Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes

ISBN-10: 0823215350

ISBN-13: 9780823215355

Edition: 2nd 1993 (Reprint)

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Description:

In this classic work, Adler explores how man differs from all other things in the universe, bringing to bear both philosophical insight and informed scientific hypotheses concerning the biological and behavioral characteristics of mainkind. Rapid advances in science and technology and the abstract concepts of that influence on man and human value systems are lucidly outlined by Adler, as he touches on the effect of industrialization, and the clash of cultures and value systems brought about by increased communication between previously isolated groups of people. Among the other problems this study addresses are the scientific achievements in biology and physics which have raised fundamental questions about humanity's essential nature, especially the discoveries in the bilogical relatedness of all living things. Thrown into high relief is humanity's struggle to determine its unique status in the natual world and its value in the world it has created. Ultimately, Adler's work develops an approach to the separation between scientific and philosophical questions which stands as a model of thought on philosophical considerations of new scientific discoveries and its consequences for the human person.
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Book details

List price: $35.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 395
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
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.

Author's Preface to the 1993 Edition
Introduction
Preface
The Modes of Difference
The Question About Man
The Possible Answers
The State of the Question, Past, Present, and Future
The Difference of Man
The Philosophers Give All the Answers and Establish None
Why Darwin Answered the Question As He Did
The Line Drawn by the Fossils
The Laboratory Findings and Their Interpretation
The Pivotal Fact: Human Speech
The Pivotal Issue: Language and Thought
Resolution of the Pivotal Issue (I): The Negative Argument
Resolution of the Pivotal Issue (II): The Positive Argument
The Efforts of the Philosophers to Resolve the One Issue That Remains
The Three Prongs of the Cartesian Challenge
The Third Prong: From Descartes to Turing
The Future Resolution of the One Remaining Issue
The Difference It Makes
To Whom It Makes a Difference
The Consequences for Action
The Consequences for Thought
Notes
References
Index of Proper Names
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