Topic # 4: Selfhood, Science, and Psychology

The fin de siècle or turn of the century has often been described as an age of anxiety. This topic allows you to explore the ways that science and psychology intersected at this time. To do so, you’ll think a little more philosophically about what would have changed for individuals. You might find this video an interesting starting point.

The Scream, Edvard Munch

Essay Assignment

Read the primary sources and make an argument about what changed for individuals at the turn of the century. Your secondary source is the general narrative in your textbook. Find an appropriate section of the textbook (see me if you need help!), to help you in your argument about the impact of scientific and psychological discoveries had on the conception of the self. You might ask yourself whether or not people started to see themselves as more or less mysterious, or as more or less atomistic (individualistic), or as more or less alienated from the world around them. 

Primary Sources for this essay are the following: