How to Think about the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization

Front Cover
ReadHowYouWant.com, Oct 19, 2010 - 428 pages
1 Review
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

How to Think about Truth
1
How to Think about Opinion
17
Opinion and Human Freedom 33 3 The Difference between Knowledge and Opinion
50
Opinion and Majority Rule
65
How to Think about Man
80
How Different Are Humans?
96
The Darwinian Theory of Mans Origin
108
The Answer to Darwin
123
Sexual Love
199
The Morality of Love
211
How to Think about Good and Evil
224
How to Think about Beauty
240
How to Think about Freedom
256
How to Think about Learning
272
Youth Is a Barrier to Learning
289
How to Read a Book
304

The Uniqueness of Man
138
How to Think about Emotion
153
How to Think about Love
170
Love as Friendship A World Without Sex
184
How to Talk
320
How to Watch TV
336
How to Think about Art
350
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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.

Bibliographic information