Mind at Work

 

“Mind at Work” is the official website of Vincent Ryan Ruggiero—Social Worker, Industrial Engineer, Professor of Humanities, and Author. Here you will find descriptions of a number of his 22 books, as well as links to many of his over 300 essays on a wide array of topics. The most recent essays are shown below. For others, click on “Featured Essays” or “Archives,” above.

 
 
  • The Liberals’ Struggle with Logic

    January 19, 2017

    Almost three months after the 2016 election, many liberals still cannot acknowledge Donald Trump’s victory. The most recent example of this incapacity is the growing list of members of Congress—68 at this point—who have refused to attend his inauguration. One of the first refusers was John Lewis, who explained that he doesn’t “see this president-elect … Read More

  • How America Views Achievement

    January 6, 2017

    Over the last century an old idea has gained new currency in American culture—the idea that equality of achievement is the right order of things, ordained by God. This idea has led to a variety of mistaken lines of thought, notably these: Mistaken thought 1: Since equality of achievement is ordained by God, “all men are … Read More

  • Our Relationship with Time

    December 30, 2016

    Does time really move faster when we are late for an appointment and trapped in a traffic jam but slower when we are sitting in a dentist’s chair having a tooth drilled? Does it start out slow in childhood, pick up speed in adulthood, and race by when we grow old? Or does it only seem to … Read More

 

 

Latest Book

corruptedcultureCorrupted Culture:

Rediscovering America’s Enduring Principles, Values, and Common Sense 

(Prometheus, 2013).
“Ruggiero knows that we are imperfect beings, but we all have the potential for goodness and wisdom. This book will help us get there.”
Anne Hendershott
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy, The King’s College (New York)

“In our era of academic ignorance and arrogance, [Ruggiero] stands as a rare beacon of light. How we need historical analysts, logical thinkers, and moral teachers such as Ruggiero! I highly recommend his latest analysis.”
Judith A. Reisman
Author of Stolen Honor, Stolen Innocence


Poor education, bad parenting, a sense of entitlement, the “wasteland” of television, and more. These are the symptoms of a culture in decline. While it’s easy to recite a litany of our problems, identifying their root causes requires more than the facile commentary offered by media pundits.

This in-depth historical analysis of cultural trends in America traces the problems of our current malaise back to two profoundly misguided views of human nature that were pervasive in this country in the twentieth century. The first is Hereditarianism, which was highly influential until the end of World War II; the second is Humanistic Psychology, which emerged after the war as a reaction against negativism. Ruggiero shows that while the Hereditarians advanced the absurdly pessimistic view that biology is destiny, Humanistic Psychology countered with an absurdly optimistic view of human nature. He also demonstrates that the flaws of both are observable in today’s resurgent Progressivism.

Beyond critique, Ruggiero presents a compelling case for restoring the traditional principles and values associated with the Western view of human nature. In this view, human nature is inherently imperfect but has the potential for goodness and wisdom; intelligence is the sum of inherited capacity and performance attained through mental training and acquired knowledge; reason is more reliable than feelings; and self-esteem is the result, rather than the cause, of achievement.

With incisive analysis, Ruggiero shows the relevance of recent intellectual history to today’s social problems and charts a course for a better future.