Oswald Spengler

“Oswald Spengler: (1880-1936) German philosopher. A schoolmaster before he turned to writing, Spengler is remembered for his influential The Decline of the West (2 volumes, 1918-22), a study in the philosophy of history. He contended that civilizations pass through a life cycle, blossoming and decaying like natural organisms, and that Western culture is irreversibly past its creative stage and headed into eclipse. Though acclaimed by a public disillusioned in the wake of World War I, his work was criticized by both professional scholars and the Nazi party, despite some affinities with its dogma.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

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