How to Think about the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization(Volume 2 Of 2 )

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ReadHowYouWant.com, 2010 - 500 pages
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Time magazine called Mortimer J. Adler a "philosopher for everyman." In this guide to considering the big questions, Adler addresses the topics all men and women ponder in the course of life, such as "What is love?," "How do we decide the right thing to do?," and, "What does it mean to be good?" Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Western literature, history, and philosophy, the author considers what is meant by democracy, law, emotion, language, truth, and other abstract concepts in light of more than two millennia of Western civilization and discourse. Adler's essays offer a remarkable and contemplative distillation of the Great Ideas of Western Thought.
 

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Contents

The Goodness of Art
1
How to Think about Justice
17
How to Think about Punishment
33
How to Think about Language
49
How to Think about Work
64
Work Play and Leisure
77
The Dignity of All Kinds of Work
93
Work and Leisure Then and Now
105
The Powers of Government
226
The Best Form of Government
240
How to Think about Democracy
254
How to Think about Change
271
How to Think about Progress
288
How to Think about War and Peace
306
How to Think about Philosophy
321
Unsolved Problems of Philosophy 337 49 How Philosophy Differs from Science and Religion
352

Work Leisure and Liberal Education
119
How to Think about Law
133
The Kinds of Law
148
The Making of Law
164
The Justice of Law
181
How to Think about Government
197
The Nature of Government
210
How Can Philosophy Progress?
369
How to Think about God
385
How This Book Came to Be
401
Back Cover Material
404
Index
407
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About the author (2010)

Born in New York, Mortimer Adler was educated at Columbia University. Later as a philosophy instructor there, he taught in a program focused on the intellectual foundations of Western civilization. Called to the University of Chicago in 1927 by President Robert Maynard Hutchins, Adler played a major role in renovating the undergraduate curriculum to center on the "great books." His philosophical interests committed to the dialectical method crystallized in a defense of neo-Thomism, but he never strayed far from concerns with education and other vital public issues. From 1942 to 1945, Adler was director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, based in San Francisco, California. Beginning in 1945 he served as associate editor of Great Books of the Western World series, and in 1952 he published Syntopicon, an analytic index of the great ideas in the great books. In 1966 he became director of the editorial planning for the fifteen edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in 1974, chairman of its editorial board. Adler has been devoted in recent years to expounding his interpretations of selected great ideas and to advocating his Paideia Proposal. That proposal would require that all students receive the same quantity and quality of education, which would concentrate on the study of the great ideas expressed in the great books, a study conducted by means of the dialectical method. Mortimer J. Adler died June 28, 2001 at his home in San Mateo, California at the age of 98.

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