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The Decline of the West (Volume 2): Perspectives of World-History

The Decline of the West (Volume 2): Perspectives of World-History - Oswald Spengler

The Decline of the West (Volume 2): Perspectives of World-History


The Decline of the West Volume II: Perspectives of World-History
By Oswald Spengler


Contents

I-Origin and Language--The Cosmic and the Microcosm
II-Origin and Language--The Group of the Higher Cultures
III-Origin and Language--The Relations between the Cultures
IV-Cities and Peoples--The Soul of the City
V-Cities and Peoples--Peoples, Races, Tongues
VI-Cities and Peoples--Primitives, Culture-Peoples, Fellaheen
VII-Problems of the Arabian Culture--Historic Pseudomorphoses
VIII-Problems of the Arabian Culture--The Magian Soul
IX-Problems of the Arabian Culture--Pythagoras, Mohammed, Cromwell
X-The State--The Problem of the Estates: Nobility and Priesthood
XI-The State--State and History
XII-The State--Philosophy of Politics
XIII-The Form-world of Economic Life--Money
XIV-The Form-world of Economic Life--The Machine


Excerpt from Chapter I

Regard the flowers at eventide as, one after the other, they close in the setting sun. Strange is the feeling that then presses in upon you--a feeling of enigmatic fear in the presence of this blind dreamlike earth-bound existence. The dumb forest, the silent meadows, this bush, that twig, do not stir themselves, it is the wind that plays with them. Only the little gnat is free--he dances still in the evening light, he moves whither he will.

A plant is nothing on its own account. It forms a part of the landscape in which a chance made it take root. The twilight, the chill, the closing of every flower--these are not cause and effect, not danger and willed answer to danger. They are a single process of nature, which is accomplishing itself near, with, and in the plant. The individual is not free to look out for itself, will for itself, or choose for itself.

An animal, on the contrary, can choose. It is emancipated from the servitude of all the rest of the world. This midget swarm that dances on and on, that solitary bird still flying through the evening, the fox approaching furtively the nest--these are little worlds of their own within another great world. An animalcule in a drop of water, too tiny to be perceived by the human eye, though it lasts but a second and has but a corner of this drop as its field--nevertheless is free and independent in the face of the universe. The giant oak, upon one of whose leaves the droplet hangs, is not.

Servitude and freedom--this is in last and deepest analysis the differentia by which we distinguish vegetable and animal existence. Yet only the plant is wholly and entirely what ti is; in the being of the animal there is something dual. A vegetable is only a vegetable; an animal is a vegetable and something more besides. A herd that huddles together trembling...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Windham Press is committed to bringing the lost cultural heritage of ages past into the 21st century through high-quality reproductions of original, classic printed works at affordable prices.

This book has been carefully crafted to utilize the original images of antique books rather than error-prone OCR text. This also preserves the work of the original typesetters of these classics, unknown craftsmen who laid out the text, often by hand, of each and every page you will read. Their subtle art involving judgment and interaction with the text is in many ways superior and more human than the mechanical methods utilized today, and gave each book a unique, hand-crafted feel in its text that connected the reader organically to the art of bindery and book-making.

We think these benefits are worth the occasional imperfection resulting from the age of these books at the time of scanning, and their vintage feel provides a connection to the past that goes beyond the mere words of the text.

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The Decline of the West Volume II: Perspectives of World-History
By Oswald Spengler


Contents

I-Origin and Language--The Cosmic and the Microcosm
II-Origin and Language--The Group of the Higher Cultures
III-Origin and Language--The Relations between the Cultures
IV-Cities and Peoples--The Soul of the City
V-Cities and Peoples--Peoples, Races, Tongues
VI-Cities and Peoples--Primitives, Culture-Peoples, Fellaheen
VII-Problems of the Arabian Culture--Historic Pseudomorphoses
VIII-Problems of the Arabian Culture--The Magian Soul
IX-Problems of the Arabian Culture--Pythagoras, Mohammed, Cromwell
X-The State--The Problem of the Estates: Nobility and Priesthood
XI-The State--State and History
XII-The State--Philosophy of Politics
XIII-The Form-world of Economic Life--Money
XIV-The Form-world of Economic Life--The Machine


Excerpt from Chapter I

Regard the flowers at eventide as, one after the other, they close in the setting sun. Strange is the feeling that then presses in upon you--a feeling of enigmatic fear in the presence of this blind dreamlike earth-bound existence. The dumb forest, the silent meadows, this bush, that twig, do not stir themselves, it is the wind that plays with them. Only the little gnat is free--he dances still in the evening light, he moves whither he will.

A plant is nothing on its own account. It forms a part of the landscape in which a chance made it take root. The twilight, the chill, the closing of every flower--these are not cause and effect, not danger and willed answer to danger. They are a single process of nature, which is accomplishing itself near, with, and in the plant. The individual is not free to look out for itself, will for itself, or choose for itself.

An animal, on the contrary, can choose. It is emancipated from the servitude of all the rest of the world. This midget swarm that dances on and on, that solitary bird still flying through the evening, the fox approaching furtively the nest--these are little worlds of their own within another great world. An animalcule in a drop of water, too tiny to be perceived by the human eye, though it lasts but a second and has but a corner of this drop as its field--nevertheless is free and independent in the face of the universe. The giant oak, upon one of whose leaves the droplet hangs, is not.

Servitude and freedom--this is in last and deepest analysis the differentia by which we distinguish vegetable and animal existence. Yet only the plant is wholly and entirely what ti is; in the being of the animal there is something dual. A vegetable is only a vegetable; an animal is a vegetable and something more besides. A herd that huddles together trembling...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Windham Press is committed to bringing the lost cultural heritage of ages past into the 21st century through high-quality reproductions of original, classic printed works at affordable prices.

This book has been carefully crafted to utilize the original images of antique books rather than error-prone OCR text. This also preserves the work of the original typesetters of these classics, unknown craftsmen who laid out the text, often by hand, of each and every page you will read. Their subtle art involving judgment and interaction with the text is in many ways superior and more human than the mechanical methods utilized today, and gave each book a unique, hand-crafted feel in its text that connected the reader organically to the art of bindery and book-making.

We think these benefits are worth the occasional imperfection resulting from the age of these books at the time of scanning, and their vintage feel provides a connection to the past that goes beyond the mere words of the text.

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