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Richard Weaver

Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver

Ideas Have Consequences contributed significantly to the philosophical coherence of contemporary conservatism. Frank Meyer went so far as to say that “the publication of Ideas Have Consequences can well be considered the fons et origo (source and origin) of the contemporary American conservative movement.” For Mr. Meyer, what was adumbrated in the pages of Weaver’s book was “the informing principle” of the burgeoning conservative movement: “the unity of tradition and liberty.” Dr. Weaver began his book by flatly stating, “This is another book about the dissolution of the West.” He centered his argument around the observation that the best representation of the fundamental change in man’s view of reality was the nominalist controversy of the fourteenth century. The nominalist dispute centered on the denial of the existence of universals, and for Weaver, it led directly to cultural deterioration and to the contemporary West’s primary malady: moral relativism. Weaver insisted that the “[d]enial of everything transcending experience means inevitably…the denial of truth. With the denial of objective truth there is no escape from the relativism of ‘man is the  measure of all things.’”—This is an excerpt from “Ten Books that Shape America’s Conservative Renaissance.”

Books by Richard Weaver are available in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Essays by/about Dr. Weaver may be found here.

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