By Edwin A. Locke
Have you ever wondered why the Arab world is characterized by poverty, internal conflict and hatred for the West? In this talk, Dr. Locke looks at the philosophical orientation of that culture—i.e., at the basic beliefs accepted by the typical Arab mind.
This illuminating examination reveals the historical development of the Arabs' core ideas and values—including the premises that led them to reject the philosophy of Aristotle at precisely the time that the West was accepting it.
The Arab psycho-epistemology, Dr. Locke shows, is characterized by the primacy of consciousness, and Arab values stress collectivism, traditionalism and fatalism. Dominating Arab thinking is the religion of Islam, which stresses blind obedience to Allah, rather than rational thought, as a guide to action. The result is the inability to live successfully on earth, and undying resentment of those who are.
Islam came to govern the Arab world in the 10th century, when the leading Arab thinkers—led by an influential " reverse Aquinas" —explicitly repudiated the philosophy of Aristotle in favor of the mysticism of religion. Thanks in part to the Arabs, however, the works of Aristotle reached Europe through Spain and helped foster the Renaissance in the West. Thus, the West progressed toward a rational, secular society—while the Arab world stagnated and changed little over the next millennium.
(MP3 download; 90 min., with Q & A, 61.3 MB)