How to Read a Book

ISBN-10: 0671212095
ISBN-13: 9780671212094
Edition: 1972 (Revised)
List price: $16.99 Buy it from $4.81
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Book details

List price: $16.99
Copyright year: 1972
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 8/15/1972
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 426
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Born in New York, Mortimer Adler was educated at Columbia University. Later as a philosophy instructor there, he taught in a program focused on the intellectual foundations of Western civilization. Called to the University of Chicago in 1927 by President Robert Maynard Hutchins, Adler played a major role in renovating the undergraduate curriculum to center on the "great books." His philosophical interests committed to the dialectical method crystallized in a defense of neo-Thomism, but he never strayed far from concerns with education and other vital public issues. From 1942 to 1945, Adler was director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, based in San Francisco, California. Beginning in 1945 he served as associate editor of Great Books of the Western World series, and in 1952 he published Syntopicon, an analytic index of the great ideas in the great books. In 1966 he became director of the editorial planning for the fifteen edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in 1974, chairman of its editorial board. Adler has been devoted in recent years to expounding his interpretations of selected great ideas and to advocating his Paideia Proposal. That proposal would require that all students receive the same quantity and quality of education, which would concentrate on the study of the great ideas expressed in the great books, a study conducted by means of the dialectical method. Mortimer J. Adler died June 28, 2001 at his home in San Mateo, California at the age of 98.

Preface
The Dimensions of Reading
The Activity and Art of Reading
Active Reading
The Goals of Reading: Reading for Information and Reading for Understanding
Reading as Learning: The Difference Between Learning by Instruction and Learning by Discovery
Present and Absent Teachers
The Levels of Reading
The First Level of Reading: Elementary Reading
Stages of Learning to Read
Stages and Levels
Higher Levels of Reading and Higher Education
Reading and the Democratic Ideal of Education
The Second Level of Reading: Inspectional Reading
Inspectional Reading I: Systematic Skimming or Prereading
Inspectional Reading II: Superficial Reading
On Reading Speeds
Fixations and Regressions
The Problem of Comprehension
Summary of Inspectional Reading
How to Be a Demanding Reader
The Essence of Active Reading: The Four Basic Questions a Reader Asks
How to Make a Book Your Own
The Three Kinds of Note-making
Forming the Habit of Reading
From Many Rules to One Habit
The Third Level of Reading: Analytical Reading
Pigeonholing a Book
The Importance of Classifying Books
What You Can Learn from the Title of a Book
Practical vs. Theoretical Books
Kinds of Theoretical Books
X-raying a Book
Of Plots and Plans: Stating the Unity of a Book
Mastering the Multiplicity: The Art of Outlining a Book
The Reciprocal Arts of Reading and Writing
Discovering the Author's Intentions
The First Stage of Analytical Reading
Coming to Terms with an Author
Words vs. Terms
Finding the Key Words
Technical Words and Special Vocabularies
Finding the Meanings
Determining an Author's Message
Sentences vs. Propositions
Finding the Key Sentences
Finding the Propositions
Finding the Arguments
Finding the Solutions
The Second Stage of Analytical Reading
Criticizing a Book Fairly
Teachability as a Virtue
The Role of Rhetoric
The Importance of Suspending Judgment
The Importance of Avoiding Contentiousness
On the Resolution of Disagreements
Agreeing or Disagreeing with an Author
Prejudice and Judgment
Judging the Author's Soundness
Judging the Author's Completeness
The Third Stage of Analytical Reading
Aids to Reading
The Role of Relevant Experience
Other Books as Extrinsic Aids to Reading
How to Use Commentaries and Abstracts
How to Use Reference Books
How to Use a Dictionary
How to Use an Encyclopedia
Approaches to Different Kinds of Reading Matter
How to Read Practical Books
The Two Kinds of Practical Books
The Role of Persuasion
What Does Agreement Entail in the Case of a Practical Book?
How to Read Imaginative Literature
How Not to Read Imaginative Literature
General Rules for Reading Imaginative Literature
Suggestions for Reading Stories, Plays, and Poems
How to Read Stories
A Note About Epics
How to Read Plays
A Note About Tragedy
How to Read Lyric Poetry
How to Read History
The Elusiveness of Historical Facts
Theories of History
The Universal in History
Questions to Ask of a Historical Book
How to Read Biography and Autobiography
How to Read About Current Events
A Note on Digests
How to Read Science and Mathematics
Understanding the Scientific Enterprise
Suggestions for Reading Classical Scientific Books
Facing the Problem of Mathematics
Handling the Mathematics in Scientific Books
A Note on Popular Science
How to Read Philosophy
The Questions Philosophers Ask
Modern Philosophy and the Great Tradition
On Philosophical Method
On Philosophical Styles
Hints for Reading Philosophy
On Making Up Your Own Mind
A Note on Theology
How to Read "Canonical" Books
How to Read Social Science
What Is Social Science?
The Apparent Ease of Reading Social Science
Difficulties of Reading Social Science
Reading Social Science Literature
The Ultimate Goals of Reading
The Fourth Level of Reading: Syntopical Reading
The Role of Inspection in Syntopical Reading
The Five Steps in Syntopical Reading
The Need for Objectivity
An Example of an Exercise in Syntopical Reading: The Idea of Progress
The Syntopicon and How to Use It
On the Principles That Underlie Syntopical Reading
Summary of Syntopical Reading
Reading and the Growth of the Mind
What Good Books Can Do for Us
The Pyramid of Books
The Life and Growth of the Mind
A Recommended Reading List
Exercises and Tests at the Four Levels of Reading
Index

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