Sep 25, 2007

Ideas Have Consequences - Richard Weaver (1948)

Weaver begins his discourse by identifying medieval nominalism as the principal cause that fragments universals into particulars. To discard universals is to assume man has no authority outside of himself; this leads to moral corruption. As knowledge becomes more and more empirical, man becomes increasingly materialistic, and the metaphysical dream is lost. Virtue is then devaluated. The media becomes indecent, infants and elders are neglected, and heroism vanishes. As a result of this egotism, art becomes impulsive and subjective, and hard work insufferable. Man has become his own ends with comfort as his means. Weaver issues three chapters to reconcile mankind from this moldering mindset. By guarding private property, education, and piety, those who uphold universals and absolutes may revive their fellow man and civilization.

Richard Weaver was heralded for upholding conservative, southern values. He grew up in Asheville, NC.
Ideas Have Consequences was quite a read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the history of ideas. You will gain a new perspective about the culture we live in today, if you can suffer a week or two of focused reading in this book.

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