Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor G. Madison
This thesis is an elucidation of the metaphysics embodied in Oswald Spengler's Der Untergang des Abendlandes. The elucidation consists primarily in revealing the implicit metaphysical presuppositions which Spengler never fully discussed or recognized. The accomplishment of this task is partly achieved by comparing and contrasting Spengler's view of Being with the views of his two major predecessors, Goethe and Nietzsche. It is in this connection that the implicit presupposition, that Not-Being is real or constitutes an aspect of reality, is brought to light. An extensive analysis of key concepts in the Spenglerian philosophy such as longing, fear, time, and the depth-experience, and an analysis of the general theory of Culture and Civilization are undertaken in order to see how Not-Being is implied. Further clarification of Spengler's metaphysical view is gained by comparing and contrasting key statements from the Untergang with passages from Leibriz' philosophical writings. In this way one becomes aware that many fundamental principles of Leibnizian monadism are implicit metaphysical presuppositions. The theme is set forth that Spengler's philosophy of Culture implies a pre-established harmony similar to, but not identical with the Leibnizian harmony. As further substantiation of this interpretation, the themes of the pre-established harmony and of Not-Being are employed to interpret difficult areas of Spengler's philosophy of history, in particular the questions of race and fellahism.
Brown, David Henry, "Metaphysical Presuppositions in Spengler's Der Untergang des Abendlandes" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 696.