The Abolition of Man is composed of three lectures: “Men Without Chests,” “The Way,” and “The Abolition of Man.” Through each of these lectures, C. S. Lewis argues for the importance of objectivism in education.
Though Lewis was critiquing the educational practices of England in the 1940s, his ideas remain relevant to this day. He cites a range of traditions across the world and across time—Platonic, Aristotelian, Christian, Hindu, and Taoist—all of which agree upon objective value and that certain things (like a beautiful waterfall) intrinsically merit certain human responses.
Many educators regard The Abolition of Man as Lewis’ finest work, and much of his argument summarizes the heart of classical education. Ultimately, if left unchecked, our system will fail to nurture the right sentiments in children, and the ensuing corruption of humankind will result in the abolition of man—but not if we stop it first.
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