Based on a lecture course given by Leonard Peikoff in 1972, this book provides essential knowledge for everyone whose life pursuits are threatened by our culture’s widespread irrationality. “To fight for your values in a world such as ours, you must regard yourself as a psychotherapist of an entire culture,” states Dr. Peikoff in his opening lecture. “Its present state at any given time cannot be understood except as an outgrowth from its past. The errors of today are built on the errors of the last century, and they in turn on the previous, and so on back to the childhood of the Western world, which is ancient Greece.”
For example, he says, the phenomenon of progressive education can be explained only by reference to John Dewey: “But Dewey simply applied to education the principles of William James, and James made an obvious deduction from Hegel, and Hegel is a minor variant on Kant, and Kant was trying to answer Hume, who was the last consistent consequence of the trend inaugurated by Descartes and Locke, who were simply reformulating, in a somewhat more secular way, the principles of Augustine, who was reformulating in a somewhat more religious way the principles of Plato, who was trying to answer the dilemma posed by Heraclitus and Parmenides, who took off from four sentences of Thales with whom we are beginning tonight.”
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