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Question 6: Select one or more thinkers and/or writers associated with Romanticism and explain how they understand the relationship between the self and the world.

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Introduction

EUR1200: European Culture and Ideas: Modernity and Romanticism Catherine Wyatt 19453175 Question 6: Select one or more thinkers and/or writers associated with Romanticism and explain how they understand the relationship between the self and the world. Selection: Charles Darwin CHARLES DARWIN Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), British scientist and naturalist, has undoubtedly made a vast impact on humanity during the Romanticism period until today. Darwin was the precursory figure perhaps most responsible for altering humanity's view of nature and human nature, over the past two centuries. Darwin best recognized belief, that species evolved over time by means of natural selection, has been profoundly influential throughout the modern world. His thoughts, when publicized in the mid 19th century Romanticism period onwards, were received with some upheaval by scientists and especially from religious opponents. The claims by Darwin in his writings 'The Origin of Species' and even more so 'The Descent of Man' clashed with the word of the church over mankinds 'special creation.' ...read more.

Middle

Darwin broke with a long tradition of thought over the relationship between the self and world. The earlier view of the catastrophists, was that species were individually created and immutable for all time. Following was the idea of the earths surface undergoing constant change, the result of natural forces operating uniformly over long periods, at the same time as Lamarckism. Darwin then created his view of a non-static world in which his theory of evolution existed on it's primary mechanism, natural selection. This was a revolutionary discovery of the Romanticism period where people had previously believed that species were the fixed and unchanging product of divine creation.Darwin also widened popular theory by exploring mans reaction to his surroundings and expression of his ideas about the world in his 'Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) explored mans reaction to his surroundings and expression of his ideas about the world. Natural forces/climate:Darwin was most impressed with the effect that natural forces had on shaping the earth's surfaces, he noted that population growth was checked by natural limitations such as famine, disease and vicious weather. ...read more.

Conclusion

Darwin's understanding and interpretation of the relationship between the self and the world is obvious in his various works, 'The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication'(1868) and afore mentioned pieces. (Mankind bares witness to) 'beautiful adaptations everywhere and in every part of the organic world'(from Origin of Species).Darwin is aware of how easily his theory could be misunderstood by others and their view of the world, and he was vary of our relationship to our environment. Darwin saw that although himself and people around him appeared to have an abundance of food at present, it may not always be so. Due to drought, therefore a shortage of food, therefore the creation of competition, numbers among his species may dwindle as the 'unfit' are weaned out. This convinced him of our lack of knowledge of the world around us and on the mutual relations of the many millions of species we share it with even thouh everything is related through families, orders and classes. Darwin saw that we were but a miniscule part of a long chain of competition and striving for perfection. ...read more.

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