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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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Published: Feb 25, 2013
Jeffrey O. Nelson
Jeff Nelson is Executive Vice President for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He holds a B.A. from the University of Detroit, an M.A. from Yale University Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Prior to returning to ISI in 2009, he was president of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Nelson serves as vice chairman of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal and secretary of the Edmund Burke Society of America. He is the editor of several books, including "Redeeming the Time" by Russell Kirk, "American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia", "The Political Principles of Robert Taft" by Russell Kirk and James McClellan, "Perfect Sowing" by Henry Regnery, and "Remembered Past" by John Lukacs.
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