The Home of American Intellectual Conservatism — First Principles

June 22, 2018

Intercollegiate Review Archive

Volume 2, Number 1
September 1965


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Tribute to Richard M. Weaver


It is the privilege of theology and philosophy, as contrasted with the sciences, to ask questions that cannot be answered on the basis of empirical knowledge. All the ultimate questions concerning first and last things are of this character; they remain significant because no answer can silence them. They signify a fundamental quest; for there would be no search for the meaning of history if its meaning were manifest in historical events. It is the very absence of meaning in the events themselves that motivates the quest. Conversely, it is only within a pre-established horizon of ultimate meaning, however hidden it may be, that actual history seems to be meaningless. This horizon has been established by history, for it is Hebrew and Christian thinking that brought this colossal question into existence. To ask earnestly the question of the ultimate meaning of history takes one’s breath away; it transports us into a vacuum which only hope and faith can fill.
Meaning in History
Karl Löwith

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