A Guidebook to Learning: For a Lifelong Pursuit of Wisdom

Mortimer Jerome Adler, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $13.95 (163p) ISBN 978-0-02-500340-8
Adler passionately believes that most people, even those with college degrees, have not really acquired the skills necessary to explore the world of ideas. To document his argument that people are not systematically educated and that overspecialization is rampant, the author (Ten Philosophical Mistakes takes us on an A-to-Z romp through encyclopedias, card catalogues and university curricula. Such thinkers as Aristotle, Bacon, Coleridge and Spencer have wrestled with the problem of how to organize all human knowledge. The core of this challenging, if peculiar, ""guidebook'' surveys some 20 thinkers in two- to four-page sections. Adler attempts to provide tools to make the leap from information to organized knowledge and wisdom. His proposal to map current disciplines includes an ``outline of knowledge'' that helped revolutionize the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and an ``index of great ideas'' embodied in the Great Books of the Western World series. Philosophy is restored as queen of the sciences in Adler's scheme, and poetry turns out to be philosophy's handmaiden. (March 4)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986
Release date: 03/01/1986
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