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.

 
 
  • An Honest Conversation About Gun Control

    November 15, 2017

    I’d love to have an honest conversation with a liberal about gun control, but the truth is, the liberals I know are willing to talk to me, or at me, but not with me, at least not about this subject. So I’ve decided to have an imaginary conversation. The challenge for me is to avoid … Read More

  • Education’s Failing Grade

    November 8, 2017

    In 2016, Minneapolis scholar Katherine Kersten reported that public schools were the most dangerous places in St. Paul, MN. The use of obscene language, overturning of furniture and trash cans, and fistfights had become common in grade schools, she noted, and even worse behaviors—including physical attacks on teachers, death-threats, and multi-student riots—were occurring in high … Read More

  • Why Such Divisiveness?

    November 2, 2017

    We hear much lamentation about “divisiveness” today and the cause is generally identified as one political party or both. But the main cause is neither political party, though both contribute to the problem. In fact, the cause is not any person or group but instead two intertwined ideas that became embedded in mass culture decades … 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.