Euro History

Topics: Evolution, Charles Darwin, Natural selection Pages: 1 (289 words) Published: March 18, 2011
Michelle Chan
Ap Euro 1B1
Period 7

The intellectuals of the eighteenth century were influenced by the scientific ideas of the seventeenth century. The enlightenment was a time period of an understanding of all life. They believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition, and tyranny and to build a better world. Their principal targets were religion.

Charles Darwin, like many other scientists, was a professional scientist. His hobby became his vocation when he began his study on animals and plants. As a result, Darwin came to the conclusion that animals evolved over time and in response to their environment. Many were disturbed by the implications of life as a struggle for survival. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the application of Darwin's principle of organic evolution came to be known as social Darwinism. Sigmund Freud was an intellectual in the nineteenth century. In 1873, he began his study on medicine. He began studying patients suffering from psychosomatic symptoms after entering a private practice. His theories undermined optimism about the rational nature of the human mind and according to him, human behavior was strongly determined by the unconscious.

The theories of both Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud challenged the Enlightenment assumptions about human behavior and the role of reason. They were part of the age of enlightenment where reason was used to explain things rather than supernatural ideas.

Freud’s psychoanalytical theories resulted from his attempt to understand the world of the unconscious. This idea created a new image of the human being as governed less by reason thank by national forced. Darwin’s theory of organic evolution argued that human beings and other animals, evolved from lower forms of life; which provoked lots of criticism.
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