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
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Monday, May 25, 2020

Aristotle & The Ethics of Narrative

Walk the Line, by Lori D. Johnson and Melissa Love Koenig at the Social Science Research Network

Abstract

"Lawyers are storytellers who face tremendous pressure to persuade judges and juries of the rightness of their stories. Zealous advocacy has long been a touchstone in lawyering, but lawyers need to balance zealousness with candor to the tribunal. As narrative and storytelling have evolved in scholarship and practice as powerful tools for persuasion, lawyers can find themselves walking a delicate ethical line. The applicable Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not provide a sufficient framework for ensuring sufficient candor in the use of narrative, particularly when considering the cultural and psychological power inherent in stories. Thus, lawyers can find themselves sliding on a slippery slope into ethically actionable misrepresentation.

"These are not new problems, and the classics have something to teach modern lawyers using narrative to persuade. Aristotle addressed the same types of concerns in his Nicomachean Ethics and On Rhetoric. Aristotle discussed the importance of keeping one’s conduct within the 'mean'—to maintain a balanced approach to one’s life and practice. He also stressed the value of using good habits to develop a person’s character. Aristotle’s wisdom can guide a lawyer who seeks to be a candid, ethical, and still zealous advocate.

"Thus, this Article posits that incorporating Aristotle’s concepts of virtue ethics into the Preamble of the Model Rules will provide guidance to lawyers seeking to use legal storytelling in an ethical, balanced way. Providing lawyers with intrinsic motivation to behave ethically provides a more workable framework than adding additional proscriptive requirements to the Model Rules, particularly for lawyers walking the line between truth and falsity when retelling client facts through storytelling."

#law #rhetoric

Friday, May 22, 2020

About Philosophy in Relation to Common Sense

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1042), discussed this chapter of Intellect: Mind Over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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#mind #philosophy #sense

Monday, May 18, 2020

Why Aquinas Stopped Commenting on Boethius’s 'De Trinitate'

At the International Étienne Gilson Society, the latest issue of Studia Gilsoniana includes this article by Faustinus Ik. Ugwuanyi.

SUMMARY
"The article is an attempt to answer the question of why Aquinas stops his commentary on Boethius’s De Trinitate at question six, article four, whereas this is before the point in the treatise where Boethius gets to the heart of the subject matter. The author shows that Aquinas (1) decides to do so because the treatise cannot afford him the means of demonstrating the existence of the Trinity, (2) holds that, although rational explanations could be given in terms of proof of God’s existence, one cannot come to the knowledge of the truth of the existence of the Trinity by reason alone, and (3) concludes that, although we cannot prove the doctrine of the existence of the Trinity through philosophical demonstration, we can, however, show that this doctrine and other doctrines known through the light of faith are not contradictory."

#god, #OneAndMany #relation

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Extraterrestrial Intelligence

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1041), discussed Chapter 6 of Intellect: Mind Over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#mind

Monday, May 11, 2020

Romance and Socialism in J. S. Mill

Helen Andrews reviewed Hayek on Mill: The Mill-Taylor Friendship and Related Writings, by Friedrich Hayek, edited by Sandra J. Peart, at American Affairs.

# family #liberty #love

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Artificial Intelligence and The Human Intellect

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1040), discussed this chapter of Intellect: Mind Over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#mind

Monday, May 4, 2020

How Can One Individual Help Another to Become Morally Virtuous?

This bonus issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1039), discussed this essay by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#education #virtue

Friday, May 1, 2020

Is Intellect Immaterial

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1138), discussed Chapter 4 of Intellect: Mind Over Matter by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#mind

Monday, April 27, 2020

A wild & dangerous effervescence

James F. Penrose reviews A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution by Jeremy Popkin, Crois ou meurs: Histoire incorrecte de la Révolution française, by Claude Quétel, and Le Tribunal révolutionnaire: Punir les ennemis du peuple, by Antoine Boulant, at The New Criterion.

#revolution

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Aquinas Leadership International Update - April 2020

Dr. Peter A. Redpath provides this update on some developments related to the Aquinas Leadership International (ALI) group, its affiliate organizations (including the Center), and other groups interested in ALI’s work.


