Modern Consciousness: Marx, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche
- How did modern thinkers continue the Romantic rebellion
against Enlightenment conceptions of human rationality?
- What happened to the early nineteenth century belief that
history was progressing towards a harmonious state?
Karl Marx: Marxism
- From which philosophical movement do both liberalism and
- How do liberal and Marxists differ in their methods of
achieving social justice?
- When and where did Marx and Engels write the Communist
- Carefully explain how Marx uses the term “dialectical
materialism” to describe his theory of historical progress.
- What are the three stages through which history has
- How does the expansion of material technology drive the
progress of history through progressive stages?
- What made the French revolution a perfect demonstration of
Marx’s belief that economic change drives political change?
- What might Marx have said
about the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917?
Charles Darwin: The Theory of Evolution
- Until Darwin published his theories, what did people believe
was the origin of the various species on earth?
- How did Malthus’ liberal economic theories contribute to
Darwin’s development of his principle of natural selection?
- How does the natural selection of certain inherited traits
lead to the development of whole new species?
- What controversial impact did Darwin’s theories have on
traditional Christian beliefs?
- How did Christian thinkers try to reconcile Darwin’s
theories with religious beliefs?
- How did Darwin’s theories complete the long process of
redefining man’s place in the universe which had begun when Copernicus
declared that the earth was not in the center of the universe?
- According to Stephen Jay Gould, what controversial aspects
of Darwin’s theories do we still have trouble accepting?
- From what source should morality come instead of science,
according to Gould?
Sigmund Freud: The World of the Unconscious
- What was Freud’s scientific quest?
- According to Freud, what forces drive human behavior?
- How did he believe that neuroses develop in our behavior?
- How did Freud believe that we could probe the unconscious?
- What is “the id” and what does it want?
- Why did we develop “the superego”?
- What is the result of the constant struggle between the id
and the superego?
- How did World War One prove for Freud the validity of his
- How was Freud’s theory of human nature different from
Frederich Nietzsche: Irrationalism and The Superman
- Why did Nietzsche criticize liberal beliefs and Christian
- What was his vision of the true situation of man in the
- What did Nietzsche urge humans to explore instead of the
- What was Nietzsche’s interpretation of the true value of
- Who did he blame for the destruction of Greek culture’s
- Why did Nietzsche believe that Christian morality’s stress
on love, compassion and pity was harmful to man?
- According to Nietzsche, how could recognition that “God is
dead” be helpful to man?
- Define Nietzsche’s conception of ‘the superman’ who would
rescue European culture.
- Describe Schopenhauer’s understanding of the will, not
reason, as the determining force of human nature.
- How did Nietzsche’s philosophy help create the momentum for
revolutionary change among young intellectuals which led to the rise of
fascist political movements?