The Great Ideas: 102 Essays

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9780025005730: The Great Ideas: 102 Essays

About 45 years ago, Mortimer Adler sat down at his manual typewriter with a list of authors, books and 102 great ideas. He began writing in alphabetical order beginning with "Angel" and ending with "World". The essays, originally published in the "Syntopicon" (1952), were part of Encyclopaedia Britannica's "Great Books of the Western World", and were revised in 1988 for EB's second publication of the series. They are, according to Clifton Fadiman, Adler's finest work. Adler emphatically expresses how "The Great Ideas" is the "apt remedy for twentieth-century delusion, grandiose delusion in psychiatric terms." He explains, how twentieth-century people, though witness to dramatic discoveries and technological advances, cannot understand their achievements without seeing them in the greater context of the past 25 centuries. Adler portrays each idea as if the original authors, from whose writings he draws, were sitting around a table, deep in conversation. His synthesis is that pure; he can present major points of view on almost 3.000 questions without endorsing or favouring any one of them.

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