Toynbee called the Muqaddimah the greatest work of genius of a single mind relative to its time and place ever produced in world history. It is a must for those seeking to understand Classical Greece and a rich and exciting read. Not for everyone though, especially not the Englishspeaking mind, which tends to visualize in snapshots rather than motion picture. This is a massive, massive tome, but I recommend reading at least a bit of it to better understand the method behind the madness. While not a theoretical work it provides a useful missing link in our understanding of the Mongol Empire as a beginning stage of modern Globalization and a conduit for sharing between civilizations, East and West, and, unfortunatelyh for the transmission of the Black Plague across the world. The spell lasts even when the inheritors of that Culture move elsewhere. All approaches are evaluated regarding their relevance for academia as well as for the general history of education.
Due to a congenital heart problem, he was not called up for military service. Erudite and enlightening, Frye's comments on politics are as relevant today as they were when he wrote them, and this volume will be a valuable reference for understanding the essential Frye. Either way, he has re-arranged my thinking somewhat. There was a huge over-commitment of resources to the Soviet industrial-military complex and to massively expensive foreign policy overstretch. Another chapter clarifies the essentially antagonistic relationship between his thought and Nazi ideology. In certain social areas, he was praised as a political, literary, and cultural genius, and in others he was deeply despised. The future of the West is not a limitless tending upwards and onwards for all time towards our presents ideals, but a single phenomenon of history, strictly limited and defined as to form and duration, which covers a few centuries and can be viewed and, in essentials, calculated from available precedents.
His childhood home was emotionally reserved, and the young Spengler turned to books and the great cultural personalities for succor. For a historian like Spengler, who studied the past, this was a particularly radical gesture, as it signaled the rejection of an entire disciplinary ethos. This is an awe-inspiring book that presents an epic yet tragic view of the rise and inevitable fall of the world's great civilizations. The Austrian Emperor and many Kings and Dukes regain political powers. It could be used to accept injustice or repression or brutality as simply being in and of the Culture under which it occurred.
The Faustian or Western landscape is dominated by the boundless northern forests and plains, the Magian is lured to take the descent into the domes of desert mountains, the Egyptian lives and dies alongside the single path of the Nile to divinity, etc. At the same time there was a failure to deliver on citizens' rising expectations, and an overconfident ignoring of dissidents and their demands. He gets facts wrong again and again, but you can sort of see the weird logic in the end. Optimism is cowardice, Spengler most famously wrote elsewhere. Influenced by Nietzsche and Goethe, Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West is not what it appears to be at all. Perhaps a flood is the most apt metaphor, since Spengler is not only overwhelming in his rhetorical force, but all-encompassing in his world-view. We assume some of the most peculiar and temporary of our late advantages as natural, permanent, and to be depended on, and we lay our plans accordingly.
In Part I, the author deals with four principal facets of Lovecraft's philosophy: metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and politics. I see, long after A. Truly a learned mind exploding into powerful allegories on almost every page, limitless in scope and made more poignant by the fact that is was published in the era of the Versailles Treaty, wracked with national demoralization and the smell of revolution or senseless violence in the air. Spengler is the only philosopher of history who ever mattered, recognizing that other philosophical historians before him like Hegel are themselves only the products of a civilization experiencing a particular turning of the wheel of birth-growth-death-rebirth. The decline, one that Spengler identifies as having in Western Europe been in process since the Enlightenment, is where a culture becomes a civilization by becoming less and less focused on its founding ideological principles than on purely economic and practical matters. The European sociologist, still quite conscious of the mistakes of the early fathers - Comte, Spencer, Marx, among others - is extremely cautious concerning problems of social progress and social action. It reminded me sometimes of.
There were certainly enough of them in the Bush administration- and in Al Qaeda. One of the most refreshing aspects of this book is Spengler's insistence that we recognize the tremendous achievements of all the world's great civilizations, not just those of Western civilization. Guided by the philosophies of Goethe and Nietzsche, he rejects linear progression, and instead presents a world view based on the cyclical rise and decline of civilizations. Throughout, Hughes is carefully attuned to the complex and often bewildering shifts of Spengler's ideas and manner, providing a unified picture of the sober historian; the lofty seer; the cool, detached observer; and the impassioned participant. To treat so complex a thinker as Lovecraft in a few pages was obviously untenable, even though I think those few pages at least convey the unity of his thought -- perhaps better than this fuller study does. The author moves around a lot and tries to make everything that has ever happened fit his weird theory.
Yet, according to Spengler, after nearly 900 years of dominance, the Faustian era has reached its death throes. In 1904 he received his Ph. In order to keep Spengler out of mainstream discussion they will deliberately ignore and twist his words to obfuscate him. Standard interpretations of the decline of the Roman Empire in the West view the barbarian invaders as destroyers. I enjoyed if only because it is a wholly unique specimen of a philosophy of history, a sort of time-independent philosophy of the nature of civilizations and their attendant cultures, a sort of Heraclitian metaphysics he wrote is doctoral thesis on Heraclitus as it turns out! His family was conservative German of the petite bourgeoisie. If you have a love of history and what it means, it will profoundly affect you. To keep things in perspective, I am not saying that Spengler is wrong—just that I, one small unit of the Faustian Civilization, don't hold with his grand theory—and in the face of the massive and deep learnedness that I am making this declaration, I may not unreasonably be likened to a zoo-kept monkey instinctively and ignorantly flinging poop.
Anticipating that the majority of the attacks upon his work would come from the analytic school, at the outset of Decline Spengler cautions that an over-reliance upon a materialistic and mechanistic system of causality is what both has blinded modern man to the Historical Destiny unfolding about him and is a principal symptom of the Culture that has Become and, consequentially, is already in a process of decline and decay. Spengler spent his final years in Munich, listening to Beethoven, reading Molière and Shakespeare, buying several thousand books, and collecting ancient Turkish, Persian and Indian weapons. This book has a lot to offer in terms of methodology. There is a fascist strain that oozes thru out this book. Decline of the West is, on the whole, an amazing, monumental work.