. Yet the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant.” “Self help or enlightenment books cite the Seven Deadly Sins. They are: pride, greed, lust, envy, wrath, sloth, and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that we do, that is sinful... or fun for that matter.”  The Effects of the Enlightenment on Modern Society  We are children / ancestors of the Enlightenment.  Enlightenment thinking is demonstrated by all the essential values and institutions of contemporary Western society, namely: universal liberty, equality and justice, democracy, science  and technology, progress, individualism, optimism,  happiness, human life, economic prosperity,  market freedom and the like (Zafirovski, 2010, p. 2).  The roots of contemporary liberal concepts are connected to various social and political changes that are relevant to this period. First, the end of the monarchy and the rise of parliament as the dominant structure of government.  Second, the weakening of the secular authority of the church and the upsurge of individualism.  Also, the birth of capitalism and the accompanying change from an agricultural and feudal economy to an industrialized economy established chiefly on wage labor.  Another way that the Enlightenment is evident in modern society is indicated by the rise of science and rational calculation as the basis for progress and development in almost all domains of human life. (Brien & Penna, 1998, p 16-17). What Happened because of the Enlightenment? For one hundred years the Europeans had been largely at peace, devoting their war-like energies to industrialization and the conquest of overseas colonies. By 1900 Europe ruled the world, and the only remaining question was: Who would rule Europe? Hence, World War I World War I was really awful, 1914-1918 World War I resulted in the loss of about 26 million people. The Second World War twenty years later was worse. It resulted in 55 million deaths. These two 20th century wars dwarf the casualties from any earlier conflicts in human history. Technology had so transformed the face of the war that many things were called into question. Even before the war, there was tension as people were asking questions and doubting that everything was so wonderful. There was a crisis of modernity. The idea that each generation was better off than the one before was questioned. This led to the Age of Anxiety – a zeitgeist that remains until this very day What Happened to the Enlightenment Values in the 20th Century: The Age of Anxiety and Uncertainty Reading: Spodek, pp. 678-682, 710-714  Culture is the growth of ideas from our lived experience. Culture, therefore, can manifest itself in many ways: from the sciences, to politics, to art.  Through culture we can see, as social critic Raymond Williams once described, as the “structure of feeling” of the era. Simply what did it feel like to be alive during a specific epoch.  If we look at the shift in culture from the Enlightenment to the modern era, specifically the 20th century, we see a transformation in feeling from a feeling of optimism, progress, and rationality to that of pessimism, doubt in progress and irrationality.  As one philosopher once said about this transformation: “all that is solid melts into air.”  Modern culture both reflects and creates this feeling of uncertainty that is in opposition to the faith in reason in the Enlightenment. This “structure of feeling” is evident in the sciences and philosophy, but is most clear in the arts: culture was in revolt, and in may ways, it still is.  Our course examines this revolt in key theories and ideas of the times but also in contemporary films.  Please note the words and sentences in bold in the following slides. New Physics Reveal Uncertainty  Science foundation of Enlightenment, reason and progress. However….  At the end of the 19th century, scientists found atoms not hard, permanent little balls.  Atoms consists of many smaller fast-moving particles, including electrons and protons  Marie Curie (1867-1934) and her husband found that radium emits subatomic particles so it has no constant atomic weight.  Max Plank (1858-1947) found that subatomic energy is emitted from vibrating electron in uneven spurts or “quanta”. Calls into question old distinction of matter and energy.  He also called into question atoms as stable building blocks of nature Rutherford(1871-1937) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1927)  Rutherford (1871-1937)  Showed atom could be split into smaller particles.  Crucial for subsequent development of atomic weapons  Werner Heisenberg (19011927)  “Principle of Uncertainty”  Instead of Newton’s certainties, we now have a physics based on tendencies and probabilities Albert Einstein (1879-1955) The Theory of Relativity  Light propagated through space in the form of particles (photons)  E=mc2  Special theory of relativity.  