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

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Great Treasury of Western Thought - Contents

Great treasury of Western thought: A Compendium of Important Statements on Man and His Institutions by the Great Thinkers in Western History, edited by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, was published by R. R. Bowker Company in 1977. It sought to be the premier work among books of quotations, as it characterized the Oxford English Dictionary and the Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th Edition) in their categories of reference works.

As you would expect from the editors, the work is thoroughly organized. The quotations are organized in twenty chapters, divided into 127 sections. Its alphabetical Subject and Proper Name Index has over 50,000 entries. Its Author Index indicates any part of an authors work cited, and the section in which it can be found.

This organization is simpler than, but resembles that of the Syntopicon to Great Books of the Western World. The quoted passages in GTWT are fewer and generally shorter than the cited passages in GBWWGTWT does have the advantage that all the quotations are in the single volume.

As for readability, GTWT has 1771 double column pages, in even smaller print than GBWW, and weighs in at 4.6 pounds. You might find it a book your mind says you can't put down, and your arm says you must. As with GBWW, one wishes for the option of an electronic version with comprehensive internal links, and the ability to enlarge the font.

The chapters and sections are set forth below.


MAN
Man in the Universe: The Grandeur and Misery of Man
The Human Condition
The Ages of Man: Young and Old
Self-Knowledge and Self-Love
Honor, Reputation Fame or Glory
Human Greatness: The Hero
Woman and Man
Life and Death: The Fear of Death
Suicide

FAMILY
The Institution of the Family
Parents and Children
Marriage

LOVE
The Nature, Kinds, and Power of Love
Hate
Sexual Love
Friendship
Charity and Mercy
Love of Country: Patriotism

EMOTION
The Passions: The Range of the Emotions
Fear
Anger
Desire
Hope and Despair
Joy and Sorrow
Pleasure and Pain
Greed and Avarice
Jealousy
Pride and Humility

MIND
Intelligence and Understanding
The Senses and Sense Perception
Memory
Imagination
Dreams
Madness
Will: Free Choice

KNOWLEDGE
The Characteristics and Conditions of Human Knowledge
Experience
Truth
Error, Ignorance, and the Limits of Human Knowledge
Opinion, Belief, and Faith
Doubt and Skepticism
Reasoning, Demonstration, and Disputation

LANGUAGE
The Nature of Language
The Arts of Language

EDUCATION
The Ends and Means of Education
Habit
The Arts of Teaching and Learning

ETHICS
Moral Philosophy and Morality
Custom
Moral Law
Moral Freedom
Conscience
Good and Evil
Right and Wrong
Happiness
Duty: Moral Obligation
Virtue and Vice
Courage and Cowardice
Temperance and Intemperance
Prudence Honesty
Wisdom and Folly

POLITICS
Society and the State
The Realm of Politics
Government: Its Nature, Necessity, and Forms
Government of and by the People: Republic and Democracy
Citizenship
Despotism and Tyranny
Slavery
Classes and Class Conflict
Revolution

ECONOMICS
Property
Wealth and Poverty
Labor
Money
Trade, Commerce, and Industry Taxation

LAW and JUSTICE
Law and Lawyers
Justice and Injustice
Rights—Natural and Civil
Crime and Punishment

LIBERTY and EQUALITY
Freedom in Society
Freedom of Thought and Expression: Censorship
Equality

WAR and PEACE
Warfare and the State of War
The Instrumentalities of War: The Military
The Conditions of Peace

HISTORY
History: The Record of Events
Progress, Regress, and Cycles in History
Fate, Fortune, and Destiny

ART and AESTHETICS
The Realm of Art
Books and Reading
Poetry and Poets
Tragedy and Comedy
Music
Beauty and the Beautiful
Criticism and the Standards of Taste

PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE, AND MATHEMATICS
Philosophy and Philosophers
Science and Scientific Method
The Discipline of Mathematics

MEDICINE and HEALTH
The Art and Science of Medicine
The Practice of Medicine: Physicians and Patients
Health and Disease

NATURE and the COSMOS
Nature and the Natural
The Nature of Life
Cause
Chance
Motion and Change
Space
Time
The Universe or Cosmos

RELIGION
The Distinguishing Features of Religion
Judaism
Christianity
Church
God
Gods and Goddesses
Angels and Devils
Worship and Service
Heresy and Unbelief
Prophecy
Miracles
Superstition
Sin and Temptation
Redemption and Salvation
Heaven and Hell

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