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Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life ebook

by Oswald Spengler


In "Man and Technics" he articulates the philosophy of life that he squares against an age of decline.

In "Man and Technics" he articulates the philosophy of life that he squares against an age of decline. It is a thoroughly Weimar production, as Western as it is conservative, and opposed to the coming racialism: the introduction quotes Spengler as saying, "The important thing is not long skulls but what is in them.

Man and Technics book. Man then separated into commanders and obeyers; individual lives mattered little at this time according to Spengler; what mattered was the whole, the tribe, the sea voyage or building project

Man and Technics book. Man then separated into commanders and obeyers; individual lives mattered little at this time according to Spengler; what mattered was the whole, the tribe, the sea voyage or building project. But the obeyers (hands) increased, and thus personality developed, as a protest against man in the mass. Last Stage Terminator: Rise of the Machines.

He especially pointed to the tendency of Western technology to spread to hostile "Colored races" which would then use the weapons against the West. This book contains the well-known Spengler quote "Optimism is cowardice". Despite voting for Hitler over Hindenburg in 1932, Spengler found the Führer vulgar

Finally, Spengler foresaw that Western man would eventually grow weary of his increasingly artificial lifestyle and begin to hate the civilisation he himself created

Finally, Spengler foresaw that Western man would eventually grow weary of his increasingly artificial lifestyle and begin to hate the civilisation he himself created. There is no way out of this conundrum as the unrelenting progress of technological development cannot be halted.

Spengler, Oswald, 1880-1936; Atkinson, Charles Francis, b. 1880, t. Books for People with Print Disabilities. 1880, tr. Publication date. Internet Archive Books. org on November 18, 2009. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata). Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014).

First published in 1932, this book, based on an address delivered in 1931, presents a concise and lucid summary of the philosophy of the author of The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler. It was his conviction that the technical age - the culture of the machine age - which man had created in virtue of his unique capacity for individual as well as racial technique, had already reached its peak, and that the future held only catastrophe. He argued it lacked progressive cultural life and instead was dominated by a lust for power and possession.

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Discover Oswald Spengler famous and rare quotes. Routledge Revivals: Man and Technics (1932): A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life, . 6, Routledge. When the ordinary thought of a highly cultivated people begins to regard 'having children' as a question of pro's and con's, the great turning point has come. Children, People, Ordinary.

"In the following pages I lay before the reader a few thoughts that are taken from a larger work on which I have been engaged for years. It had been my intention to use the same method which in The Decline of the West I had limited to the group of the higher Cultures, for the investigation of their historical pre-requisite - namely, the history of Man from his origins. But experience with the earlier work showed that the majority of readers are not in a postion to maintain a general view over the mass of ideas as a whole, and so lose themselves in the detail of this or that domain which is familiar to them, seeing the rest either obliquely or not at all. In consequence they obtain an incorrect picture, both of what I have written and of the subject-matter about which I wrote.

Now, as then, it is my conviction that the destiny of Man can only be understood by dealing with all the provinces of his activity simultaneously and comparatively, and avoiding the mistake of trying to elucidate some problem, say, of his politics or his religion or his art, solely in terms of particular sides of his being, in the belief that, this done, there is no more to be said. Nevertheless, in this book I venture to put forward some of the questions. They are a few among many. But they are interconnected, and for that reason may serve, for the time being, to help the reader to a provisional glimpse into the great secret of Man's destiny."

--- Oswald Spengler

Levaq
'Man and Technics' was written as a kind of precis to Spengler's magnum opus 'Decline of the West', and as such makes one want to read the latter. In this short book, Spengler claims that the technical side of man's existence only became a 'problem' in the 19th century, and two answers to the 'problem' were then given.

The first was simply to ignore it, to see it beneath one, not a part of higher culture. The second and opposite was the materialist approach (which Spengler regards as mainly English in origin), characterised by "a devastating shallowness...even today, when we are still living out the last phases of this trivial optimism, these imbecilities make one shudder, thinking of the appalling boredom that spreads over the soul in the mere reading of such idylls, of which even a partial actualization in real life could only lead to wholesale murder and suicide."

But while those who believe in 'progress' are generally materialists (Spengler derides them as half-educated), the great discoverers and inventors (whom 'progress' depends on) have rarely been materialists themselves - an observation also made by Deepak Chopra. Spengler thought the materialist approach AND the 'ignore technics and bury your head in the sand' approach were both obsolete in the 20th century...but here we are in the 21st, and the materialist/'progressive' worldview is still very much the mainstream norm, while the 'head in the sand' approach is also quite common, especially in the arts scene.

For Spengler, technics must be understood not in terms of the implements used, but of what one DOES with them (i.e. it must be understood with the soul).

Human technics isn't the same as 'technology' - the latter is also found in ants (agriculture, road building etc.). Unlike ants, humans are capable of invention and development. Human technics is something independent of the compulsion of the species. "Man has become the creator of his tactics of living - that is his grandeur and his doom" (his tragedy, too, because he is still ultimately dependent on nature).

