"The author asserts that a philosophical principle becomes valuable if it can be used as a guide in the practical purposes of life. The object of this book is to impress upon its reader a conviction that civilization does not proceed in an arbitrary manner or by chance, but that it passes through a determinate succession of stages, and is a development according to law. For this purpose, the book considers the relations between individual and social life, and showed that they are physiologically inseparable, and that the course of communities bears an unmistakable resemblance to the progress of an individual, and that man is the archetype or exemplar of society. Next, the author examines the intellectual history of Greece--a nation offering the best and most complete illustration of the life of humanity. From the beginnings of its mythology in old Indian legends and of, its philosophy in Ionia, we saw that it passed through phases like those of the individual to its decrepitude and death in Alexandria. Then, addressing ourselves to the history of Europe, we found that, if suitably divided into groups of ages, these groups, compared with each other in chronological succession, present a striking resemblance to the successive phases of Greek life, and therefore to that which Greek life resembles--that is to say, individual life. Nations, like individuals, are born, pass through a predestined growth, and die. One comes to its end at an early period and in an untimely way; another, not until it has gained maturity. But for every one there is an orderly way of progress to its final term, whatever that term may be." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
Electronic reproduction. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association, 2011. Available via World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement. s2011 dcunns