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Interwar Central Europe (Czech Literature class) - Essay Example

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The term culture has different meanings based on the context in which it is used but it generally refers to the patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give significance to such activity. In an anthropological perspective, the word culture refers to the way humans interpret their biology and their environment…
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Interwar Central Europe (Czech Literature class)
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Download file to see previous pages There were two different views of culture in the 19th century. One field of thought used the word to distinguish human adaptive strategies from the instinctive adaptive strategies of animal while the other used it to refer to symbolic representations and expressions of human experience devoid of reference to direct adaptive value. In 1869, Arnold Matthew, belonging to the second school of thought, basically defined culture the way it is viewed today. According to him, "Culture or civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society"(Matthew, 1869). It was in the 20th century where anthropologists considered culture as an object of scientific analysis. In 2002, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defined culture "as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs". (UNESCO, 2002)
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about scientific revolution is sweeping changes and discoveries in the Natural Sciences such as Physics, Biology and Chemistry. However, the term also indicates the series of changes in thought itself such as systematic doubt, empirical and sensory verification, the abstraction of human knowledge into separate sciences, and the view that the world functions like a machine. That is, the scientific revolution also encompasses the Social Sciences such as Philosophy and Political Science.
The latter part of 19th century and the early portion of the 20th saw huge scientific developments in various fields. This was the period where steel, electricity, internal combustion engine, telegraph and telephone and railroads -all major factors for modernization- came into operation. This was also the period where Wilhelm Wundt applied a physiological approach to the mind, August Comte approached social problems with statistical data, Leopold von Ranke rejected history based on tradition and placed emphasis on documentary evidence, Albert Einstein proved his Relativity theories and Sigmund Freud established Psychoanalysis. (Wikipedia.org, 2006)
These developments virtually revolutionize every aspect of life in many aspects of human society and it can be argued that is within this period where our understanding not only of the environment but of ourselves grew by leaps and bounds. However, it should be noted that these developments did not necessarily had positive effects; an example would be the development of chemicals for chemical gas warfare used in WW1.
3. Compare main features of "form" and "content" of Hasek's THE GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK.
The novel takes the form of a satire where the contents delve on a discussion of the hypocrisy of the church, the stupidity of the army and the police and the destructiveness of war all seen thru the comic adventure of Svejk- a soldier branded by the Army and the bureaucracy as an imbecile- and the statements of a narrator. The adventures of Svejk' is played out against a backdrop of sharp and often ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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