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Oswald Spengler
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R06610, Oswald Spengler.jpg
Born
Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler

(1880-05-29)29 May 1880
Blankenburg, Brunswick, Germany
Died 8 May 1936(1936-05-08) (aged 55)
Alma mater University of Munich
University of Berlin
University of Halle
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Continental philosophy
Goethean science
Conservative Revolution
Thesis Der metaphysische Grundgedanke der heraklitischen Philosophie (The Fundamental Metaphysical Thought of the Heraclitean Philosophy) (1904)
Doctoral advisor Alois Riehl
Main interests
Philosophy of history, political philosophy
Notable ideas
The decline of the West
Signature
Oswald Spengler signature.PNG

Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler ( 29 May 1880 – 8 May 1936) was a German historian and philosopher of history whose interests included mathematics, science, and art and their relation to his organic theory of history. He is best known for his two-volume work, The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), published in 1918 and 1922, covering all of world history. Spengler's model of history postulates that any culture is a superorganism with a limited and predictable lifespan.

Spengler predicted that about the year 2000, Western civilization would enter the period of pre‑death emergency whose countering would lead to roughly 200 years of Caesarism (extraconstitutional omnipotence of the executive branch of the central government) before Western Civilization's final collapse.

Spengler is regarded as a nationalist and an anti-democrat, and he was a prominent member of the Conservative Revolution. However, he criticised Nazism due to its excessive racism. Instead, he saw Benito Mussolini, and entrepreneurial types, like the imperialist mining magnate Cecil Rhodes, as embryonic examples of the impending Caesars of Western culture, notwithstanding his stark criticism of Mussolini's imperial adventures.

He strongly influenced other historians, including Franz Borkenau and especially Arnold J. Toynbee and other successors like Francis Parker Yockey, Carroll Quigley and Samuel P. Huntington.

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