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

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


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...


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Product Details
ISBN: 9781628451283
ISBN-10: 1628451289
Publisher: Windham Press
Publication Date: June 14th, 2013
Pages: 554
Language: English