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17 terms

The Age of Anxiety - Vocab/Dates

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Friedrich Nietzsche
1844-1900. German philosopher, son of Lutheran minister, wrote in a provocative and poetic style, had the idea that the West overemphasized rationality, thus stifling passion & animal instinct that affect human activity & creativity. Questioned values. Christianity glorified weakness, envy, & mediocrity. Reason, democracy, progress, & respectability are outworn and suffocating self-realization and excellence
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein in 1922. The idea that philosophy is purely the logical clarification of thoughts. God, freedom, morality, etc are senseless & a waste of time because they can't be tested or proven by science or logical thinking
Jean-Paul Sartre
1905-1980. French existentialist. Idea: Human beings simply exist. There is no supreme being (Existentialism). Humans are alone, because there is no God to help them. They are in despair and have a meaningless life.
Existentialism
There is no supreme being. Humans are alone, because there is no God to help them. They are in despair and have a meaningless life. Shattering of beliefs in God, reason, and progress. Human beings can overcome life's absurdity if they take action. Give meaning to life through actions, define oneself with your choices.
Soren Kirkegaard
1813-1855. Danish religious philosopher. Rejected formalistic religion. Made a total religious commitment to a remote and majestic God.
Karl Barth
1886-1968. Swiss Protestant theologian. Re-create religious intensity of Reformation. Human beings are sinful, imperfect - their reason and will are flawed. Religious truth is only possible through obedient acceptance of God. You cannot "reason" with God.
Einstein's theory of special relativity
Time and space are relative to the viewpoint of the observer and that only the speed of light is constant for all frames of reference in the universe. Think of the train idea. A woman walking the hall of a train while the train is in motion has walked only a couple feet from her perspective. But from the perspective of someone outside the train, she has gone farther.
Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle"
Because it is impossible to know the position and speed of an individual electron, it is therefore impossible to predict its behavior. Rational laws don't exist - only tendencies and probabilities exist.
Id
primitive, irrational unconscious. Driven by sexual, aggressive, and pleasure-seeking desires. Locked in a battle with other parts of the mind
Ego
What a person can do. Rationalizing conscious
Superego
ingrained moral values, what a person should do
Repression
The stifling of sexual desires due to the mechanisms of rational thinking and traditional values
Sublimation
(psychology) modifying the natural expression of an impulse or instinct (especially a sexual one) to one that is socially acceptable
Stream-of-consciousness technique
ideas and emotions from different periods of time bubble up randomly - then you write a book using that stuff
"anti-utopian" literature
nightmare visions of things to come - in book form
The Decline of the West
1918. By Oswald Spengler. Anti-utopian book. Written by an obscure German high-school teacher. About how Western civilization is declining, and will be taken over by the "yellow people". Every culture experiences a life cycle of growth and decline.
logical empiricism
rejected traditional philosophy. No God, no meaning of happiness. Popular in English-speaking countries. Philosophy stuff is crazy because none of it can be proven by science and logic.