Author (Your Name)

Margaret H. Fox, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Philosophy Dept.




Before examining Schweitzer's philosophy of life, a study' must be made of the reasons that caused its formation. These reasons seem to stem from the fact that Schweitzer believes civilization is in a state of decay. He says that there has been an increasing lack of reflective thinking on what civilization is. Philosophy, formerly influential to thought, has been primarily concerned with its own history. Material progress is the foremost concern of society today. Because of these materialistic concerns, the individual adheres to a view of "realism", a view which is not concerned with applying thought to happenings in the world. Spiritual life has thus been neglected and religion has lost its authority. Because of these factors, the individual is not spiritually free and is thus unable to consider his life and its relatedness to other life. Such neglects have caused Schweitzer to believe that the true meaning of civilization, defined as lithe total of all progress made by men and the individual man in every sphere of action and from every point of view, in so far as this progress helps towards spiritual perfecting of individuals as the progress of all progress," has been lost.


Schweitzer Albert, Philosophy, Interpretation


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