The Abolition of Man
by C.S. Lewis
The Abolition of Man was written by C.S. Lewis in 1943. It was subtitled "Reflections on education with special reference to the teaching of English in the upper forms of schools”. C.S. Lewis was born in 1898 and died in 1963 (same day as Robert F. Kennedy). He was a fiction and non-fiction writer whose most popular non-fiction work was “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Lewis was a Classicist who agreed philosophically with Plato and Aristotle and also considered himself a “Pagan in a World of Apostate Christians”. Lewis was also a friend of JRR Tolkien. The Abolition of Man is listed as #7 on the top 200 greatest works of the 20th Century. In Abolition Lewis writes of two opposing views: The World off the Green Book vs. the World of the Tao.
“Abolition of Man” is a short philosophical work about moral education. In Chapter 1 “Men Without Chests” the Tao is described as a broad generalization of traditional moralities of the East and West consisting of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Confusion, Jewish, Muslim, and Socratic ideologies. The Tao is the sole source of valued judgments and something we cannot change otherwise the Tao would cease to exist. Within the Tao judgments are either right or they are wrong. Within the “World of the Green Book” all valued judgments and morality are subjective. The green Book itself is really an English textbook used in English upper advance primary schools. The text of the Green book teaches students that sentences containing the predicate of value are not statements about qualities in their subjects but rather unimportant statements about the speakers own feelings. Lewis believed that this philosophy was out of place in an English text book, regardless of its validity, and proceeds to tear the philosophy apart. The Green book states that objects can merit our approval or disapproval. Lewis describes The Mind of Man in a platonic division of three: Head- the Center of man’s intelligence...
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