Imatge de l'autor

Richard M. Weaver (1910–1963)

Autor/a de Ideas Have Consequences

18+ obres 1,300 Membres 8 Ressenyes 3 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Richard M. Weaver taught for nearly two decades at the University of Chicago before his death in 1963. A student under both' John Crowe Ransom and Cleanth Brooks, Weaver was a well-known adherent of the Southern Agrarian school of social criticism. His books and essays have established him as one mostra'n més of the most important and influential philosophers of the twentieth century. mostra'n menys

Inclou aquests noms: Richard M. Weaver, Richard Malcolm Weaver

Inclou també: Richard Weaver (1)

Obres de Richard M. Weaver

Obres associades

Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought (1988) — Col·laborador — 57 exemplars
Modern Age: The First Twenty-Five Years (1810) — Col·laborador — 51 exemplars
Good Order: Right Answers to Contemporary Questions (1995) — Col·laborador — 23 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
Weaver, Richard Malcolm, Jr.
Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Lloc d'enterrament
Weaverville Cemetery, Weaverville, North Carolina, USA
Lloc de naixement
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Lloc de defunció
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Llocs de residència
Weaverville, North Carolina, USA
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Lincoln Memorial Academy, Harrogate, Tennessee
University of Kentucky (AB|English|1932)
Vanderbilt University (MA|English|1934)
Louisiana State University (PhD|1943)
Harvard University
University of Virginia (mostra-les totes 7)
literary critic
cultural critic
Ransom, John Crowe (teacher)
Brooks, Cleanth (teacher)
Davidson, Donald (teacher)
University of Chicago
Christian Endeavour Society
Kentucky chapter of the American Socialist Party
Intercollegiate Studies Institute Board of Trustees
Premis i honors
Quantrell Award for teaching, University of Chicago
Young Americans for Freedom gave Weaver an award for "service to education and the philosophy of a free society"
Intercollegiate Studies Institute created a graduate fellowship in his memory
Rockford Institute established the annual Richard M. Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters
Biografia breu
Richard Malcolm Weaver, Jr (March 3, 1910 – April 1, 1963) was an American scholar who taught English at the University of Chicago. He is primarily known as an intellectual historian, political philosopher and a mid-20th century conservative and as an authority on modern rhetoric. Weaver was briefly a socialist during his youth, a lapsed leftist intellectual (conservative by the time he was in graduate school), a teacher of composition, a Platonist philosopher, cultural critic, and a theorist of human nature and society. Described by biographer Fred Young as a "radical and original thinker," Richard Weaver's books Ideas Have Consequences and The Ethics of Rhetoric remain influential among conservative theorists and scholars of the American South. Weaver was also associated with the "New Conservatives," a group of scholars who in the 1940s and 1950s promoted traditionalist conservatism.



I don't agree with everything Weaver says (e.g., he might have a small point about jazz, but his criticism is much too harsh and general), but he's a very original thinker whose ideas merit serious consideration. If he doesn't always hit the nail on the head, I think he's ohten not far from the truth.
garbagedump | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Dec 9, 2022 |
Summary: An argument tracing the dissolution of Western society to the abandonment of philosophical realism for nominalism and what may be done to reverse that decline.

Many authors have traced the decline of the West (if there is such a thing) to the ideas that shape our culture. Few have argued that more trenchantly or been cited more often that Richard M. Weaver, an intellectual historian and professor of English at the University of Chicago during the mid-twentieth century. I’ve been aware of this book for over twenty years but just now have gotten around to it.

Weaver’s argument begins with the abandonment of philosophical realism, the existence of transcendent or metaphysical truth for nominalism, the denial of absolute universals but only the particulars of our existence. He then traces some of the ways this manifests itself. First he discusses the obliteration of the distinctions and hierarchies which constitute society for an egalitarian ideal. He then notes the fragmentation of modern societies. No longer capable of philosophy, we are reduced to facts without coherent structure. Without the transcendent, the self is the measure of value. Egotism is a word that runs through his discussion. When work is only about self-realization rather than being divinely ordained, work becomes a matter of getting the better of others rather than pursuing the common good. Art, as it becomes solipsistic, degenerates. Weaver saves his harshest criticism for the distinctly American music of jazz.

In the rejection of a transcendent metaphysic, moderns come up with a modern synthesis which Weaver calls “the great stereopticon” consisting of the trinity of the press, the motion picture, and the radio (television was just coming on the scene in 1948). These foster the fragmented, disharmonious experience of our lives, often distracting us from their banal character, a critique that seems to have anticipated Neil Postman’s, Amusing Ourselves to Death. All of this fosters in us a “spoiled child” psychology amid technological advances that believes in a material heaven easily achieved.

Weaver’s final three chapters address his proposed remedy–what must be done. First is to reassert and protect the right of private property, the only metaphysical right he believes has not yet been jettisoned in the four hundred year decline he traces. The extension of this from homes to businesses to agriculture preserves and restores volition and undercuts authoritarian tyrannies–whether capitalist or communist. He also argues for the power of the word, both poetic and logical, advocating for instruction in logic and rhetoric. Finally, he contends for restoration of “spirit of piety” with regard for nature, for one’s neighbors, and the past.

For me, what I would most criticize is his concern about distinctions and orders, that seem for him established on the basis of heredity and immutable characteristics, like gender. It felt like women, and perhaps the races must be kept in their places, an idea more in a Platonic rather than Christian metaphysic. It also makes me wonder whether Weaver would want to extend private property to all in society, or is arguing for the protection of the “haves.” I also don’t think much of his application of egotism to the arts, and especially to jazz, rooted in the laments of the blues, and the transcendent hope of the spirituals. I thought this deeply dismissive and a critique imposed from a superficial extension of his basic idea of egotism that little considers the actual work of the artists.

That said, his basic discussion of the consequences of the shift from realism to nominalism, from absolutes to relativism, particularly in the rise of fragmentation, exacerbated by the stereopticon of our media is worth our attention, prescient as it was in 1948. I find myself wondering whether his remedies of private property, the power of words, and the recovery of piety toward the earth, our neighbors, and history get us all the way back to life grounded in transcendent realities, from which he traces our decline. These seem more a holding action at best.

I also found this a challenging read in which the thread of argument gets buried in prose, sparkling at times, and obscuring at others. It felt like reading John Henry Newman–there is a great argument in here, somewhere! It’s an important work, especially for classic conservatives, that anticipates the thought of others. Just be ready for some work as you read it!
… (més)
1 vota
BobonBooks | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Sep 4, 2022 |
Tightly-written short book on the philosophical origins of the postwar traditionalist conservative movement in the United States. Weaver opens by stating in a matter-of-fact tone that "this is another book about the dissolution of the West." Weaver attacks moral relativism insistently, suggesting that the "denial of everything transcending experience means inevitably…the denial of truth. With the denial of objective truth there is no escape from the relativism of ‘man is the measure of all things.'"… (més)
wyclif | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Sep 22, 2021 |



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