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

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

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

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

Synopsis

"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." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book can be read either as an introduction to philosophy or as a thought-provoking treatment of selected philosophical issues by a living master of philosophical education.

No contemporary philosopher has been so extraordinarily successful at encouraging philosophical thought and spreading philosophical knowledge as Mortimer Adler. The 52 chapters of this book are the edited transcripts of Professor Adler's classic TV series, The Great Ideas.

Mortimer Adler's name will always be associated with The Great Ideas and The Great Books. It was Adler who first understood that there are a limited number of Great Ideas which form the core of the thought of Western Civilization and the keys to the Great Books.

Heading a large research staff at the Institute for Philosophical Research, Dr. Adler spent eight years constructing a reference work entitled Syntopicon: An Index to The Great Ideas, a systematic and comprehensive inventory of the fundamental ideas to be found in the Great Books of the Western world. At first, Adler's team listed some seven hundred possible candidates for inclusion among the Great Ideas, but on closer examination over a two-year period most of these turned out to be fragments or portions of more inclusive ideas. These were gradually eliminated, leaving 102 irreducible and indispensable Great Ideas. Over subsequent years, Dr. Adler has found no reason to eliminate any of the 102, and the Great Idea of Equality has been added, making 103.

For his path-breaking TV series on The Great Ideas, Dr. Adler selected 22 Great Ideas which would be most suitable for popular discussion, some of these requiring more than one TV show.

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