Kerry K. Kuehn

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Sept. 1



This week at our liberal arts reading group (LARGe), we will be looking at Rene Guenon's The Reign of Quantity and the Sign of the Times. Originally written in French in 1945, Guenon's book criticizes modern western culture from the perspective of ``changeless metaphysical principles". This week, we will look at Chapter 8, which compares "Ancient Crafts and Modern Industry". In this essay, Guenon observes that

…according to the modern conception, a man can adopt any profession, and even change it to suit his whim, as if the profession were something wholly outside himself, having no real connection with what he really is, that by virtue of which he is himself and not anyone else. According to the traditional conception, on the other hand, each person must normally fulfill the function for which he is destined by his own nature, using the particular aptitudes essentially implicit in that nature as such; he cannot fulfill a different function except at the cost of a serious disorder, which will have its repercussions on the whole social organization of which he is a part…

LARGe will meet at Kuehnholm at 4pm on Friday Sept. 1.