In the late XIX and early XX century social development of most countries was determined by advances in science and technology. On the basis of major scientific discoveries human understanding of the world, a world order, a place of the individual and nations in the world changed. The revolution in science and the accelerated development of new techniques helped shape ideas that everything in the world is determined by the human mind. However, this rationalistic world outlook could not answer the question about the essence of human life that does not defy mathematical programming. A widespread use and introduction of modern technologies did not only make people’s lives better and more comfortable, but also gave rise to the risk of new bloody wars with the use of more effective weapons. Not accidentally pessimism, frustration, mysticism and attempts to find new foundations of a human life dominated in society. Most of them were found in literature and find art, which developed new trends and styles.
Many historical figures affected the formation of human thoughts in this period. Karl Marx was one of them. He is a notionalist, a German economist, a philosopher and a political thinker, a creator (along with Friedrich Engels) of Marxism. Karl Marx developed the principles of the materialist conception of history (historical materialism), the theory of surplus value, explored the development of capitalism and the proposed location of the inevitability of its death and the transition into communism as a result of the proletarian revolution. Marx’s ideas had a significant impact on a social thought and social history.
Charles Darwin is the English naturalist and a creator of Darwinism. In his fundamental work “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”, summarizing the results of his own observations and achievements of contemporary biology and breeding practice, he revealed the main factors of organic evolution. In his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex” he based the hypothesis of the origin of a man from the apelike ancestor. Darwin’s historical merit is that he, together with Wallace opened the driver of evolution – natural selection, and thus identified the cause of the flow of evolution.
In philosophy the struggle between materialism and idealism intensified and polar views faced. “Philosophy of life” advocated against rationalism. This philosophy derives from the fullness experience of life. Its founder was Friedrich Nietzsche. Instead of the mind as an instrument of knowledge he advocated intuition that could directly penetrate into the object of knowledge. Nietzsche criticized rationalism and Christianity, because they suppress the will of a man to life. A will to power can free vitality of a man on a journey to a “Superman”, who stands “beyond good and evil”. This philosophical doctrine had a significant impact on many men of science, culture and art, as well as the doctrine of psychoanalysis, whose foundations were designed by a prominent Austrian scientist Freud. Opening the unconscious impulses and motivations, Freud created psychotherapeutic treatment of neuroses and renovation of the mental state of patients. He developed a theory of psychosexual development of the individual in shaping the character. Experiences of the early childhood play a central role in pathology.
Works of the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky had a great impact on the formation of the human mind at the time. In stories “Poor People” and “White Nights” he described the suffering of a “little” man as a social tragedy. In the story “The Double” he gave the psychological analysis of divided consciousness.
A boundary of the late XIX and early XX century is a crucial time, a crisis where old and new acted in mutual intersection. This was the time of legendary discoveries and new thoughts, which had a great impact on formation of views of modern people.