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Download How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization fb2, epub

by Mortimer J. Adler

Download How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization fb2, epub

ISBN: 0812694120
Author: Mortimer J. Adler
Language: English
Publisher: Open Court (March 28, 2000)
Pages: 530
Category: United States
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 237
Size Fb2: 1758 kb
Size ePub: 1602 kb
Size Djvu: 1819 kb
Other formats: mobi lrf docx txt


A great book that goes into some detail about how to consider the main ideas of the Western tradition. The author is obviously well-read and proposes interesting arguments. He can be rational and thorough, but sometimes comes off as a tad conservative

A great book that goes into some detail about how to consider the main ideas of the Western tradition. He can be rational and thorough, but sometimes comes off as a tad conservative. Also, the author clearly has a religious bias that inserts itself in the discussion and renders some conclusions not so scientific.

Great! Mortimer Adler was one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century, primarily because of the literally . Now that Mortimer Adler has recently passed away, How To Think About The Great Ideas will remain as his exortation for all of us to lead thoughful lives.

Great! Mortimer Adler was one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century, primarily because of the literally ecyclopaedic nature of his knowledge. He is best known for popularizing the Great Books theory of education. 54 people found this helpful. A great introduction to the great ideas. Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 18 years ago.

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It was Adler who first understood that there are a definite number of Great Ideas (102, later increased to 103) which form the core of the thought of Western Civilization and the keys to understanding the Great Books. How to Think about the Great Ideas, newly adapted from Dr. Adler's TV lectures, explores such Great Ideas as Art, Democracy, Emotion, God, Love, Truth, and Work. It can be read either as an introduction to philosophy or as a thought-provoking treatment of selected philosophical issues.

Time magazine called Mortimer J. Adler a "philosopher for everyman. Adler's essays offer a remarkable and contemplative distillation of the Great Ideas of Western Thought.

Great Ideas are the ideas that have been captured and developed in what are often called the Great Books of Western Civilization. They are common concepts that are a part of everyone's vocabulary and ordinary conversation and important, basic ideas that we think about throughout our lives - as children, adolescents and adults. oceedings{Adler2000HowTT, title {How to Think about the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization}, author {Mortimer Jerome Adler and Max Weismann}, year {2000} }.

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.

Comments:

Ginaun
How do you summarize a summary of 2500 years of thought? Great! Mortimer Adler was one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century, primarily because of the literally ecyclopaedic nature of his knowledge. I say literally encyclopaedic because he edited the Encyclopaedia Britanica and wrote The Synopticon, a summary of Western philosophy, among the scores of other books bearing his name. He is best known for popularizing the Great Books theory of education. This is based on his own original reseach distilling the essence of Western Thought into 102 "Great Ideas." How To Think About The Great Ideas is a condensation of transcipts of a popular TV show of the 1950's, but the superficiality such an origin suggests does not permeate the book. The TV show covered only 21 of the great ideas, while the book deals with about half of the 102. The somewhat colloquial style will surprise readers who may have read Aristotle, Decartes, or Kant in full. We are not accustomed to hearing about philosophy from TV. But the simplicity of the presentation only serves to heighten the clarity of the ideas. The Great Ideas which you struggled over in college really can be discussed in ordinary language, and this is the real achievement of this book. The ideas build from the basic question of "What is truth?" to a consideration of the nature of man, human freedom, society and even a review of the arguments for the existence of God. Adler himself came to faith from agnositicism in his 80's before his recent death at the age of 98. Even so, the book is more of an invitation than an argument. It is best approached as a string of pearls, a series of thoughtful but isolated studies, rather than an essay in how to approach life or a true philosophical treatise. Refer to the Synopticon the academic treatment. But Adler never wrote just for academics. He believed philosphy is for everyone, and this book proves it. Now that Mortimer Adler has recently passed away, How To Think About The Great Ideas will remain as his exortation for all of us to lead thoughful lives.
Nagis
A few thousand people in the San Francisco Bay Area were fortunate to have experienced something extraordinary in 1953 and 1954. Over 52 weeks, for 30 minutes each week, Mortimer Adler discussed the Great Ideas on live television, usually with a fellow named Lloyd Luckman. Because of the format, the shows took the form of conversations. This book is a finely edited transcript of those conversations, and they are definitely worth reading.
The title perhaps presumes that people know how to think, and offers to guide them in applying that skill to the Great Ideas. Using that hook, even readers who don't think they can think will soon be thinking, and will be glad for it. Think, for instance, about Adler's statement "...adults are more educable than children, just as children are more trainable than adults." Hmmm... then why do we send children to school instead of adults? Adler gives the answer: so they can learn how to learn. I like books that help me think better, and this one does.
The focus for thinking in this book is the Great Ideas, a great idea that Dr. Adler (along with Robert M. Hutchins, who became President of the University of Chicago at age 29!) brought to life in the Great Books of the Western World (1952). Not all of the Great Ideas are discussed in this book - only 22 of the original 102 (Equality was added later) are addressed here, though some are discussed over several chapters.
That is certainly a step up from "Six Great Ideas" (1981), and it is complete enough, well spoken enough, and well edited enough that any reader will be very well rewarded. The book does not need to be read front to back, and in fact you might want to read the chapter on How to Read a Book before you read any of the rest.
I suspect, however, that most will do as I did - flip through and find a chapter or section that seems particularly appealing (How to Think about Beauty; How to Think about Work; How to Think about Punishment) and start there.
Of course all this is my opinion, and Adler says that "Opinion is of the greatest importance today in business and in industry." My hope is that this one is helpful to you.
ME
My first encounter with Mr. Adler dates back to the seventies when I bought the Great Books of the Western World, a magnificent 54 book collection of basic works of the Western Civilization. His Syntopicon, part of the collection, is still most valuable in spite of the existence today of research resources offered by Google. I met him again when I added "How to read" to my personal library. The book under review, covering insights about the Great Ideas is an important tool for those who find in learning a most rewarding experience in their lives.

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