For those of you who missed it, and as a pleasant recollection for those who did not, go to the link immediately below to enjoy Andrea Bocelli's uplifting spiritual performance!:
  • Molloy College in Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York, has recently announced online teaching openings for adjunct philosophy professors to teach courses in Bioethics and also Business Ethics. Here are direct links to the postings:

Friday, April 24, 2020

Is Our Intellect Unique?

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1037), deals with this chapter of Intellect: Mind Over Matter by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#mind

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Physics Needs Philosophy / Philosophy Needs Physics

Carlo Rovelli at Scientific American.

"Philosophy has always played an essential role in the development of science, physics in particular, and is likely to continue to do so."

#philosophy #physics

Monday, April 20, 2020

Vibrant Vintage Illustrations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey by Alice and Martin Provensen

Maria Propova at Brain Pickings.

"In 1956, New York’s Golden Press — makers of the fantastic Little Golden Books series — commissioned the Provensens to illustrate an adaptation of Homer for young readers, and The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Giant Golden Book ... was born — a stunning large-format volume, sadly relegated to the tragic out-of-print corner of culture, but still obtainable used."

#art

Friday, April 17, 2020

In Search for the Truth on Human Sexuality

At the International Étienne Gilson Society, the latest issue of Studia Gilsoniana includes this article, "Is the Human Soul Sexed?" by Andrzej Maryniarczyk.

SUMMARY
"The author attempts to answer the question about the ontic basis of human sexuality: Is sexuality an indispensable element of being human, or is it just an element of human cultural diversity? In his search for an answer, he applies the structure of the medieval quaestiones disputatae including objections, counter-objections, solutions and responses to objections. In his discussion of solutions, the author refers first and foremost to the metaphysical method (which consists in pointing out the objective factors that ultimately explain the examined fact of human sexuality), but also to theological and neurological methods. The whole of the analysis is aimed at proving that the human soul is inherently sexual and, therefore, that being a man or a woman is a proper mode of the existence of a human person."

#man #soul

Monday, April 13, 2020

Nussbaum's Surprising Conservatism

Anthony M. Barr reviews The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble but Flawed Ideal, by Martha C. Nussbaum, at Modern Age.

"It is profoundly strange to interpret our founding documents and traditions in a way that grounds a natural right to life in prepolitical moral law but denies any claim to material things necessary to sustain life."

#justice #law #liberty

Friday, April 10, 2020

Maimonides and Aquinas on Divine Attributes: The Importance of Avicenna

Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University, from Maimonides' "Guide of the Perplexed" in Translation: A History from the Thirteenth Century to the Twentieth, edited by Josef Stern, et al., University of Chicago Press, 2019, at Philosophy Faculty Research and Publications.

#god #philosophy

Friday, April 3, 2020

Growing Old with Pleasure and Profit

This bonus issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1036), discussed this essay by Mortimer Adler.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#life and death #wisdom

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Philosophy During a Pandemic

Karl Marx, G.E.M. Anscombe, Immanuel Kant, and Seneca the Younger, at Existential Comics

#philosophy

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Aquinas Leadership International Update - March 2020

As usual, I write to update you some developments related to the Aquinas Leadership International (ALI) group, our affiliate organizations, and other groups interested in ALI’s work. If you would like me to include some information in a future monthly update, email me that request at my email address immediately below. If you have not received an email update from me previously, and/or would like to be excluded from future update announcements, simply email me at my contact address below. I will be happy to remove you from this list. 


Peter A. Redpath
---------------------------------
DONATE TO WCAT RADIO'S HELP DANTE HELP ITALY PROJECT AT:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/dantedi-a-newly-translated-and-illustrated-comedy
Good day, friends, 
A few days ago was Dantedi in Italy, that is, the first Day of Dante proclaimed by the Italian government as March 25 of each year. In the year 1320, Dante completed his work on the Paradiso, which was published the following year in 1321.  In this year of 2020, we're celebrating the septuacentennial anniversary of the completion of one of the greatest love poems Italy produced in a time of great plague and desolation throughout Dante's homeland. Next year in 1321, we'll be celebrating the septuacentennial anniversary of the poem's publication and of the death of its author. To participate in this celebration, Holy Apostles philosophy student, Daniel Fitzpatrick, has teamed with Vatican sculptor, Timothy Schmalz, to create a new illustrated translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. 
See http://enroutebooksandmedia.com/helpdantehelpitaly/ for the first canto of the Inferno
The two have also taken this opportunity to partner with WCAT Radio with the blessing of the administration at Holy Apostles College & Seminary to sponsor a fundraiser for the sick and dispossessed in Italy.
See http://www.helpdantehelpitaly.com to participate. A minimum donation of $5 will get you in your email twice a week a newly translated and illustrated canto and help you help Dante help Italy to restore stability to his homeland. 
Many blessings, and stay safe out there!
--
Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP
Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Vice-President of External Affairs
Africa LIFE Runners Coordinator
Holy Apostles College & Seminary

