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HOW TO READ A BOOK

A Guide to Reading the Great Books


by Mortimer J. Adler

ABOUT THE AUTHOR...

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born in new york city in 1902, Mortimer J. Adier was educated in the schools of that city and at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1929. He taught at Columbia from 1923 until 1930, when he went to the University of Chicago at the invitation of Robert M. Hutchins. With President Hutchins, he developed the Great Books program, helped to establish the Great Books Foundation, and was instrumental in instigating many educational reforms. He surrendered his professorship at the University of Chicago in 1953 to found the Institute for Philosophical Research, of which he is now director. He is associate editor of Encyclopaedia Britannica's Great Books of the Western World and, with Mr. Hutchins, editor of Great Ideas Today and Gateway to the Great Books. He invented and edited the Syntopicon, to which he contributed 102 essays on the great ideas of Western civilization. As Director of the Institute, he authored its first major publication, The Idea of Freedom, in two volumes. He has written many philosophical books, beginning with Dialectic in 1927 and including Art and Prudence, What Man Has Made of Man, St. Thomas and the Gentiles and A Dialectic of Morals. His works also include The Capitalist Manifesto (written with Louis 0. Kelso) and How to Read a Book, which headed the best-seller list in 1940 and has been in demand ever since.

 

Dr. Mortimer Adler - 

If any man in the world is qualified to write on the subject of reading, and particularly on the subject of reading Great books, that man is Dr. Mortimer J. Adler.

Dr. Adler is an eminent philosopher, a teacher and the author of a number of best-sellers including "How To Read A Book."

His knowledge of the great gooks of  history is unparalleled. Using the library facilities of the University of Chicago, I a project sponsored by the Encyclopedia Britannica, Dr. Adler was responsible for developing the revolutionary Syntopicon—the first index of ideas in the history of the world.

Just as dictionary indexes words, and an encyclopedia indexes facts, the Syntopicon indexes the idea on which western civilization is based—making it possible for a reader to compare the thoughts of all the great men of some 3000 years, on many subject, in a matter of moments.

The Syntopicon was developed at considerable cost in time, effort and money. The study which Dr. Adler directed took nearly eight years—a total some 400,000 man—hours of work—and cost over one million dollars. Producing the Syntopicon involved reading and rereading all the great books many times over.

One of the most fascinating conclusions come out of this study was the observation that our complex Western Civilization revolves around only 102 great ideas. All other concepts are subtopics of these 102 great ideas.


The Great Ideas

Angel

Hypothesis

Progress

Animal

Idea

Prophesy

Aristocracy

Immortality

Prudence

Art

Induction

Punishment

Astronomy

Infinity

Quality

Beauty

Judgment

Quantity

Being

Justice

Reasoning

Cause

Knowledge

Relation

Chance

Labor

Religion

Change

Language

Revolution

Citizen

Law

Rhetoric

Constitution

Liberty

Same and Other

Courage

Life and Death

Science

Custom and Convention

Logic

Sense

Definition

Love

Sign and Symbol

Democracy

Man

Sin

Desire

Mathematics

Slavery

Dialectic

Matter

soul

Duty

Mechanics

space

Education

Medicine

State

Element

Memory and Imagination

Temperance

Emotion

Metaphysics

Theology

Eternity

Mind

time

Evolution

Monarchy

Truth

Experience

Nature

Tyranny

Family

Necessity and Contingency

Universal and Particular

Fate

Oligarchy

Virtue and Vice

Form

One and Many

War and Peace

God

Opinion

Wealth

Good and Evil

Opposition

Will

Government

Philosophy

Wisdom

Habit

Physics

World

Happiness

Pleasure and Pain

 

History

Poetry

 

Honor

Principle

 

 

Reviews of the Magazines

 It is the only self-improvement book I have ever read that did not make me want to go out and start improving things by assassinating the author. It makes no empty promises, but it shows concretely how the serious work of proper reading may be accomplished and how much it may yield the way of instruction and delight. From "How To Read a Book" I have actually learned how to read a book.

·       Clifton Fadiman, The New Yorker

 "How To Read a Book" should establish Adler as one the most persuasive thinkers in the U. S. No mere manual of 'mind-training,' Adler's book provides not only the rules, but a pleasurable discussion and application of them. Probably few readers will be aware that its order and ease and luminosity are themselves products of an art known to Abraham Lincoln as to Aristotle as the art of Rhetoric.

·       Times Magazine

 "How To Read a Book" is written with such verve and vigor as to fill the reviewer's mind with the vain desire to quote and quote again." Since that is impossible with reviewer must be content with recommending. This is not one of those how-to books which beckon to a royal road that doesn't exist, or offer guidance to a goal that is not worth seeking: it is a serious and valuable invitation to an enrichment of personal life and an abler meeting of public responsibility.

·       The New York times Book Review

 These four hundred pages are packed full of high matters which no one solicitous for the future of American culture can afford to overlook.

        Jacques Barzun, The Saturday Review of Literature.


 ] 위로 ] Table of Contents ] Author's Preface ] PART I. ] PART II. ] PART III. ] Appendix ] Index ] [ About the Author... ] Mindmap (How2R) ]


 

 
 
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