About Richard Weaver

Dr. Weaver was Professor of English at the University of Chicago from 1945 until his death in 1963. The best known of his works are Ideas Have Consequences, The Ethics of Rhetoric, and In Defense of Tradition.

The Importance of Cultural Freedom

By |2018-06-26T23:20:46-05:00June 26th, 2018|Categories: Art, Culture, Poetry, Richard Weaver, T.S. Eliot, The Imaginative Conservative|

Culture by its very nature tends to be centripetal, or to aspire toward some unity in its representational modes. The reason for this is that every culture polarizes around some animating idea, figment, or value, toward which everything that it produces bears some discoverable relation… Culture in its formal definition is one of the fulfillments [...]

Studies in Words

By |2021-04-27T13:41:26-05:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Books, C.S. Lewis, Language, Liberalism, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

Since the present meaning of a word is often vaguely swayed by past meanings which have dropped into the subconscious, a knowledge of particular semantic histories can increase our facility and sometimes save us from an inadvertent error. Studies in Words by C.S. Lewis (352 pages, Cambridge University Press, 1960) Anyone reading the literature of modern semantics [...]

Up From Liberalism

By |2021-02-03T16:40:50-06:00November 13th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Education, Featured, Liberal Learning, Liberalism, Literature, Philosophy, Richard Weaver, Southern Agrarians, The Imaginative Conservative|

Liberalism is the refuge favored by intellectual cowardice, because the essence of the liberal’s position is that he has no position. There is a saying by William Butler Yeats that a man begins to understand the world by studying the cobwebs in his own corner. My experience has brought home to me the wisdom in [...]

Humanism in an Age of Science

By |2020-01-14T11:43:02-06:00July 12th, 2017|Categories: Christian Humanism, Culture, Featured, Richard Weaver, Science, The Imaginative Conservative|

The ideal of the human under the aegis of something higher provides the strongest counter-pressure against the fragmentation and barbarization of our world… Editorial Note: The essay has been edited from an untitled, undated transcript of a lecture which Richard Weaver delivered to a meeting of the Newman Club at the University of Chicago shortly [...]

A Responsible Rhetoric

By |2019-04-28T22:57:33-05:00June 19th, 2017|Categories: Language, Rhetoric, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

Responsible rhetoric is a rhetoric responsible primarily to the truth. It measures the degree of validity in a statement, and it is aware of the sources of controlling that it employs… Editorial Note: The text of “A Responsible Rhetoric” is taken from a transcription of a tape recording of a speech Richard M. Weaver delivered [...]

What Can the Southern Tradition Teach Us?

By |2017-04-25T21:56:15-05:00April 25th, 2017|Categories: History, Richard Weaver, South, Southern Agrarians, Tradition|

Looking at the whole of the South’s promise and achieve­ment, I would be unwilling to say that it offers a foundation, or, because of some accidents of history, even an example. The most that it offers is a challenge… History is a liberal art and one profits by studying the whole of it, including the [...]

The Conservative Illusion

By |2017-02-25T11:44:44-06:00February 10th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

No informed person will deny that conservatism has been having a rough time for several decades. But to pass from the presence of conflict to a conclusion that control and discipline and order have no place in the world is to reverse the process by which political judgments should be arrived at… The Conservative Illusion, [...]

The Tragic Education

By |2019-06-06T12:30:57-05:00June 22nd, 2016|Categories: Education, Quotation, Richard Weaver, Tragedy|

Perhaps there is nothing in the world as truly educative as tragedy. When you have known it, you’ve known the worst, and probably also you have had a glimpse of the mystery of things. And if this is so, we may infer that there is nothing which educates or matures a man or a people [...]

Education and the Individual

By |2020-10-26T11:40:17-05:00April 17th, 2016|Categories: Education, Featured, Liberal Learning, Richard Weaver, Timeless Essays|

Education for individualism is education for goodness. The unfreeman cannot be good because virtue is a state of character concerned with choice. The moment we judge the smallest action in terms of right and wrong, we are stepping up to a plane where the good is felt as an imperative. The greatest school that ever [...]

Liberal Education Liberates

By |2015-05-27T13:22:36-05:00January 5th, 2015|Categories: Education, Featured, Liberal Learning, Richard Weaver|

Richard M. Weaver (1910–1963) was one of the leading thinkers of the post–World War II conservative intellectual movement. Best known for his landmark book Ideas Have Consequences, Weaver was a scholar and rhetorician who taught English at the University of Chicago for almost thirty years. Here he offers insights on the meaning and purpose of [...]

Education and the Individual

By |2014-02-03T11:09:57-06:00November 30th, 2011|Categories: Liberal Learning, Richard Weaver|Tags: |

The greatest school that ever existed, it has been said, consisted of Socrates standing on a street corner with one or two interlocutors. If this remark strikes the aver­age American as merely a bit of fancy, that is because education here today suffers from an unprecedented amount of aimlessness and confusion. This is not to [...]

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