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HIS242H1 - Modern Society - 15-01-13.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Doris Bergen

HIS242H1 15 January 2013 Read the imperialism section or get the notes. - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1900) was anti-imperialism Chinua Achebe – Criticised Conrad for his representation of Africa Modern Society and the Challenge of the Irrational Topics are connected in many different ways. The question of “what is the role of ideas” do they drive events or have a transformative power or reflections of material powers/ a reflection of history? Dynamic relationship between ideas that have a causal force or products of atime. Look at the idea of Social Darwinism? Did it drive imperialism or was it a product of social Darwinism? Social Darwinism also seemed to provide a socialisation of rationalisation. - A good example of how ideas can be a reflection or product of a period. The period of the 1900 was a period massive changes. Industrialisation – growth of beaurocracies, modernisation, central powers. Organization. A society based on big units rather than small units (such as family, village etc) Ideas as a response or factors of shaping. Comte, Durkeim, Max Weber. - Figures that used tools a way to measure changes in society, or modernisation. The notion of crowd or crowd psychology. Weber – modern life trapped in a cage. Used modern tools to justify radical change. Some of the most influential thinkers of the 20 century were 19 century figures. Soren Kierkegaard, d. 1855 - Existentialism - Leap of faith Could be considered the founder of existentialism (strips bare the notion life has external being). He died in an age of secular institutionalisation. Churches were losing ground. He was a very devoted Christian. HIS242H1 15 January 2013 Trained as a protestant pastor. More influential after his death than during his life. Filed the notion that human life was meaningless, and that rational life was meaningless. “I stick my finger into existence and I smell nothing” Truth had to be seized through human passion and commitment. The abyss of meaningless and taking what he called the leap of faith. A leap into religious faith. Fyodor Dostoevsky d. 1881 - Brothers Karamazov Was arrested for his involvement in activities. Was condemned to death but at the last minute he was pardoned and the execution was stained. He was exiled to Siberia. The dialogue was between 2 brothers, Ivan (the rationalist brother) and his brother Alicious (the monk, spiritual, hopeful) and they began when Ivan described to his brother an account of Russia using newspaper clippings. - Saying that in this life there was only human beings imposing their ‘meals’ but an individual should rise above the crowd and command his destiny. - Believed that
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