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

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Powers of the Intellect: The Triad of Powers, Habits, and Acts

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1051), discussed this chapter from Intellect: Mind Over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.

"Existentially, powers come first, habits second, and habitual actions last; and in origin powers precede acts, and acts precede habits, for it is by the operation of our powers that we form habits."
TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#habit #mind

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Aquinas Leadership International Update - June 2020

Dr. Peter Redpath writes "to update you about 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.

"Finally, go to the link immediately below for additional information regarding upcoming conferences, and other announcements and events."


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Announcing a Call for Papers for the 44th annual meeting of the American Maritain Association
Location: De Sales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Dates: 18–20 March 2021
Special 2021 Conference theme focus: "Maritain and Questions about Freedom"
Some details about the conference:
As always, the AMA is also interested in papers on any topic relevant to perennial philosophy!
Please send proposals of up to 500 words that explore any of the above or related questions to Dr. James M. Jacobs at jjacobs@nds.edu by December 15, 2020. Presentations should be 25-30 minutes in length. There is a $250 prize and guaranteed publication for the best graduate student paper; this paper is to be submitted by January 15, 2021.
Registration fee is $100 ($50 for students.) Membership in the American Maritain Association is $75. ($35 for students.) We encourage timely online payment. Registration at the conference will be $125 ($60 for students

For more information, contact: jacobs@nds.edu

  • The Renaissance Society of America announces a Call for Papers and Lightning Talks from several organizations for Its 2021 International Congress
Location: Dublin, Ireland
For more information, go to: https://www.rsa.org/blogpost/1860861/RSA-Dublin-2021-Calls-for-Papers
  • Go to the following links for information from Carmelite Monks in Wyoming about their new ventures:

Monday, June 29, 2020

Liberal Education in an Industrial Democracy

This bonus issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1050), discussed this lecture presented a the Industrial Indemnity Company in April 1957, the third in a series of lectures entlitled Major Issues of Our Time.

"Compulsory adult education is a contradiction in terms, since anyone who is an adult should be responsible for his own continuing education and should engage in it voluntarily. Nevertheless, our society as a whole must do everything it can to provide the conditions favorable to adult learning, and to foster the occasions or circumstances that facilitate it; and it must do this not only through the agencies of government and by the use of public funds, but also by the cooperation of business corporations, labor unions, churches, universities, and by the use of private funds made available for this purpose by charitable trusts."

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#democracy #education

Friday, June 26, 2020

Serious Mistakes: About How the Plurality of Cultures Springs from the Unity of Mind

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1049), discussed this chapter of Intellect: Mind Over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.

"Why, then, are the cultural anthropologists and the existentialists wrong in their denial of a specific human nature and a common human mind shared by all persons regardless of the subset of the human population to which they belong and regardless of their idiosyncratic individuality?"

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#language #mind

Monday, June 22, 2020

Democracy’s Disappearance

Our students don’t understand what it is, so how will they defend it? asked Roosevelt Montás at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"Values don’t merely infiltrate education from the outside, as ideological add-ons, but are constitutive of the very practice of teaching. It is more urgent than ever for colleges to break the stranglehold of specialization on undergraduate curricula and to educate students with an awareness of what is required to produce an informed citizenry.

"The place to start is with nondisciplinary curricula that take seriously the history — both admirable and shameful — that gave shape to our political order. A few colleges have undertaken this task, designing common curricula that place disciplinary specialties aside and focus on introducing all students to the fundamental problems of communal living, the existential quandaries of being human, and the political lineage that has shaped Western democracies."

#democracy

Friday, June 19, 2020

Serious Mistakes: About How One Realm of Meanings Underlies the Diversity of Languages

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1048), discussed this chapter of Intellect: Mind Over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.

"There may be one and the same reality for all of us and human experience may have a common core, but is the mind, and especially the intellect, of all human beings essentially the same? Is there one human mind, having specific properties common to all members of the human species, just as there are common anatomical and physiological properties common to all of us? Or is there a diversity of minds varying according to the diversity of languages in use and varying with the diversity of cultures in which the mind is reared?"

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#language #mind

Monday, June 15, 2020

A Do-It-Yourself Liberal Education

Commentary by Charles Lipson at Real Clear Politics.

"Clifton] Fadiman and others, like Encyclopædia Britannica, which published the Great Books, revealed a great truth: With a little guidance, you can do a lot to educate yourself, and you can do it at any age. Fadiman’s Lifetime Reading Plan does that. The Kirkus review of the first edition captures its flavor well:
'[Fadiman] sees, in the books and writers he has chosen, the tools not only of self-enhancement but of self-discovery. … This is not a reading plan for the scholar, but for 'everyman' -- the high school student who can go no farther in formal education, the college graduate who has bypassed the treasures of literature, the average layman who is reasonably literate, but needs a refresher on things half experienced in the past.'
"'With its snappy introductions to each work, the book is 'a project that captures the imagination and fires the ambition,' in the reviewer’s words."

#education

Friday, June 12, 2020

Realtiy in Relation to Quantum Mechanics

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1046), discussed this Note to the chapter on What Exists Independently of the Mind in 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, June 8, 2020

Live Not By Lies

Essay by Alexander Solzhenitsyn dated Moscow, 12 February 1974, the day he was arrested and deported from the Soviet Union.

"So in our timidity, let us each make a choice: whether to remain consciously a servant of falsehood (of course, it is not out of inclination but to feed one's family that one raises one's children in the spirit of lies), or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect from one's children and contemporaries."
Index on Censorship, vol. 33, no. 2: pp. 203-207, April 2004.

#truth

Friday, June 5, 2020

Serious Mistakes: About What the Mind Draws from Experience

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1045), discussed this chapter from Intellect: Mind over Matter, by Mortimer Adler.
"Only if the other view [contrary to Immanuel Kant's] is correct, the view that the mind has no innate perceptual forms and no innate conceptual categories, can it be true that our mind-dependent experience does not preclude us from having knowledge of reality—of things in themselves through that experience."

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#mind

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Doctrine of Natural Law in Philosophy

This bonus issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1044), discussed this essay by Mortimer Adler.

"The maximum agreement among philosophers is found when you consider only their conclusions. The maximum disagreement, or at least diversity, appears when you consider their reasoning or analysis."

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#law

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Aquinas Leadership International Update - May 2020



Dr. Peter Redpath  writes to update us about some developments related to the Aquinas Leadership International (ALI) group, its affiliate organizations, and other groups interested in ALI’s work.
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With utmost sadness, we announce the passing of our Great Books colleague, Dr. James Stephen Taylor. For more information about Dr. Taylor, see the memorials honoring him immediately below :
  • Click on the following link for a topical index to the works of Mortimer J. Adler:

Friday, May 29, 2020

Serious Mistakes: About What Exists Independently of the Mind

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1043), 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 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

Serious Mistakes: 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.

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

#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