Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life

Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life

Oswald Spengler / Jun 24, 2019

Man and Technics A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life 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 Decl

  • Title: Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life
  • Author: Oswald Spengler
  • ISBN: 9780898759839
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 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 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

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    About "Oswald Spengler"

      • Oswald Spengler

        Oswald Spengler was born in 1880 in Blankenburg then in the Duchy of Brunswick, German Empire at the foot of the Harz mountains, the eldest of four children, and the only boy His family was conservative German of the petite bourgeoisie His father, originally a mining technician, who came from a long line of mineworkers, was a post office bureaucrat His childhood home was emotionally reserved, and the young Spengler turned to books and the great cultural personalities for succor He had imperfect health, and suffered throughout his life from migraine headaches and from an anxiety complex.At the age of ten, his family moved to the university city of Halle Here Spengler received a classical education at the local Gymnasium academically oriented secondary school , studying Greek, Latin, mathematics and natural sciences Here, too, he developed his affinity for the arts especially poetry, drama, and music and came under the influence of the ideas of Goethe and Nietzsche He even experimented with a few artistic creations, some of which still survive.After his father s death in 1901 Spengler attended several universities Munich, Berlin, and Halle as a private scholar, taking courses in a wide range of subjects history, philosophy, mathematics, natural science, literature, the classics, music, and fine arts His private studies were undirected In 1903, he failed his doctoral thesis on Heraclitus because of insufficient references, which effectively ended his chances of an academic career In 1904 he received his Ph.D and in 1905 suffered a nervous breakdown.Scholars which remark that his life seemed rather uneventful He briefly served as a teacher in Saarbr cken and then in D sseldorf From 1908 to 1911 he worked at a grammar school Realgymnasium in Hamburg, where he taught science, German history, and mathematics.In 1911, following his mother s death, he moved to Munich, where he would live until his death in 1936 He lived as a cloistered scholar, supported by his modest inheritance Spengler survived on very limited means and was marked by loneliness He owned no books, and took jobs as a tutor or wrote for magazines to earn additional income.He began work on the first volume of Decline of the West intending at first to focus on Germany within Europe, but the Agadir Crisis affected him deeply, and he widened the scope of his study Spengler was inspired by Otto Seeck s work The Decline of Antiquity in naming his own effort The book was completed in 1914, but publishing was delayed by World War I Due to a congenital heart problem, he was not called up for military service During the war, however, his inheritance was largely useless because it was invested overseas thus Spengler lived in genuine poverty for this period.


    1. Everyone instinctively knows which parts of Friedrich Nietzsche’s work must be played down or rendered harmless—and there are many. The results went on display a while back in the Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche, or as I like to call it, Honey I Shrunk Zarathustra! Even that “God is dead” business, which was none too scandalous in 1882, is now teachable only with a nervous eye on the frowners in class. (He only said “God,” kids, he said nothing about Allah!) The man himself would not ha [...]

    2. "To Spengler, the prerequisite for a national renaissance was the recruitment of the best brains by the state and industry, not the strongest legs. The political left, he says, always had the sharper pens on their side. For an anti-Marxist movement to ever become politically successful it must mobilise not only the masses, but also skilled writers capable of convincingly formulating a new ideal in harmony with the prevailing zeitgeist." - Lars Holger Holm (Man and Technics by Oswald Spengler, Pg [...]

    3. Here's the thing: Spengler is an extremely interesting figure in the realm of speculative philosophy. He is, however, a horrible historian and an even worse scientist. These things get in the way of his precient views on the future. It's amazing to watch him make an ass of himself insofar as Darwin is concerned, and then make up a bunch of stuff about so-called historical trends and ignore all manner of actual, contemporary scholarship on the matter at hand, and then watch him turn around and st [...]

    4. Mooi boek. Te lezen als de inleiding tot het grotere werk van Oswald Spengler zijnde der Untergang des Abendlandes. Een must-read voor elke Spengler-fan en iedereen die geïnteresseerd is in Spengleriaanse filosofie.

    5. Very informative in providing a window into the German mind of that era. Incidentally, I would love to meet this fellow or one of his admirers in a dark alley, beat the daylights out of them, and then explain that I didn’t just commit a crime, but in fact carried out my “will-to-power”

    6. Final clarification and the proper ending for "The Decline of the West". Maybe even better book than the former. More clear and vibrant approach.

    7. weirdly prophetic and slightly appaling (considering all the racism) at the same time. speculative philosophy at its most speculative.

    8. Whilst Spengler's conception of technology as being the fruits of a predatory ur-nature, which in society is translated into creativity and Will-to-power -- for its own sake -- is interesting and his concern for ecology appreciated, the book is rife with dogmatic essentialism, a very narrow view of culture, smug pessimism and, of course, eurocentrism. Man is superior to animal (whatever that may mean), some men are born to lead while others are only good for obeying, duty itself is a priori nobl [...]

    9. I think Spengler's pessimism obscures the truth here, particularly because it comes at the issue from an overtly political angle. He secretly weeps at the lack of things to conquer. Spengler sees the rise of western technics as an extension of the glory of the western story. I do agree with his assessment that modern technics was almost entirely a Faustian invention, despite the inclination of liberal apologists to point towards the inventions of the Chinese or the mathematics of the Arabs. The [...]

    10. Neljä tähteä itse Spenglerin teokselle, Sarsilan esseelle vähemmän. Edellinen tuntuu uudelleenlämmitetyltä Länsimaiden perikadolta, mutta on sellaisenakin herkkua. Spengler kiitää ajatuksesta toiseen vaivautumatta todistelemaan väitteitään tai pohtimaan mahdollisia kritiikkejä, mutta se ei häiritse, kunhan ymmärtää, että todisteita ja itsekritiikkiä kaipaa vain sivilisaatioihminen. "Tekniikka on koko elämän taktiikka", Spengler esittää, kuten myös tavanomaisia puolustusp [...]

    11. Basically The Decline of the West pt.3.This book provides a nice conclusion to the Decline of the West by going a little deeper into how the Faustian civilization will be ended. I gotta stop reading Spengler, he's making me get too depressive haha."We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pom [...]

    12. I picked this up as a test to see if I should commit to The Decline of the West. I will, but not without reservation. Spengler gives a compelling account of the nature of man, or at least a type of man. The man that is great, but not good. The kind of man that Liberals would like to pretend is a historical oddity, even though he keeps resurfacing time after time to destroy everything that we build.Where Spengler loses me is in his adoration of these men. He knows they are a disaster and that the [...]

    13. "The secret of realizing the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment of existence is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships out into uncharted seas! Live in conflict with your equals and with yourselves! Be robbers and ravagers as soon as you ca not be rulers and owners, you men of knowledge! The time will soon past when you could be content to live concealed in the woods like timid deer!"- Friedrich Nietzsche

    14. This is a rather exhilarating essay on the unique human ability for creating new methods of surviving, living and thriving. His view here is really incompatible with modern techno-society. I will want to read this again.

    15. This is not Spengler's most famous work. The Decline of the West is. His major work was written before the Great War and this work Man and technics in the early 1930's. It's still amazingly current and full of food for thoughts.

    16. This book was written pretty well and the second book I looked at today that played the man animal distinction along with the heideggerian tool analysis.

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