Tag Archives: Arnold J Toynbee

Toynbee and the Enlightenment

Arnold J Toynbee has some bad news in Volume VI of his A Study of History: Western civilisation is showing all the signs of being in its final decline. Civilisations decline when they fail to respond to challenges they face. … Continue reading

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Reading Toynbee

Perhaps there’s nothing you have to do and nowhere you have to be. You’re on your own, so you’ve only yourself to worry about. But what is there to worry about when you’ve only yourself to worry about? A quiet … Continue reading

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Reading Toynbee A Study of History

A society is a group whose members have shared problems. “There is no such thing as society” would be true if there were no shared problems, if each individual had only his or her own problems to worry about. “There … Continue reading

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The Silence of Ancient Egypt

For two thousand years ancient Egypt was “dead but unburied.” It existed only as stone, as a lifeless monument to its living past. The pyramids have stood silent and blind for millennia, and to Toynbee they seemed to speak: “Before … Continue reading

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Reading Spengler Again

This preface I’m reading says I shouldn’t be literal-minded when reading Oswald Spengler. Yes, his presentation of the facts is dubious, he exaggerates and distorts, he’s polemical – but I mustn’t let this spoil my enjoyment. I’d be missing out … Continue reading

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