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The Abolition of Man

Statements of value(such as"this waterfall is

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Unformatted text preview: statements of value (such as "this waterfall is sublime") are merely statements about the speaker's feelings and say nothing about the object. Lewis says that such a subjective view of values is faulty, and, on the contrary, certain objects and actions merit positive or negative reactions: that a waterfall can actually be objectively praiseworthy, and that one's actions can be objectively good or evil. In any case, Lewis notes, this is a philosophical position rather than a grammatical one, and so parents and teachers who give such books to their children and students are having them read the "work of amateur philosophers where they expected the work of professional grammarians." Lewis cites ancient thinkers such as Plato , Aristotle and Augustine , who believed that the purpose of education was to train children in "ordinate affections," that is, to train them to like and dislike what they ought; to love the good and hate the bad. He says that although these values are universal, they do not develop automatically or inevitably in children (and so are not "natural" in that sense of the word), but must be inculcated through education. Those who lack them lack the specifically human element, the trunk that unites intellectual man with visceral (animal) man, and may be called "men without chests". [Men without chests: a dystopian future Lewis criticizes modern attempts to debunk natural values (such as those that would deny objective value to the waterfall) on rational grounds. He says that there is a set of objective values that have been value to the waterfall) on rational grounds....
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