HIS109February 27lecture.docx

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19 Apr 2012
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February 27th, 2012- HIS109- Lecture
REACTIONS TO RATIONALISM
- the role of the irrational is something we need to deal with
- what struck rational thinking was the enlightenment?
- Boxed our entire way of dealing with reality
- Human reason applied to issues of society and nature can solve those
problems
- Rationalist thinkers became institutionalized (uni, schools, philosophy)
- As soon as you insitutiionalize this knowledge, you know how to respond to
question (evidence, logic, etc. )
- Newton, Des Cartes, Darwin, Marx, contributed to the powerful belief that
reason was supreme
- The enlightenment mode was continued to be reinforced by all fundamental
thinkers
- Created a paradigm that was hard to explain
- For us to recognize reason, we have to think rationally
- there was a good argument why this structure was so popular
- it gave us the belief in progress,we could make things better by using rational
thinking to function with problems in society
- we now had the tools to make society and the world a better place
- reason and discovery would increase and the western world would become
more civilized
- the belief that we are getting better and eventually become perfect
- this motivated Marx and other thinkers to apply it to the human condition
- in the midst of the middle class convinced the progress would continue and
confidence that the worlds problems would be solved
o people were less convinced that the rationalism was the only way to
proceed in terms of human and social development
- some of these thinkers were the products of certain events that contridcted
reason
- the French were shattered by a humiliating defeat and shocked by the evil of
1871
- in Paris, having subscribed to reason , those intelligent French men felt
rejected
- rationalism isn’t the dominant element
- M. Barres -> Les Desrachins
- The only thing you know is transcendant is art
- Social and political movements that were completely irrational
- All we have to do is stick together and make sure the others do not correct us
- In Europe, there was a reaction against rationalism
- Unlearned element that provided a profound truth, not just what taught in
school
- All of the things that were directed against middle class rationalism were
beginning to be taught in school
- Sigmund Freud
- Interpretation of dreams, deviant behaviour
- The human mind had a irrational component
- Gave the human mind a scientific validity
- Placed us in nature with animals
- He recognizes that we have an instinctive element that is irrational
- Ivan Pavlov
- why cant we be programmed to respond irrationally?
- Physiological organisms
- Human behaviour is a series of responses
- dog experiment -> fed everyday, rang a bell, I programmed the dogs to be
physically eating even when they aren’t
- human behaviour largely produced by the unconscious mind
- ID (unconscious mind) , EGO (conscious mind) , SUPEREGO (society)
- This was considered to be the human nature
- Both these thinkers were seen as branches of Darwin
- Scientific method was necessary to convince they were right
- The belief that human reason could achieve goals
- Without reason, the movements of the 19th century would all collapse
- Progress would become meaning less because you wouldn’t be able to
approach situations
- Appearance vs. reality
- Experience and feeling matter more than reason
- Igor Stravinsky built long peaces of music on old forms
o Revitalized them
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