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 Catholic Hierarchy Disappoint Again

    February 14, 2017

    The Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. have disappointed Catholics in the past, and they are doing so again, this time on the matter of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. I recently examined six widely reported hierarchical statements and found only two that met or surpassed minimal standards of reasoned discourse—separating fact from fiction, acknowledging … Read More

  • A Catholic Bishop and Some Syrian Immigrants

    February 7, 2017

    Bishop Gregory Parkes’ column was titled “Compassion for immigrants, refugees will keep America Great.” I wondered: Is this title a rejoinder to Trump? A way of saying, perhaps, America’s already great, thank you? The column’s first paragraph answered my questions in the affirmative. The Bishop claimed the President’s recent executive orders “stand in stark contrast to … Read More

  • Missing the Point Has Gone Epidemic

    February 3, 2017

    G. K. Chesterton once remarked that many commentators in his day suffered from “the art of missing the point.” That affliction not only survives today—it is epidemic among social and political commentators. And it is often accompanied by bigotry, which Chesterton defined as “incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” A perfect example … 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.