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

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Aesthetic certainty

'A full exploration of Eliot’s critical opinions'

Lachlan Mackinnon reviews The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The critical edition, Ronald Schuchard, general editor, at The Times Literary Supplement

#Art

Christian Science?

'If Aristotle is to have "revenge" in metaphysics it will come from a re-characterization that illustrates the relevance of his thought to modern humanity.'

Review by J. Eric Wise of Aristotle's Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science, by Edward Feser Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2019

#metaphysics #science

Friday, February 14, 2020

Before You Read a Book

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1028), discussed this article by Mortimer Adler, originally published in Good Housekeeping, December 1940, pp. 32-33.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#education

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Finding the way

'The disputed concept of sharia', review by Malise Ruthven of Understanding Sharia: Islamic law in a globalised world, by Raficq S. Abdulla and Mohamed Keshavjee, and What Is the Sharia? by Baudouin Dupret, at The Times Literary Supplement, January 10, 2020

#law #religion

Friday, February 7, 2020

The Great Books

The latest issues of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (Nos. 1026 and 1027), discussed Mortimer Adler's article on reading such books, published in The University of Chicago Magazine in February and March 1940.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#democracy #education

Sunday, February 2, 2020

On the Kulturkampf

A "15 Minute Insights" audio presentation by Brian Kemple.

"The term 'culture war' was adapted from the German Kulturkampf: translated more literally, the cultural struggle.

"Does it make a difference if we speak of a culture war as opposed to a cultural struggle? I believe so. I believe that war is an inapt metaphor for speaking about culture--and that engaging in a war over culture results in victories not worth winning."

#art #dialectic #history #progress

Friday, January 31, 2020

Aquinas Leadership International Update - January 2020

Dr. Peter Redpath writes to update about some developments related to the Aquinas Leadership International (ALI) group, our affiliate organizations, and other groups interested in ALI’s work, including the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas.
---------------------------------

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DES!

Congratulations to our colleague, Des FitzGerald, who celebrated his 96th birthday on 18 January 2020! if you would like to send Des a personal birthday greeting, email it to me at: peterredpath@aquinasschoolofleadership.com with your email address. I will forward both to him.
  • With great sadness, we moun the passing of Czeslaw Jaroszyński, Father of our colleague Piotr Jaroszyński. Please remember him in your prayers.
  • The Philosophy Department of the University of Notre Dame is pleased to announce: 
Inauguration of the History of Philosophy Forum for the purpose of facilitating research and collaboration among scholars working in the history of philosophy. To that end, the History of Philosophy Forum (1) organizes an annual colloquium examining a philosophical theme across different periods in the history of philosophy, (2) hosts a Distinguished International Visitor each year, and (3) operates a “Small Grants Program,” supporting international scholars with research projects in the history of philosophy that could benefit from a short stay at the University of Notre Dame.
The 2020-2021 Call for Applications is now open for our Small Grants Program!  The program is open to all scholars working in the history of philosophy with primary affiliation at an institution outside the US. A poster is attached.  More information about the program, as well as a link to submit the online application, can be found at https://historyofphilosophy.nd.edu/grants/. Submission deadline is February 7th, 2020.  
More information about the History of Philosophy Forum and its activities, including the inaugural colloquium on the theme “Philosophy Throughout Its History” (April 2021) can be found at our website: https://historyofphilosophy.nd.edu/.
Also, contact:
Therese Scarpelli Cory
Director, History of Philosophy Forum
John and Jean Oesterle Associate Professor of Thomistic Studies
Philosophy Department
University of Notre Dame.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The revolution lives

'What the Bolsheviks learned from the French'

Daniel Beer reviewed The French Revolutionary Tradition in Russian and Soviet Politics, Political Thought, and Culture, by Jay Bergman, at The Times Literary Supplement.