Monday, March 30, 2020

Soul Proprietor

Edward Feser reviews Are We Bodies or Souls? by Richard Swinburne, at First Things

#soul

Friday, March 27, 2020

How to Become Educated

This bonus issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1035), discussed advice from Mortimer Adler from July 1979.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#education

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

He Questioned the Meaning of Life. William James Answered.

John Williams reviews Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life, by John Kaag, at The New York Times.

#mind

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Trouble With Academic Prose

Dancing With Professors, by Patricia Nelson Limerick, at The New York Times.

"While we waste our time fighting over ideological conformity in the scholarly world, horrible writing remains a far more important problem. For all their differences, most right-wing scholars and most left-wing scholars share a common allegiance to a cult of obscurity. Left, right and center all hide behind the idea that unintelligible prose indicates a sophisticated mind. The politically correct and the politically incorrect come together in the violence they commit against the English language."

#education #language

Monday, March 16, 2020

How to Read Business Books When You’re Too Busy to Read

'About 11,000 business books are published every year. Here’s a strategy to get through the most important ones.'

Todd Sattersten at Marker.

"During my sophomore year of high school, a family moved into our rural southeastern Wisconsin school district. The two kids had been educated at private schools in the inner suburbs of Chicago, which was immediately evident by the books they were reading. The son was a year older than me, and his selections of Poe, Twain, and Fitzgerald were distantly familiar, but one day he entered reading Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book. You can imagine the number of times he was sarcastically asked, 'How do you read a book about reading books if you don’t know how to read a book?'

"I may have been one of the kids mocking that boy, but 30 years later, my view could not be more different. ..."

#education

Friday, March 13, 2020

Rivals without a cause?

Jan K. Woike and Sebastian Hafenbrädl on how 'Relative performance feedback creates destructive competition despite aligned incentives', in the Journal of Behavioural decision Making

Abstract

"Whether people compete or cooperate with each other has consequences for their own performance and that of organizations. To explain why people compete or cooperate, previous research has focused on two main factors: situational outcome structures and personality types. Here, we propose that—above and beyond these two factors—situational cues, such as the format in which people receive feedback, strongly affect whether they act competitively, cooperatively, or individualistically. Results of a laboratory experiment support our theorizing: After receiving ranking feedback, both students and experienced managers treated group situations with cooperative outcome structures as competitive and were in consequence willing to forgo guaranteed financial gains to pursue a—financially irrelevant—better rank. Conversely, in dilemma situations, feedback based on the joint group outcome led to more cooperation than ranking feedback. Our study contributes to research on competition, cooperation, interdependence theory, forced ranking, and the design of information environments."
(via The Economist)

#labor

Monday, March 9, 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020

What Is Basic about English?

The latest issues of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (Nos. 1029-1031), discussed this paper by Mortimer Adler read at a general session of the National Council of Teachers of English in November, 1940, and later published in College English, Volume 2, April, 1941, pp. 653-675.

TGIO is emailed to members.

At the Center’s website you’ll find information on how to Become a Member.

#education #language

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Philosophy of Realism

From the Editorial Introduction to Reality: A Journal for Philosophical Discourse, Volume I, Number I,
"The goal of our journal is simple: to reinvigorate an intelligent discussion about realism as a philosophical approach. By a realist approach, we mean not simply as pertains to theories of knowledge, but rather a kind of thinking that perfuses itself throughout all philosophical inquiries: all questions of truth, of meaning and purpose, of good, of human action, the political, the physical and the metaphysical, of thought and thing, and anything else about which one might ask, “What does this mean?'"

#philosophy