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Academic Questions

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 187–196 | Cite as

Saving Remnants: Where Western Civ Thrives

  • Glenn M. RickettsEmail author
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Western civilization, University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins believed, was significantly different from other civilizations. “The tradition of the West,” he wrote in his 1952 introduction to the Great Books of the Western World,

is embodied in the Great Conversation that began in the dawn of history and continues to the present day . . . No other civilization can claim that its defining characteristic is a dialogue of this sort . . . The spirit of Western civilization is the spirit of inquiry. Its dominant element is the Logos. Nothing is to remain undiscussed. Everybody is to speak his mind. No proposition is to be left unexamined. The exchange of ideas is held to be the path to the realization of the potentialities of the race.

Similar to the Harvard Classics series published in 1910 under the editorship of longtime Harvard president Charles W. Eliot, Great Books of the Western Worldwas intended for non-academic readers. But whereas Eliot’s famous “five-foot-shelf...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Raritan Valley Community CollegeNorth BranchUSA
  2. 2.National Association of ScholarsNew YorkUSA

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