While in graduate school some twenty plus years ago, one of my history courses had listed as required reading “The Passion of the Western Mind” . Perhaps one of the finest books written on the evolution of Western philosophy, it was adopted across the country in history and philosophy classrooms because of its extraordinarily compelling approach to telling that story. Alas, one of our alumni, Dr. Richard Tarnas, wrote this book (among several others) and we count him as a vital contributor to a broad range of disciplines. Below is a short quote from the preface of “The Passion of the Western Mind”. If you get a chance, I urge you to read it.
We hear much now about the breakdown of the Western tradition, the decline of liberal education, the dangerous lack of a cultural foundation for grappling with contemporary problems. Partly such concerns reflect insecurity and nostalgia in the face of a radically changing world. Yet they also reflect a genuine need, and it is to that growing number of thoughtful men and women who recognize such a need that this book is addressed. How did the modern world come to its present condition? How did the modern mind arrive at those fundamental ideas and working principles that so profoundly influence the world today?
Tarnas, Richard. Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View . Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.