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Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)



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Charles Galton, "Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims"

Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals

Freud, from Five Lectures on Psychoanalsis

Fin-de-Siècle Europe: An Era of Nervousness and Angst
History 104 / March 22, 2013

I. The Science of Uncertainty
          A. The sub-atomic world
                   1. Marie Curie, radiation
                   2. Max Planck, quantum theory
          B. Albert Einstein and relativity
          C. Sigmund Freud
                   1. Repression – the product of bourgeois society?
                   2. Psychoanalysis, the “talking cure”
II. Philosophy and Society
          A. Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism
                   1. Life, and politics, is a survival of the fittest
                   2. Theories of "scientific" racism
                             > fears of degeneration
          B. Friedrich Nietzsche
                   1. Rejection of Christianity as "slave morality"
                   2. Rejection of linear reasoning
                   3. Prophesy of an amoral "superman"
          C. The embrace of irrationality
                   1. Vitalism: life forces trump inert matter
                   2. The cult of violence
III. The visual arts: the trend toward abstraction
          A. Impressionism: an extension of realism
          B. Post-impressionism: the forms behind the reality
                   Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
                   Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
          C. Cubism: reality is multi-perspectival
                   Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
          D. Abstraction: art isn't about physical reality
                   Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
IV. Conclusion: cultural readiness for war?