Modernity and Romanticism

Good Essays
Modernity and Romanticism

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 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.’ This debate is

continued by some into the present day and has shaped humankind’s

views on himself and the world for centuries. Darwin’s perception of

the connection between the self and the world is heavy with realist

and naturalist views,???? as we are at the hands of nature and the


Darwin’s theories of evolution resulted in the mechanism he named

‘Natural selection.’ He discovered as the increase of food

availability can’t match the geometrical rate of population growth,

competition must assure that our numbers remain in balance. Natural

Selection had two branches, stabilizing selection,...

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Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species by means of Natural

Selection, Or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for

Life. New York: Random House Modern Library, 1993.

Darwin, Charles. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

Third Edition published by Oxford University Press, 1998.

Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. Random

House Modern Library, New York, 1979

Social Darwinism:Background. Encyclopedia. 10 August 2004

Williams.C, George. Plan and Purpose in Nature. Weidenfeld &

Nicholson, London, 1996.

Writings of Charles Darwin: The Variation of Animals and Plants Under

Domestication. 10 August 2004
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