The internal reactions of our ideas and feelings, while less obvious, are of even greater significance than the changes which have occurred in our institutions. So great have these internal changes been that one writer has described them as the shaking of the foundations. This characterization reminds is of what has been of major importance to Western man: his ideas and ideals. Throughout his history it has been these ideas which have supplied both his standards and his motivations, whether they referred to something beyond nature as Augustine's City of God, something beyond the present as More's Utopia, something within nature as Stoic law, or something like Bentham's greatest happiness principle. It has been this search for an ideal and the desire to bring it into being which have accounted for Western man's restlessness, his dissatisfaction with the present, and his desire for something better. When we remember the role that such ideas have played in Western Civilization, we have a better appreciation of what their upsetting entails for man today. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "3. The Shaking of the Foundations. Pt. XIX: An Analysis of the Contemporary World's Search for Meaning." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 12-15.