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The Abolition of Man de C. S. Lewis
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The Abolition of Man (1947 original; edició 2015)

de C. S. Lewis (Autor)

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5,141531,556 (4.02)1 / 56
Both astonishing and prophetic, The Abolition of Man remains one of C. S. Lewis's most controversial works. Lewis sets out to persuade his audience of the ongoing importance and relevance of universal objective values, such as courage and honor, and the foundational necessity of natural law. He also makes a cogent case that a retreat from these pillars of our educational system, even if in the name of "scientism," would be catastrophic. National Review lists it as number seven on their "100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century."… (més)
Membre:david__clifford
Títol:The Abolition of Man
Autors:C. S. Lewis (Autor)
Informació:HarperOne (2015), 128 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:***
Etiquetes:c.s. lewis, critical thinking/logic, social commentary

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The Abolition of Man de C. S. Lewis (1947)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 53 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I started reading this book when I started an online class from Hillsdale College. This is a difficult book to read casually - in fact, I don't believe I can read it casually. I found that I needed to isolate myself from distractions, and to mark portions that were particularly pertinent to me. The book itself is short - my volume is 48 pages including the appendix. The matters discussed are weighty and Lewis references many different sources, and this required additional research time for me to understand context. I plan to read this book again in the future.

One of the central treatises of the book is the nature of the Tao, as Lewis calls it. He defines the Tao thus "This thing which I have called for convenience the Tao, and which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value." He says a bit earlier (about the Tao) "You cannot reach them as conclusions: they are premises." He uses these arguments to establish the baseline for informed, moral discussion as opposed to natural discussion.

It is informative of how nature is described by Lewis: "The Natural is the opposite of the Artificial, the Civil, the Human, the Spiritual, and the Supernatural". A reflection on each of these opposing characteristics (excluding artificial, as Lewis does), illustrates to me why I value the general teachings of the Tao, and many of them specifically. Lewis addresses how there can be some disagreement with principles in the Tao: "From within the Tao itself comes the only authority to modify the Tao. This is what Confucius meant when he said 'With those who follow a different Way it is useless to take counsel'."

The appendix is a collection of ancient wisdom, titled "Illustrations of the Tao". It is broken down into different segments, such as "The Law of General Beneficence", "The Law of Special Beneficence", and others. These are taken from a sampling of different cultures including Chinese, Indian, Native American, Roman, Greek, Babylonian, and Egyptian.

I found myself enlightened by reading this short volume and I have much to think about and apply. ( )
  quinton.baran | Mar 29, 2021 |
A very good examination and refutation of moral relativism, or subjectivism, although it becomes more or less an argument from consequence--not necessarily showing that subjectivism is false but that it is practically unworkable except to create a very bleak future for humanity. Although C.S. Lewis was of course a Christian writer, this book doesn't go into an argument for Christianity in particular, only the idea that morality is objective and constant, so it's good for people who wouldn't be hip to an exclusive Christian claim to morality just yet. It was pivotal in my early development becoming a Christian.

As an aside, I read this book a long time ago in tandem with H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, which presents a similar view of the future of humanity in the hands of the "great planners and conditioners." ( )
  exhypothesi | Mar 7, 2021 |
C. S. Lewis es conocido principalmente por ser el autor de «Las Crónicas de Narnia». No obstante, también tuvo un paso muy fructífero por el ensayo. Y este título, si bien no el más célebre, era su predilecto dentro de su producción de no-ficción.

Lewis da el puntapié inicial con una crítica a un libro de texto escolar, en el que se declara que no existen las cosas sublimes, sino que los sublimes son los sentimientos que tales cosas producen en una persona. Lo reconozco, hasta aquí no le ponía demasiadas fichas al libro. No es hasta que introduce la idea de que hay cosas objetivamente buenas y verdaderas, más allá de cualquier opinión, que el libro explota. Es el Tao, «el Camino por el que transcurre el universo» y «el Camino que todo hombre debe pisar». De esta manera, nos va señalando cómo en toda cultura existen valores universales, como la valentía, el honor o el respeto. Es una ley natural, pero además depende de la transmisión por parte de una generación a otra. Y que siempre habrá “innovadores” que tratarán de socavar estas ideas, de hacer una nueva “moral” (que no será más que una corrupción del Tao), «esperando encontrar valores “reales” cuando han despreciado los tradicionales».

Un libro corto, pero denso. Leí la mitad, lo volví a arrancar desde el comienzo y seguramente necesitaré un par de lecturas más en el futuro. Lewis propone aquí varios puntos interesantes que van más allá de un mero descontento por el “mundo moderno” y tocan la esencia del ser humano. ( )
  little_raven | Feb 18, 2021 |
For me, the mark of a good thinker and writer is one with whom I can meaningfully engage even if I disagree with them. This is most assuredly the case with C.S. Lewis. This highly debated work is quintessential Lewis in its wit (see the opening chapter), its encyclopedic knowledge, and its unapologetic anchor in Christian theology. When I read Lewis it feels like a bit of a dance, except that we very much switch off who leads. I step forward and say, "you are appropriating the Tao" and then he steps forward and says, "but am I wrong about eugenics?" He twirls me around with comments like: "...the modern situation permits and demands a new sexual morality: the old taboos served some real purpose in helping to preserve the species, but contraceptives have modified this and we can now abandon many of the taboos" (33) until I realize that he certainly does not agree that women have a choice when it comes to their own bodies.

It is important to realize that these lectures (originally commissioned by the University of Durham) were delivered in 1943, so Lewis's warnings against technological power and creation of an "artificial Tao" are easily understood. Even when he puts aside some of his more fanciful philosophical footwork, he makes statements that resonate profoundly today (and perhaps for evermore): "I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently" (66).

It is a potent defense of natural law. I say this not because I agree with him, but because there is a lot here that rings true and has played out in the 80 years since these lectures were published. I wonder what he might think of education today, given his allowance for emotion and and magic as part of his objective truth (or, more accurately, Truth). Certainly if debates that crowd our societal stage today were conducted with the same level of knowledge and thoughtfulness, we'd likely be making more progress (defined broadly). Reading Lewis moves us away from collecting sound bytes and invites us to invest in the true realities of the human condition. ( )
  rebcamuse | Jan 4, 2021 |
I read this book during a C. S. Lewis class taught by Jerry Root. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
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The Master said, He who sets to work on a different strand destroys the whole fabric.

Confucius, Analects II.16
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I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text-books.
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Both astonishing and prophetic, The Abolition of Man remains one of C. S. Lewis's most controversial works. Lewis sets out to persuade his audience of the ongoing importance and relevance of universal objective values, such as courage and honor, and the foundational necessity of natural law. He also makes a cogent case that a retreat from these pillars of our educational system, even if in the name of "scientism," would be catastrophic. National Review lists it as number seven on their "100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century."

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Ediciones Encuentro

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Edicions: 847490255X, 8474908728

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