"As Jay Bergman emphasizes, Marx himself had venerated the French Revolution for the same reason Edmund Burke reviled it: radicals had brought an entire country to reject the 'accumulated experiences, traditions and patterns of life that had existed for centuries'. But Marx also left Russian revolutionaries 'a diverse menu to choose from when it behoved them to invoke the French Revolution'. The more ideologically orthodox [Bolsheviks] stressed the iron laws of history and the dangers of political overreach before the conditions for successful revolutions had been fulfilled; others, of a more impatient disposition, insisted on the power of humans to force the pace of change."

#revolution

Friday, January 24, 2020

Hierarchy (redux)

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1025), discussed this article by Mortimer Adler published in Catholic Digest (October 1940), Vol. 4, p. 39, condensed from his commencement address at College of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota, see TGIO 1024.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#being #nature #relation

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Twilight of the Gods

'If we avoid mining his plays for punditry and sloganeering, the Bard may help us find answers to our own questions.'

Review by Spencer Klavan of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, edited by Jan H. Blits, and Antony & Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare, edited by Jan H. Blits, at the Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2019

#tyranny

Friday, January 17, 2020

Hierarchy

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1024), discussed this commencement address delivered by Mortimer Adler in 1940 at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#being #nature #relation

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

'How to Build a Friendly Robot--A Philosophical Novel' by Bob Kohn

Bob Kohn, a fellow at the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, has just published a book dedicated to Mortimer J. Adler: How to Build a Friendly Robot—A Philosophical Novel

An award-winning scholar and technology lawyer, Mr. Kohn presents a realistic courtroom drama about how philosophy, not technology, will keep humanity safe from the rise of intelligent machines. In 1994, Mortimer J. Adler awarded Mr. Kohn the top prize for his solution to a philosophical problem that lies at the heart of this unique philosophical novel.

The year is 2032. Audrey Paris, former federal prosecutor and now lead attorney for the A.I. engineering team at the recently-merged Google-IBM, is thrust to the forefront of the most provocative legal battle since the Scopes monkey trial. 

One of the company's humanoids is charged with murder in the second degree. Audrey moves to dismiss the case on the grounds that machines are not legal persons. The Department of Justice disagrees. Watson-5, the brains behind the humanoid, has passed the Turing Test and must be held accountable for violations of the law.

But Federal Judge Harold S. Gordon is not buying either argument and turns to Robbie, the humanoid defendant at the center of the trial. The two lock horns during a short, but ambitious journey over difficult intellectual terrain. But the exchange doesn't end well, and Audrey and the Judge find themselves in a race, not only for their own lives, but for the rest of humanity.

“The great ideas addressed by the novel were inspired by Dr. Adler’s Intellect: Mind Over Matter (1990) and his other writings on artificial intelligence,” said Mr. Kohn.  “And its presentation—the form of a courtroom drama—was inspired by Dr. Adler’s Dialectic of Morals (1941).” 

How to Build a Friendly Robot explores the depths of what leading scientists, like the late Stephen Hawking, have warned is the inevitable conflict between Man and Machine. Should a machine greatly surpass human beings in intelligence, what could go wrong? Are we doomed? Or can we co-exist with these super-intelligent devices? 

Technologists, like Ray Kurzweil and Stuart Russell, are optimistic: Safety lies in aligning machine intelligence with human values. But what human values? And how will the machines learn them? These questions are addressed by opposing forces in a vigorous debate that spans the domains of mathematics, technology, and philosophy. The setting is fictitious, a federal courtroom, but the ideas are timeless, and the stakes are gravely real.

They say that philosophy can bake no bread. This book sets out to prove them wrong.

Mortimer J. Adler, philosopher and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Britannica, once posed a philosophical problem: Explain the inheritance, or genetic transmission, of superior intellectual ability in some persons without asserting that the human intellect itself is material. Judging an essay contest for the best solution to the problem, Dr. Adler awarded the top prize to Bob Kohn, writing: 

"[Mr. Kohn] seemed to know best . . . where the mystery begins, what we have to concede to it, and what (by virtue of hereditary mechanisms) we do not. . . . [Kohn] showed “a gratifying familiarity with the Great Books of the Western World.” 
— Mortimer J. Adler (The Great Ideas Today, 1994).

