Western Culture Research Proposal

Pages: 3 (966 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

Western Culture

The western civilisation has had a great influence upon the entire world through the course of development that its values had throughout the centuries. It could be stated that the western typology of thinking was shaped by philosophical thinking such as classicism, rationalism, humanism and secularism. The values incorporated by these cultural paradigms are reflected in the works of the artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat.

What classicism, rationalism, humanism and secularism have in common is the central position of reason. The main belief of the humanists is in the power of the individual to shape and control his environment and his own self. The course of things is dictated by man who is endowed with reason and freedom and not by an assumingly divine entity. from Socrates to Descartes, the western philosophy has been characterized by the belief that the human being has a great potential which can be achieved only through hard work. This process of hard work is associated with the search for the truth. And the truth can be reached only with the use of reason, not by intuition, but by deduction and using the scientific method.

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Any type of mysticism and belief in things which escape logic is discarded. As Spinoza believed, god exists only in an abstract manner, while the human nature has a fundamental rational character. Socrates believed that the rational part of the soul is the true nature of man, with the help of which man can control his passions. He also believed that man never knows enough in order to consider himself wise and in possession of the truth.

The quest for the truth is the instrument for achieving one's potential. This credo left an important legacy according to which we must put everything in doubt (cogito, ergo sum as Descartes put it) and search for the truth. Knowledge is the instrument for the flourishing of the human being, an ideal that the western civilization inherited from the philosophers belonging to the currents mentioned above.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Western Culture Assignment

This fundamental values shape the attitude towards life and their manifestations can be found in all the areas, from the political one to the social and cultural ones. Artefacts are a relevant example in this discussion. If God does not exist, then man remains without the comforting thought in the after life. One of the reactions which this belief triggers may be an existential crisis.

The obsession with mortality, thus the frail and temporary nature of man, who being deprived of the power to decide upon his own death finds that his freedom is limited as well is one that can be found in the works of Jean Michel Basquiat. Originally a graffiti drawer and then a painter in the real acceptation of the word, he made representations of reality which seem to be filtered through both the body and the heart.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Western Culture.  (2009, April 24).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/western-culture/22425

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"Western Culture."  24 April 2009.  Web.  2 December 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/western-culture/22425>.

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"Western Culture."  Essaytown.com.  April 24, 2009.  Accessed December 2, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/western-culture/22425.