Darwin, Marx, and Wagner: A Symposium

Darwin, Marx, and Wagner: A Symposium

Darwin, Marx, and Wagner: A Symposium

Darwin, Marx, and Wagner: A Symposium

Excerpt

Following the success of the 1958 Mediaeval Conference, a group of faculty members at Ohio State planned another conference for October, 1959, dealing with the influence of three men—Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Richard Wagner. This combination was suggested, of course, by Jacques Barzun 's well-known book Darwin, Marx, Wagner . Since the chief works of these three men appeared in 1859, the conference became, in effect, a centennial anniversary concerned with an appraisal of the impact of these men on both their own disciplines and upon society.

In general, the influence of each of these men on society has been both good and bad, yet undeniably significant; in one way or another, all three are symbols of radical changes in our time. Their writings are associated with the relationship between science and society, economics and society, and art and society. They have inspired brutality and cynicism, dedication and self-sacrifice, unbounded enthusiasm and bitter hatred. They represent challenges to religious beliefs and ethical values, to art, and to scholarship. Appearing against a background of growing political unrest, astounding scientific and technological advances, and an unparalleled economic expansion, the doctrines of Darwin, Marx, and Wagner were instrumental in touching off the revolutionary changes which followed.

Darwin's theory of organic evolution, with its associated . . .

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