February 21, 2008

Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver

This a book I had to read for philosophy class, but is a very interesting book that many people could enjoy. I certainly did and am still thinking through many of the ideas of the book.

Richard Weaver is basically arguing that we reap what we sow idealogically. As we started denying the presence of absolute truths and rejecting discipline and hard work in pursuit of pleasure and comfort, the West has seen a decline in culture and order.

Weaver writes shortly after WWII which definitely influences his writing. Whatever optimism there might have been previously was shattered by the latest war which was the bloodiest and most barbaric known to man.

He talks about the decline of the hero, which is interesting considering popular opinion of the generation that he is writing about is that it was full of heros.

One part that I value in Weaver is his discussion of education. Because me assume that "facts" and "truth" are the same thing when they are really different, our education today centers around acquiring facts rather than learning truth. "The acquisition of unrelated details becaomes an end in itself and takse the place of the true ideal of education....The supposition that facts will speak for themselves is of course another abdication of intellect"(58).

I recommend this book for anyone who is up for a challenge and is interested in the decline of culture.


  1. Is this a book written more as a textbook, or a regular book?

    I found it interesting you mentioned the thing about the decline of the "hero" as I have just read another article about a guy who has written about that very same topic. He argues that our idea of a "hero" has changed since 9/11...in that a hero nowadays is not someone who does something great, but that goes through some catastrophic event and survives.

    And I totally agree with you in that facts and truth are not the same thing. And our education system crams students full of useless facts, but doesn't teach students to learn the truth.

  2. Jacki, it's not written like a textbook, but like a regular book. I think he wrote it for anyone who was concerned about the state of the West.


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