Outline For Inclass Essay

“Comparing Early To Late Modernity” Essay, Research Paper

Compare and Contrast Early and Late Modernity

I. Summary of Ideas

A. Early Modernity

1. Natural Rights

2. Science

3. Human goodness

4. Humanity’s capacity to improve society for human betterment.


B. Late Modernity

1. Insights into human nature, the social world, the physical universe

2. Human rationality and goodness was questioned

3. Natural rights questioned

4. Shattered European’s comfortable thinking


II. Early Modernity: Thinkers

A. Locke

1. Environment shapes the person

2. Moderate religion is good

3. Humans can be can be educated to be rational and responsible

4.Tabula Rassa (evil is created in the upbringing)

B. Adam Smith

1. Economist

2. Laissez-Faire

3. Published the Wealth of Nations

4. Depended on individual people not governments to bring economic prosperity

5. People worked for income, not to specifically help people out. People are selfish.

III. Late Modernity: Thinkers

A. Nietzsche

1. Wanted Supermen to lead civilization

a. Supermen were not held back by morals

b. Sets his own standards

2. Not “Shall Not” it should be “shall”

3. Nietzsche discredited the last of Christianity, its ethics

4. Believed that the greatest gratification for man was power, it’s the motivating force for humans

5. There is only naked man in a godless and absurd world”

6. “God is dead”

B. Dostoevski

1. Humans are inherently depraved, irrational, and rebellious

2. People freely choose suffering because it is gratifying

3. Humans are not directed by self-interest, they are driven by instinctual cravings

C. Bergson

1. His philosophy pointed away from science toward religious mysticism

2. Depreciation of Reason

3. Appeal of the nonrational

D. Sorel

1. Unlike Nietzsche, Sorel placed his hope in the proletariat

2. Sorel applauded violence

3. Life is an unremitting battle

4. History is a perpetual conflict between decay and vitality, passivity and action

5. Struggle purified invigorated and promoted creative change

E. Freud

1. Conscious thoughts are determined by hidden forces

2. Sought to salvage respect for reason

3. Primitive drives, strivings, and thoughts influence our behavior

4. Invented psychology

5. Id = subconscious seat of instincts

6. Ego = reason

7. Gratifying Id is humanity’s greatest pleasure

8. “Man is wolf to man”

9. Evil is inherent to man, not brought on by surroundings



Palmer a history of the modern world

Jackson late modernity


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