Timely Meditations?: Oswald Spengler’s Philosophy of History Reconsidered

Prolegomena: Časopis Za Filozofiju 17 (2):137-154 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper argues that the recent renewal of interest in the philosophy of Oswald Spengler, particularly concerning its warnings of the imminent demise of Western Civilisation, is misplaced. Arguments concerning the accuracy of his predictions or cultural analysis have overlooked the necessity of evaluating the coherence of the philosophical system that Spengler used to generate and justify his speculative declarations. Such an evaluation indicates a number of apparent contradictions at the heart of Spengler’s historical model. The attempt to resolve these contradictions has resulted in a sharp division of interpretation amongst Spengler commentators, into positivist and relativist camps. Neither interpretation, I suggest, is capable of rendering Spengler’s historical system coherent. It is therefore argued that Spengler’s philosophy is fundamentally flawed.

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Gregory Morgan Swer
University of KwaZulu-Natal

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