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The Cave and the Light


For classical enthusiasts and fans of popular intellectual histories such as The Metaphysical Club and From Dawn to Decadence, The Cave and the Light is an enthralling history of the rivalry and rival ideas of two men that made Western civilisation what it is today: Plato and Aristotle.

Arthur Herman reveals how rather than a linear evolution of thought, the history of Western civilization has been a constant battle of ideas beginning with the rivalry between just two philosophers. Plato and Aristotle’s competing philosophies became the twin fountainheads of Western culture, and their rivalry gave Western civilisation its unique dynamism down to the present. From the Western way of religion and Christianity to science and technology to forms of government and to the belief in the dignity of the individual, the clash between Plato and Aristotle made them the most influential thinkers that ever lived.

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