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Lecture 31

HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 31: Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud

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Kenneth Bartlett

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Lecture — February 29: Reactions to Rationalism
Important Names/Terms
M. Barrès, Les Déracioes
Sigmund Freud
Ivan Pavlov
Marcel Proust
A. Strindberg
C. Debussy
A. Schoenberg
Igor Stravinsky
F. Nietzche
Franz Kafka
Lecture Material
The groups that arise out of rationalism had a powerful reinforcement which was World War I
How can you believe in reason after the horrors of the war?
In Europe in general, rationalism was getting extreme reactions
There was a growing interest in the irrational, the unconscious, the unseen
People wanted to explore what could not be proved by scientific fact, the side of human
nature that is unknowable to reason but must be felt and understood in an irrational way
Artists, philosophers, musicians, etc. tried to go beyond reason to depict an image of the
world that could be true under certain circumstances
Freud was the inventor of psychoanalysis, through hypothesis, interpretation of dreams,
demonstrated that humans possess an irrational component and looked at the dark side of the
human psyche
He used scientific method in order to understand the nature of the subconscious that went
beneath reason
Freud owed much to science because when Darwin put humanity back into the jungle and
identified humans as highly developed animals, he gave them the qualities that animals
possess like instincts, which are irrational, not-learned psychological responses
Pavlov, a Russian scientist, showed that animals can be conditioned to act in pre-programmed
ways and therefore humans should do — Pavlov’s dogs example: at the same time everyday,
he would feed the dogs and ring the bell and one day, he did not feed them but rang the bell
and they acted as if they were eating, showing that they were programmed to behave a certain
Pavlov’s Behaviourism — human beings are purely physiological organisms and our
behaviour is physiological responses
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