Skip to comments.Dostoevsky and Natural Science
Posted on 05/26/2020 3:45:52 PM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
The nineteenth century has often been characterized as an "age of revolution." Indeed, it was an age brimming over with revolutionary ideas of all sorts, as well as with political and social movements seeking to implement those ideas. The cast of revolutionary characters includes Marx and Engels, Darwin, Comte, and Freud; among major events -the French Revolutions, to name but a few.
The nineteenth century was also an age of scientific revolution -- not The Scientific Revolution, a designation traditionally reserved for the period of radical and innovative discoveries which occurred in the interval between Copernicus and Newton -- even though the nineteenth century continued along some of those same paths...
Darwin's theory... not only changed the course of biology and influenced theory in fields ranging from sociology to literary criticism, but it also altered the current notions of how science itself progresses. As Cohen puts it:
It is a paradox that this dominant idea of evolution was put forth in the context of one of the greatest revolutions in science's history.
The decade of the 1860's in Russia signalled an era of considerable material progress, social fermentation, and the exploration of new intellectual paths. It was also a period marked by a rapid growth of scientific thought, the extensive reorganization of social sciences on the model of the natural sciences, and by uncompromising attacks on metaphysics.
This paper examines Dostoevsky's views on three of the most influential scientific thinkers of the mid-nineteenth century - Charles Lyell in geology, Charles Darwin in biology, and Claude Bernard in physiology - through a survey of Dostoevsky 's writings: first, his letters and Diary of a Writer, then, the imaginative reflection and extraordinary distortion of the thought of these three scientists' in his fiction, concentrating on his last novel, The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80).
(Excerpt) Read more at sites.utoronto.ca ...
The Brothers Karamazov Is the most brilliant novel ever written.
How long will it take me to read it?
13 hours and 44 minutes...
Whose translation did you read?
Man, thats a difficult question. You pretty much have to read it twice. Once to scratch the surface and get the narrative, characters and superficial meaning. The second time to dig deeper to try and get the deeper meaning and everything going on. If you try to get it all the first time you end up rereading page after page because you realize there is so much packed into each paragraph that you missed a bunch on the first reading. The characters, allegory, philosophy and tight interwoven plot is astounding but even the mere prose itself is just brilliant. I find it hard to believe a person could write something this long, deep and complex in just one lifetime.
Whose translation did you read?
I personally read the McAndrews translation. (Bantam Classics)
Interesting book if you are curious about the general subject
I dont think you could really digest even the first 150 pages in 13 hours.
Middle school? Man, thats crazy. I know many in high school used to have to read the Grand Inquisitor chapter, but even a graduate level university student would take over a year to come close to digesting this book.
We spent the entire year on it and a couple of weeks on the Grand Inquisitor.
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