How to Build A Friendly Robot is available in Kindle and Paperback at Amazon.

#man #mind

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Case for Classical Education

"The latest installment in an ongoing interview series with contributing editor Mark Bauerlein. On this episode, Sheila Byrd Carmichael discusses the state of K-12 education in the United States and the growth of the classical school movement."
Podcast by Mark Bauerlein at First Things

#education

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Saving Persuasion

'America's rhetoric problem reflects a wider cultural malaise.'

Review by Carnes Lord of Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric, translated by Robert C. Bartlett, at the Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2019

#rhetoric

Friday, January 3, 2020

Education and Democracy

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1023), 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.

#democracy #education

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Aquinas Leadership International Update - December 2019

Peter Redpath peterredpath@aquinasschoolofleadership.com provides this latest muontly update.


  •  With great sadness, we moun immediately below the passing of the great Fr. Leo Elders, SVD:
In remembrance of Father Leo Elders SVD 1926 - 2019, we report him saying, “With deeply felt gratitude to God I leave this life: gratitude towards my loving and deeply religious parents, my education, the formation at the gymnasium in Rolduc, the acceptance in the SVD, the science oriented mission congregation with devotion to the Holy Trinity and the Holy Spirit. In the SVD I have learnt to appreciate and develop my great love for St. Thomas. My priestly ordination was postponed because of sickness and I could study ancient philosophy etc. in Utrecht. After my bachelor examination I was appointed for the seminary in Granby, Canada; after 5 years an appointment for Japan and from there, after 12 years an appointment for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. Finally after 5 years in Rome, I was sent to the Netherlands to assist bishop Jo Gijsen in his seminary. I did this for 40 years”.
Father Leo Elders spent the last years of his life in Park Zuiderhout, Teteringen, where he died on October 14, 2019. He is buried at the cemetery of Mission house H. Franciscus Xaverius in Teteringen We appreciate your participation.
The family Elders and Confreres SVD.
  • At the end of December go to the link immediately below to download the Aquinas School of Leadership School of Economics Studia Gilsoniana Special Series Inaugural Volume: A Return to Pre-Modern Principles of Economic Science


Friday, December 20, 2019

Pride and paragon

Virginia Woolf on the life and work of George Eliot, at The Times Literary Supplement, originally published in its November 20, 1919 issue.

#art

Friday, December 13, 2019

Are the Schools Doing Their Job?

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1022), discussed this interview of Mortimer Adler in the Bulletin of America's Town Meeting of the Air, March 6, 1939.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#education

Monday, December 9, 2019

Creation and Imitation: An Analysis of Poiesis

The latest issue/s of the Center’s quarterly, Philosophy Is Everybody's Business (Vol. XXIII, No. 4, Fall 2019), discussed this paper by Mortimer Adler published in Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, December 1935, pp. 153-174.

PIEB is emailed to members.

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

#MortimerAdler #philosophy #poetry

Friday, December 6, 2019

Adler on Beauty

The latest issues of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (Nos.1019-1021), discussed a Fall 1980 presentation by Mortimer Adler on the Great Idea of Beauty.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#beauty

Monday, November 18, 2019

Aquinas Leadership International Update - November 2019

Peter Redpath peterredpath@aquinasschoolofleadership.com provides this latest muontly update.


● The Thomistic Institute, Washington, D.C., is now hiring a Campus Programs Coordinator. For more information about this position, go to https://thomisticinstitute.org/cpc-job-description


● Peter Redpath announces return to work with Brill Publishing.

Former executive editor of the Value Inquiry Book Series (VIBS) for Editions Rodopi, B.V. and the Brill/Rodopi Gilson Studies (GS) Special Series, Peter A. Redpath announces he has joined the editorial board of Brill's VIBS Philosophy and Religion (PAR) Special Series. Anyone interested in submitting a manuscript for publication in the PAR Special Series should email a letter of inquiry to: peterredpath@aquinasschoolofleadership.com


Friday, November 15, 2019

Everybody's Business, or, Reflections on the Future of Education

The latest issues of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (Nos. 1017-18), discussed this April 1979 address by Mortimer Adler at Wayne Stater University, Detroit.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#MortimerAdler #education

Friday, November 1, 2019

Which are the Classics? - 20th Century

The latest issue/s of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1016), discussed this article by Mortimer Adler from The Center Magazine, May-June, 1977 issue, published by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.