Spengler traces the development (as he sees it) of technics via the eye, hand and tool. Then comes the step "from organic to organised existence", that is, the rise of 'enterprise' (collective doing by plan). But with the coming of rationalism, "the belief in technics almost becomes a materialistic religion. And its worshipper is the progress-philistine of the modern age."

But the machine is now revolting against its creator (Nordic Man), just as man himself once revolted against Nature. "All things organic are dying in the grip of organization. The Civilization itself has become a machine..."

European (or 'Faustian') culture is characterised by "a spiritual reaching out into boundless space". It is the most powerful the world has known, but also the most tragic..."tragic on a scale "greater than anything Æschylus or Shakespeare ever imagined." This is because of "the inward conflict between its comprehensive intellectuality and its profound spiritual disharmony."

The Faustian culture which invented most of our current technics no longer has an interest in controlling them - it freely shares them with other races. The rise of an Asian technocratic elite bears Spengler out in this. What for Faustians was a spiritual necessity, for the coloured races is merely "a weapon in their fight against the Faustian civilization," thinks Spengler, a weapon to be discarded as soon as they have finished the job.

So for Spengler, technics itself is drawing to an end. But "the honourable end is the one thing that cannot be taken from a man."

This kind of heroic pessimism will be hard to stomach for many. An alternative could be along the lines Miguel Serrano advocated in 'The Hermetic Circle', namely that Europeans should now turn their gaze inward rather than outward...but of course that won't satisfy those who demand a political solution.
Jelar
'Man and Technics' was written as a kind of precis to Spengler's magnum opus 'Decline of the West', and as such makes one want to read the latter. In this short book, Spengler claims that the technical side of man's existence only became a 'problem' in the 19th century, and two answers to the 'problem' were then given.

The first was simply to ignore it, to see it beneath one, not a part of higher culture. The second and opposite was the materialist approach (which Spengler regards as mainly English in origin), characterised by "a devastating shallowness...even today, when we are still living out the last phases of this trivial optimism, these imbecilities make one shudder, thinking of the appalling boredom that spreads over the soul in the mere reading of such idylls, of which even a partial actualization in real life could only lead to wholesale murder and suicide."

But while those who believe in 'progress' are generally materialists (Spengler derides them as half-educated), the great discoverers and inventors (whom 'progress' depends on) have rarely been materialists themselves - an observation also made by Deepak Chopra. Spengler thought the materialist approach AND the 'ignore technics and bury your head in the sand' approach were both obsolete in the 20th century...but here we are in the 21st, and the materialist/'progressive' worldview is still very much the mainstream norm, while the 'head in the sand' approach is also quite common, especially in the arts scene.

For Spengler, technics must be understood not in terms of the implements used, but of what one DOES with them (i.e. it must be understood with the soul).

Human technics isn't the same as 'technology' - the latter is also found in ants (agriculture, road building etc.). Unlike ants, humans are capable of invention and development. Human technics is something independent of the compulsion of the species. "Man has become the creator of his tactics of living - that is his grandeur and his doom" (his tragedy, too, because he is still ultimately dependent on nature).

Spengler traces the development (as he sees it) of technics via the eye, hand and tool. Then comes the step "from organic to organised existence", that is, the rise of 'enterprise' (collective doing by plan). But with the coming of rationalism, "the belief in technics almost becomes a materialistic religion. And its worshipper is the progress-philistine of the modern age."

But the machine is now revolting against its creator (Nordic Man), just as man himself once revolted against Nature. "All things organic are dying in the grip of organization. The Civilization itself has become a machine..."

European (or 'Faustian') culture is characterised by "a spiritual reaching out into boundless space". It is the most powerful the world has known, but also the most tragic..."tragic on a scale "greater than anything Æschylus or Shakespeare ever imagined." This is because of "the inward conflict between its comprehensive intellectuality and its profound spiritual disharmony."

The Faustian culture which invented most of our current technics no longer has an interest in controlling them - it freely shares them with other races. The rise of an Asian technocratic elite bears Spengler out in this. What for Faustians was a spiritual necessity, for the coloured races is merely "a weapon in their fight against the Faustian civilization," thinks Spengler, a weapon to be discarded as soon as they have finished the job.

So for Spengler, technics itself is drawing to an end. But "the honourable end is the one thing that cannot be taken from a man."

This kind of heroic pessimism will be hard to stomach for many. An alternative could be along the lines Miguel Serrano advocated in 'The Hermetic Circle', namely that Europeans should now turn their gaze inward rather than outward...but of course that won't satisfy those who demand a political solution.
Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life ebook
Author:
Oswald Spengler
Category:
World
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Publisher:
University Press of the Pacific (June 10, 2002)
Pages:
116 pages
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