Saturday, February 6, 2021

Spengler: The Ptolemaic Approach to History

Oswald Spengler was appalled by the thinking of the historians who present history from a mono-civilizational (Western) perspective—in 1918, he denounced the division of history into ancient, medieval, and modern sections as the “Ptolemaic approach to history,” which obscures the multi-civilizational reality of the world, creating the false false impression that the other civilizations are static, that they are not evolving, becoming more powerful. In his classic The Decline of the West, he writes: “I see, in place of that empty figment of one linear history which can be kept up only by shutting one’s eyes to the overwhelming multitude of facts, the drama of a number of mighty Cultures, each springing with primitive strength from the soil of a mother-region to which it remains firmly bound throughout it’s whole life-cycle; each stamping its material, its mankind, in its own image; each having its own idea, its own passions, its own life, will and feelings, its own death. Here indeed are colors, lights, movements, that no intellectual eye has yet discovered.”

No comments: