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The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis
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The Abolition of Man (1947)

by C. S. Lewis

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4,302371,663 (4.04)1 / 51
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How do we know what is right? Examines how that is answered and not answered. ( )
  jefware | Nov 5, 2018 |
Perhaps one of Lewis' most prophetic books. The Abolition of Man absolutely eviscerates the garbage ideas bubbling under the progressivism of his day, and so also the aggressive progressivism which came into force in our own post-modern day.

Lewis begins observing trends in education and literary theory, but moves beyond to illustrate the danger of the ideas in question. His use of the Tao as way to communicate the radical necessity of natural law is clever, and his resolve that rationality remains critical if we're to prevent society from moral collapse, and more, the abolition of man himself. ( )
  PastorBob | Aug 30, 2018 |
This book is part of my C.S. Lewis collection. I went through a huge phase where I was just obsessed with anything and everything by him. While I don't agree with all of his theology, I do love his writing style and the things he has to say about faith. He was a good one. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Jul 31, 2018 |
I found it pretty hard to follow the thought in the first chapter, but the last two chapters seemed pretty clear. I think that this quote gives the idea of what the Abolition of Man means. If you find it intriguing, you might like this short book, and unlike me, you may even understand how the first chapter fits in:

At the moment, then, of Man’s victory over Nature, we find the whole human race subjected to some individual men, and those individuals subjected to that in themselves which is purely "natural" —to their irrational impulses. Nature, untrammelled by values, rules the Conditioners and, through them, all humanity. Man's conquest of Nature turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be Nature's conquest of Man. Every victory we seemed to win has led us, step by step, to this conclusion. All Nature's apparent reverses have been but tactical withdrawals. We thought we were beating her back when she was luring us on. What looked to us like hands held up in surrender was really the opening of arms to enfold us for ever. If the fully planned and conditioned world (with its Tao a mere product of the planning) comes into existence, Nature will be troubled no more by the restive species that rose in revolt against her so many millions of years ago, will be vexed no longer by its chatter of truth and mercy and beauty and happiness.

( )
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
This is not the sort of book you take to the beach for a leisurely read. Nor is it the kind of book you read in bed before retiring; no, this is the kind of book you need to sit up straight in a chair for, with a notebook and pen, or at least a highlighter...
It is one of Lewis' shorter books, but it is packed w/his customary logical arguments and illustrations. In Abolition of Man , Lewis writes about the cultural implications of subverting natural law. He starts out with a refutation of The Green Book , a pseudonym for a text used in British schools which taught that there was no objective value, only subjective value.
He goes on to describe what he calls The Tao "...the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kind of things we are. "
The appendix to this book fascinated me. In it Lewis notes several laws, , "The Law of General Beneficence," "Duties to Parents, Elders, Ancestors," "The Law of Justice," etc.. It is remarkable how much these references coincide: the Christian 10 commandments, The Ancient Chinese Analects, Old Norse traditions, The Bhagavad Gita, to name a few.
Lewis by no means implies here that all religions are the same; no, even a cursory study reveals this is not true. His intention is to prove the universality of some basic values.

I must confess that many of Lewis' references went over my head. I never learned Latin and so his use of Latin words to illustrate ideas is lost on me. As are the many references to characters in ancient literature. Despite these limitations (of mine!), I found the book wonderful, though provoking and understandable. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
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The Master said, He who sets to work on a different strand destroys the whole fabric.

Confucius, Analects II.16
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I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text-books.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060652942, Paperback)

C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man purports to be a book specifically about public education, but its central concerns are broadly political, religious, and philosophical. In the best of the book's three essays, "Men Without Chests," Lewis trains his laser-sharp wit on a mid- century English high school text, considering the ramifications of teaching British students to believe in idle relativism, and to reject "the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true, and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kinds of things we are." Lewis calls this doctrine the "Tao," and he spends much of the book explaining why society needs a sense of objective values. The Abolition of Man speaks with astonishing freshness to contemporary debates about morality; and even if Lewis seems a bit too cranky and privileged for his arguments to be swallowed whole, at least his articulation of values seems less ego-driven, and therefore is more useful, than that of current writers such as Bill Bennett and James Dobson. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

C. S. Lewis sets out to persuade his audience of the importance and relevance of universal values such as courage and honor in contemporary society.

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Ediciones Encuentro

2 editions of this book were published by Ediciones Encuentro.

Editions: 847490255X, 8474908728

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