Science and Thought Claudia Gunawan DaMon Thomas Grant Lane Jacob Kramer Jordan Cantrell
The Triumph of Science • Scientific knowledge quickly spread in the Western-world, which affected urban society.~ The Western-world formed new products and whole industries. • Scientific advance quickened and influenced human thought, which resulted in a growth of scientific discoveries and practical benefits.~ These discoveries improved materials for the general population. • Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that investigated the relationship between heat and mechanical energy. • Chemists devised ways to measure the weight of atomic elements, and chemistry was divided into branches, such as organic chemistry, which is the study of the compound of carbons.
The Triumph of Science cont… • In 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev codified the rules of chemistry in the periodic law and the periodic table.~ Success in scientific research in electrical and organic chemistry resulted in economic growth from 1880-1913 • Michael Faraday made discoveries in electromagnetism and opened the way to the invention of the telegraph, electric motor, electric light, electric streetcar, and created the first dynamo. • Science and technology had three significant consequences:~ Everyday experience impressed the importance of science on the popular mind.~ Philosophical implications left little room for divine intervention of human will. Scientific thoughts from the Enlightenment spread to broad sections of the population.~ The Enlightenment advocated the belief of human progress. • Scientific methods acquired unrivaled prestige after 1850.
Social Science and Evolution • Beginning in the 1830s, thinkers attempted to use the methods of science in the study of society.~ Social scientists had access to government data that involved everything from children to crime to population to prostitution.~ They developed statistical methods to analyze facts scientifically and to test their theories. • Auguste Comte wrote System of Positive Philosophy, which proposed that intellectual activity progressed through predictable stages.~ He believed that by applying the positivist method (scientific method), his new discipline of sociology will eventually discover the eternal laws of human relations. • The19th century witnessed an expansion in the ideas of evolution and dynamic developments.~ Romantic historians, scientific Marxists, and other thinkers believed in the concept of evolution.
Science and Evolution cont. . . • Charles Lyell proposed that the earth’s surface formed over an immensely long period of time. • Jean Baptiste Lamarck restated the Greek Anaximander’s theory about evolution and believed that life arose through continuous adjustment to the environment. • However, Lamarck’s theory was flawed.~ He proposed that children inherited their parents’ characteristics, which was not approved by the public.
Charles Darwin • Charles Darwin was an influential evolutional thinker who improved upon Lamarck’s theory.~ Darwin collected and studied specimens from Latin American and the South Pacific and concluded that life came from a common ancestral origin instead of a divine being.~ He presented the theory of survival of the fittest.~ He published his work, On the Origin of Species by the Means of Natural Selection, in 1859 and attracted much attention.~ Darwin’s work was influenced by Thomas Malthus’s theory, which proposes that the population will eventually surpass the food supply. He believe that this allowed some species to survive while other died, which resulted in a struggle for survival. • Darwin’s theory was widely popular in the European middle classes and highly influenced European thought.~ These believers were known as Social Darwinists.
Realism in Literature • Realism emerged and dominated Western culture from the 1840s-1890s. • Realist writers concentrated on contemporary life and believed that literature should depict life as it is.~ It differed from the romantic search for the exotic and sublime.~ These writers mainly focused on the urban working classes and explored taboo subjects.~ They believed that all human actions were caused by unchangeable laws Many middle-class critics denounced realism • The realist movement began in France because Romanticism was never dominant there.~ However, it quickly spread to England.
Realist Writers • Honoré de Balzac wrote The Human Comedy, which depicts society as grasping for wealth and power. • Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary was regarded as an outrage against morality and religion.~ It depicts the middle class as petty, smug, and hypocritical. • Emile Zola’s literary manifesto exhibited themes of realism, but it was accused of pornography and corruption of morals in 1868.~ He was known for his animalistic view of the working-class life
Realist Writers Cont. . . • Mary Ann Evans, a.k.a. George Eliot, wrote with a less sensational form of realism.~ Her Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life states that people are shaped by their social medium, inner strivings, conflicts, and moral choices. • Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native depicts the frustration of people as they are crushed by fate and bad luck. • Count Leo Tolstoy moralized realism in his War and Peace, which is about Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.~ His central message included human love, trust, and family ties as values in life. • Realism eventually arrived in the United States and was demonstrated by Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.~ Even after realism faded in Europe, the United States carried it through.