Social Science

Jacques Barzun's Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (2nd Edition) PDF

By Jacques Barzun

ISBN-10: 0226038599

ISBN-13: 9780226038599

This early paintings by means of Jacques Barzun is either dear and difficult to discover in its first variation. It information the heritage and social impact of Darwin, Marx and Wagner through the 19th century. This interesting paintings is carefully prompt for inclusion at the bookshelf of someone attracted to the influential figures of technological know-how, politics and the humanities.
This is an excellent publication. Barzun, a Columbia historian, develops this thesis: the 3 mentioned within the identify personify the mechanical materialism in their age in addition to the ideology which brought on this century rather a lot grief. basically, those 3 signify the inspiration that ethical values are illusions in our global of proof and that human will is helpless opposed to the ineluctable legislation of nature. those 3 males participated within the improvement of a global view which has had dire effects for our age.

Barzun expands upon his thesis via dramatically portraying the crucial yr of the improvement of mechanical materialism as 1859, the 12 months within which Darwin released The foundation, Marx introduced out Political economic climate, and Wagner produced Tristan. Germane to this bibliography, all 3 have been reluctant to credits their resources. certainly, within the situations of Marx and Wagner, they insisted that they owed not anything to a person, that their contributions have been the results of their genius. Darwin was once a section extra modest yet he was once additionally reluctant to confess his indebtedness to his grandfather Erasmus or to Lamarck; it used to be purely past due in existence, after he had accomplished nice popularity, that he admitted to have had resources for his principles. the 3 excited about rules that have been, because it have been, already within the air.
The time was once ripe for the inspiration of evolution, for the expansion of sophistication struggle (struggle), and for the shape of the musical drama and its nationalism. to place the problem easily, the 3 males took up the guidelines which surrounded them and shaped them in new methods, utilizing new metaphors. they didn't make "original" contributions.

Concerning their works: "When their structures are tested they seem, often, almost
incredibly incoherent, either in concept and in shape. Of the numerous books which Darwin, Marx, and Wagner have left us no longer one is a masterpiece... Imperfectly conscious of their highbrow antecedents and impatient of actual expression, they mixed in a bewildering number of truths and blunders and platitudes. They borrowed and pilfered with no stint or disgrace, whilst the physique of every man's paintings stands as a type of Scripture, quotable for the majority reasons on an infinity of subjects."

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Additional info for Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (2nd Edition)

Example text

Material things in motion have a way of generating their opposites. Any action pro duces its opposite reaction or, in Marxian and Hegelian terms, thesis thesis, which is is matched and ultimately eclipsed by its anti in turn eclipsed by a third form of activity, the synthesis. The dialectical process is thus like the dia logue of a continuous drama, and just as drama is the Greek word meaning conflict, so dialectical is the adjective cor responding to dialogue the dialogue of action and reaction between conflicting social forces.

Taken in the lump, as a for our three heroes, the nineteenth century is made foil to ap- INTRODUCTION: WHY THIS TRINITY? 15 pear foolish, romantic, ignorant, complacent, Victorian, and superstitious. realism and Darwin, Marx, and Wagner represent Their achievements seem to scientific truth. come immediately after those of Copernicus, Newton, and Galileo. " One can imagine him saying: "You are not a Darwinist? You must be a Fundamen "Not a believer in economic causation? " "Not a materialist?

Here again the individual counts for nothing and has no original pur tion which Marx saw is the class that counts a group de termined by the forces of production operating at a given time and place. These forces are in turn reducible to physi poses of his own. It natural resources, modes of manufacture, means of communication, and so on, which form the social en vironment of a given class, just as a given area with its climate and food supply forms the natural environment of cal factors is an illusion of conscious purpose on the part of individuals.

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Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (2nd Edition) by Jacques Barzun

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