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Copernicus, Darwin and Freud: An Everlasting Revolution

Date: 20 May 2008 Time: 6.00pm

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES 2008 - Philosophy and Science

Tuesday 20th May

6pm Gregson Centre Moor Lane

Professor Fiedel Weinert (Bradford University)

Copernicus, Darwen and Freud: An Everlasting Revolution

Freud saw that scientific ideas change the way we think about the world. With his heliocentric view, Copernicus displaced humans from the physical centre of the universe (1543). With his evolutionary theory, Darwin inserted humans into the organismic order of nature (1859). According to Freud, both Copernicus and Darwin dealt severe blows to the proud image of humans as masters of the universe. Freud saw himself as completing the cycle of disparagement by destroying the belief that humans were 'masters in their own house' (1916).

From these three revolutions in thought many philosophical consequences follow. But in this talk I will concentrate on just one, namely the question of who of the three was the author of a genuine scientific revolution. I will argue that Kuhn's characterization of scientific revolutions does not fit any of the three.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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