Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The secret libraries of history

Fiona Macdonald on 'the places where writing has been hidden for centuries', at the BBC.

Monday, August 22, 2016

From the Center: Adler on principle; Bloom on Cervantes;

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • Mortimer Adler on principle as one of The Great Ideas
  • Biographical note on Herodotus
  • Harold Bloom on Don Quixote


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

I gotta use words

Mark Ford reviews The Poems of T.S. Eliot: Volume I: Collected & Uncollected Poems, and Volume II: Practical Cats & Further Verses, edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue, at the London Review of Books.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beating the bounds

Emma Smith reviews Shakespeare's Binding Language, by Emma Smith, at Times Literary Supplement.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kenneth Rexroth in the 'Examiner'

In addition to his books, including Classics Revisited (1964; 1986) and More Classics Revisited (1989), Kenneth Rexroth was a prolific columnist. His columns for the San Francisco Examiner are now all collected at Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secrets.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Analysis of John Locke’s Essay on Human Understanding

Karl Heintz, in this post at Human Action and God, links to a chart from the sixth edition of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The chart provides, as its title says, An Analysis of Mr. Locke's Doctrine of Ideas in his Essay on Human Understanding.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The 1-hour workday

Jeffrey J. McDonnell at Science,
"First thing in the morning is when I'm at my mental best, and when I'm still most in control of my time, so I now use the first hour of my day to write."

Monday, August 15, 2016

From the Center: Adler on war, cont.; Arkes on virtue;

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • Mortimer Adler on the cause of war, continued
  • Hadley Arkes on recasting virtue in regard to public life
  • On reading and longevity

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Peace and common sense

Alfred F. Bingham reviews International Dissent: Six Steps Toward World Peace, by William O. Douglas, and The Common Sense of Politics, by Mortimer J. Adler, at The Saturday Review.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ALI Conference Thursday Session 3 "The Foundations of Peace"

In this July 7th session from the 2016 Aquinas Leadership International conference in Huntington, New York, Session Chair Curtis L. Hancock, Rockhurst University, introduced Roberta Bayer, Patrick Henry College, who spoke on "Seeking a reasonable foundation for peace". Her brief summary is set forth below.

Video of the session is posted at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

"Mortimer Adler’s How to Think about War and Peace is a fine example of Enlightenment political thought. The book addresses how it is that a world federation might, through the device of reasoning about law and constitutions, bring about world peace. He posits that government is the cause of peace, and so a world government is necessary to world peace. It is a thoughtful book, and he is careful to address opposing points of view, but he assumes that human beings will be able to reasonably agree as to what is good for mankind.

"While Adler is correct in pointing to the 'modern' idea of absolute sovereignty as adequate for world peace, various analysts of the post-Kantian, post-modern world would argue that a world federation is impossible. The weakness of the UN is the inevitable result of a lack of a universal agreement about meaning. I would like to address the problem of how diverse and complex is the problem of dialogue and agreement.

"To that end I will discuss Elie Kedourie’s book Nationalism which deals with the post-Enlightenment rejection of reason as the foundation of government, so to show the difficulties that our contemporaries face in achieving some congruence of vision as to the foundation of life together. I would discuss how nineteenth century theories of nationalism undermine constitutional sovereignty and law by making the unconscious side of human nature the central fact of human life, rather than reason, thus race and language come to be seen as the primary bond between people, rather than rational consent to law."

The previous session was a Panel Discussion, Mortimer Adler on War and Peace, see this earlier post.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016

Perspective

J. H. Plumb reviews The Time of Our Lives by Mortimer J. Adler at The Saturday Review.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

From the Center: Adler on war, on poetry, and on Socratic seminars

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • Mortimer Adler on the cause of war
  • Adler on poetry as one of The Great Ideas
  • Biographical note on Aristophanes
  • Adler on conducting a Socratic seminar
  • The New Criterion on the future of higher education in the internet age


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Monday, August 1, 2016

Constitutional Officers: A Very Close Reading

William Baude reviews Seth Barrett Tillman's scholarship analysing the structure of the United States Constitution, at Jotwell

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Good Guy? A Bad One?

Eliseo Vivas reviews Bertrand Russell and the British Tradition in Philosophy, by D. F. Pears, and The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes, by Mortimer J. Adler, at Modern Age.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

ALI Conference Thursday Session 2: Panel Discussion, Mortimer Adler on War and Peace

Video from the Conference earlier this month in Huntington, New York, posted at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.


This followed the Introduction to the conference and the Mortimer Adler video, see this earlier post.

From the Center: Adler on truth; Frodeman and Briggle on philosophy;

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • Mortimer Adler on the pursuit of truth
  • Sixteen essays on Great Ideas published in The Great Ideas Today, the annual supplement to Great Books of the Western World published 1961-1998.
  • Frodeman and Briggle's critique of contemporary philosophy
  • Mortimer Adler at 79, The New York Times, November 15, 1981


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Spinoza still matters

Steven Nadler on Spinoza, excommunicated from the Talmud Torah congregation of Amsterdam by a writ of cherem 360 years ago today, at Aeon

(via Penny Parker at the Great Conversation Reading Group)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Invest Now, Pay Later

Edward C. Bursk reviewed The New Capitalists: A Proposal to Free Economic Growth from the Tyranny of Savings by Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler at The Saturday Review.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ALI Conference Session 1: Intro (video)

2016 Aquinas Leadership International conference, July 7th

Welcome, by Peter A. Redpath (Adler-Aquinas Institute and Center for the Study of The Great Ideas)

Introduction to Mortimer Adler on War and Peace, by Terrence Berres (Center for the Study of The Great Ideas).

Video from the Conference earlier this month in Huntington, New York, posted at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.


Update: the next session, based on Dr. Adler's writings and the video, was a Panel Discussion, Mortimer Adler on War and Peace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

From the Center: Adler on Science, and on Pleasure and Pain; Kagan on studying Western Civ;

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • Mortimer Adler on modern science and ancient wisdom
  • Donald Kagan on studying the history of Western Civilization
  • Adler on Pleasure and Pain as one of The Great Ideas
  • Biographical note on Euripides
  • The Classic Learning Test

Here at the weblog, added Omnivoracious - The Amazon Book Review to the Books and Ideas Blogroll in the sidebar.


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Monday, July 18, 2016

This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of

How can a reference work be "authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date"?

Nikhil Sonnad examines the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at Quartz.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

From the Center: Adler on ancient philosophy, and on physics;

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • James V. Schall, S. J., on living in the present
  • Mortimer Adler on the course of ancient philosophy
  • Adler on Physics as one of The Great Ideas
  • Biographical notes on Homer, Aeschylus and Sophocles
  • A guide to reading Plato's Apology and Crito
  • On the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
  • Peter Redpath's tribute to Mortimer Adler (December 28, 1902 - June 28, 2001)
  • The Idea of Freedom (2 vol.) as part of a Summa Dialectica
  • Jonathan Sacks on anger and politics
  • Great Books Quiz


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Friday, July 8, 2016

Mr. Adler on War and Peace

Norman Cousins reviewed How to Think About War and Peace by Mortimer J. Adler at The Saturday Review.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

From the Center: Adler on opinion, virtue and happiness, philosophy;

Recent communications with members of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas included:
  • Mortimer Adler on opinion and majority rule
  • Adler on virtue and happiness
  • Adler on Philosophy as one of The Great Ideas
  • Richard Feynman on teaching


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Friday, July 1, 2016

Whither the American School: II. First Principles

Arthur Mizener reviews The Revolution in Education by Mortimer J. Adler and Milton Mayer at The Saturday Review,