Time and space relative to the viewpoint of the observer  General theory of relativity  Newton’s universe is three dimensional while Einstein’s universe four dimensional space-time continuity. Even time is relative. Modern Philosophy: An attack on Reason  Nietzsche (1844-1900)  Western civilization has emphasized rationality at the expense of passion and instinct.  Christianity glorified weakness, envy, and mediocrity  “God is dead”  Democracy isn’t working  Respectability stifles selfrealization  People have no authenticity  Will to power Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)  Existentialism  God has nothing to do with giving life meaning.  Human beings simply exist.  There is no God to help them  There is no reason to help them.  “Man is forced to be free”  To be free, men and women must become engaged and choose actions correctly.  Human beings are responsible for their own behavior.  Became really popular after World War II, a war in which actions and consciousness induced men and women to either act courageously or abominably Freudian Psychology  Sigmund Freud (18561939)  Interested in unconscious behavior  Theory of psychoanalysis  His conclusion was that human behavior is basically irrational, not rational behavior of Enlightenment thought. Modern Literature and Modern Cinema Reflect Anxiety  Franz Kafka captured the sense of nightmarish 20th century world in The Metamorphosis, as well as others.  Oswald Spengler wrote Decline of the West which was the obituary of civilization.  Also two war novels were written:  Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.  Erich Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front  German expressionist films came out during this time period.  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) which was trying to answer the question, “Is the director of the insane asylum himself an insane murderer?  Metropolis was about the madness of industrial capitalization.  Modern Art—Overview. The shift away from Reason and Realism to irrationality and Surrealism. Photography  Camera invented in 19th Century.  Great images of U.S. Civil War—Matthew Brady’s photographs  Kodak personal camera introduced at the end of the century. Why paint realistic paintings if camera can better capture reality. No color photos yet. Impressionism, not Realism. Vincent van Gogh  Painted what is in his mind  Increasingly form became more important than light  Paul Cezanne (1893-1906)  Henri Mattisse (1869-1954)  Pablo Picasso (1891-1973)  All of these artists trying to capture in form inner essence of things not superficial“surface”re ality. Cubism Dali and Surrealism  Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was involved in Surrealism which exalted the irrational, the violent, and the absurd in human experiences Dali and Surrealism Modern Music  Western music tradition since the Renaissance “major-minor” system of tonality  New musicians began to explore polytonality.  Igor Stravinsky  Achieved effects through polytonality, dissonant harmonies, and percussive rhythms  Rites of Spring was a pre-World War I ballet which undermines common conventions of ballets with his jarring music. Dancers engaged in representation of reproduction  Extremely shocking when first performed in Paris in 1913. It became more popular after World War I  Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) abandoned traditional harmony and tonality altogether and arranged the 12 notes of the scale in an abstract mathematical pattern, the “tone-row” which stresses disharmony Modern Architecture  Bauhaus was an institution in Germany that brought together architects, designers, and painters.  Walter Gropius (1883-1969) was the first director of Bauhaus. He believed in functional designs, simplicity of shape, and lots of glass.  Implemented philosophy “form must follow function”  Influenced Swiss-French Architect, Le Corbusier The core beliefs of the Enlightenment: All of this cast into doubt. 1.Reason; which is to say that truth could be discerned through reason and logic, as opposed to through myth, superstition, and even religion if not explained through reason without belief 2. Nature; which is to say what is natural is also good and reasonable. And by nature, meaning the inner nature of human beings is good and that is evident in civilization and societies 3. Happiness; which is to say happiness here and now is a moral duty. This is also connected to Nature. We are capable of being happy in our natural state and also capable of creating a world in which people can be happy 4. Progress; which is to say humanity can and will progress. This relates to the idea that Man can solve all our problems through scientific and technical progress. See happiness above 5. Liberty; which is to say all people were free to live their lives as they see fit from the moment they took their first breath. This also implies that our societies and progress, see above, serve to make use free individuals versus controlled by social and economic forces Anxiety

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