Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose

By Kenneth Burke | Go to book overview

III
PERSPECTIVE AS METAPHOR

Illustrations of Perspective by Incongruity

THE Nietzschean method is perhaps best revealed by its excessive exemplification in the works of a disciple, Oswald Spengler, who clearly built his morphology of history upon Nietzsche's theories of decadence and of the eternal recurrence. It was this scheme that gave Spengler his informing concept of the contemporaneous, by which he meant, not things existing at the same time in history, but things existing at corresponding stages in different cultures. That is: the pre-Socratics of the sixth and fifth centuries of the Classical culture would be contemporaneous with Galileo, Bacon, and Descartes in Western culture; Socrates would be contemporaneous with the French Encyclopedists, Hellenism with Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, etc. By this method of establishing corresponding periods in different cultural cycles, he had a device for uniting under one head movements which were generally considered in complete isolation from one another: thus the "Spread of a Final World-Sentiment," as a culture decayed, was manifested as Buddhism in India, Hellenistic-Roman Stoicism after 200 in the Classi

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Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Permanence and Change - An Anatomy of Purpose *
  • Contents 7
  • Part I- On Interpretation 11
  • I- Orientation 11
  • II- Motives 30
  • III- Occupational Psychosis 54
  • IV- Style 71
  • V- Magic, Religion, and Science 82
  • Part II- Perspective by Incongruity 95
  • I- The Range of Piety 95
  • II- New Meanings 106
  • III- Perspective as Metaphor 118
  • IV- Argument by Analogy 128
  • V- Secular Conversions 164
  • VI- Meaning and Regression 193
  • Conclusion 207
  • Part III- The Basis of Simplification 214
  • I- Causality and Communication 214
  • II- Permanence and Change 227
  • III- Secular Mysticism in Bentham 237
  • IV- The Ethical Confusion 247
  • V- The Search for Motives 275
  • VI- Occupation and Preoccupation 303
  • VII- The Poetry of Action 316
  • Conclusions 336
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