"Let us ... ask ourselves what twentieth-century authors and works we would nominate as joining the larger company of important books of lasting significance even if they are not inexhaustibly rereadable."

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#education

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Aquinas Leadership International Update - October 2019

Peter A. Redpath writes to update us on activities at ALI and other organizations

----------------------------
  • Our condolences go out to our colleagues at the Marcel Society upon the death of K. R. Hanley:Dear Members and Friends of the Marcel Society,
    With great regret, President of the Gabriel Marcel Society Brendan Sweetman has informed us of the passing of K. R. Hanley, former Professor of Philosophy at Le Moyne College, Marcel scholar, and a founding member of the Marcel Society. K.R. was 87, and had been ill for some time. In later years, she lived in Falmouth, Mass. Those of us who worked with K.R. over the years have fond memories of a very sincere, spiritual lady who cared deeply about her students, of stimulating presentations and discussions, great humor, as well as her complete dedication to her calling as a professor and educator. May she rest in peace.
    Her full obituary from Le Moyne College, along with funeral arrangements, can be found here:
    https://www.lemoyne.edu/News/News-Article/ArticleId/234
    At a later date, the Marcel Society will honor K.R. in a special way.
    We will inform you about this as soon as we receive the information. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Fundamental Psychological Ideas

The latest issue of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (No. 1015), discussed this article by Mortimer Adler published in The Institute Magazine, March, 1930. pp. 21-22.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Everybody's Business

The latest issues of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (Nos. 1011-1014), discussed Mortimer Adler's August 15, 1978 Aspen Institute address on philosophy as everybody's business.

"The end we have in mind—an end that we now recognize no longer motivates or guides our institutions of higher learning and that we must hope Aspen can achieve—is the restoration of what Aristotle called paideia— the humanistic learning of the generalist that is no longer promoted or cultivated by our colleges and universities— or, in other words, a program of humanistic studies that aims at the preservation of culture and the dissemination of it for the enrichment of the Individual’s private life and the fullest development of the human spirit."
.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#democracy #education #philosophy

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Who Decides Which Books Are “Great?”

"The concept of 'Great Books,' the historian Tim Lacy explains, developed in the late nineteenth century as an attempt to foster a 'democratic culture.'" Livia Gershon at JSTOR Daily.

#democracy #education

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Aquinas Leadership International Update - September 2019

Dr. Peter Redpath provides the following about some developments related to the Aquinas Leadership International (ALI) group, its affiliate organizations, and other groups interested in ALI’s work. 



Our condolences go out to our colleagues at the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies upon the death of Jesper Hoffmeyer                                               
Dear Members,

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that ISBS founding member and spiritus rector of our community, Jesper Hoffmeyer, passed away on 25 September 2019 at age 77.

We may be soliciting your tributes and testimonials about Jesper and his work at some time in the future. But, for today, the most fitting tribute that Jesper would have wanted, we think, is that you read some of his writings and continue his work in biosemiotics.

Kalevi Kull, President

Don Favareau, Vice-President

Paul Cobley, Secretary

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR BIOSEMIOTIC STUDIES   

See the link below to our colleague Kelly Fitzsimmons-Burton's 19 September 2019 Paradise Valley Community College Public Philosophy Lecture Series Presentation:
Topic:  "What is Public Philosophy and Why do We need it?"



 https://publicphilosophy.podbean.comhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4i_geQ9uiA&feature=youtu.be


Friday, September 20, 2019

Angels and Angelology

The latest issues of the Center’s weekly, The Great Ideas Online (Nos. 1007-1010), discussed this August 14, 1979 presentation by Mortimer Adler at Aspen.

TGIO is emailed to members.

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

#angel