23 January, 2009

Mortimer Adler


Mortimer Jerome Adler was an American Aristotelian philosopher and author. He was born into a Jewish family in New York City, the son of an immigrant jewelry salesman. He dropped out of school at 14 years of age and went to work as a secretary and copy boy at the New York Sun, hoping to become a journalist. After a year, he took night classes at Columbia University to improve his writing.

It was there that he became interested in the great philosophers and thinkers of Western civilization and earned a PhD in psychology.

He continued to participate in the Honors program (today the Core Curriculum) which had been started by John Erskine which focused on the reading of the classical texts. His tenure at the university included study with such eminent thinkers as Erskine and John Dewey, the famous American pragmatist philosopher. This kind of environment inspired his early interest in reading and the study of the "Great Books" of Western Civilization. He also promoted the idea that philosophy should be integrated with science, literature, and religion.

1 comment:

Max Weismann said...

We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we are Encyclopaedia Britannica’s exclusive agent for these programs.

We have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos on the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost and are now available.

Three hours with Mortimer Adler on one DVD.

For those of you who teach, this is great for the classroom.

I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

http://www.thegreatideas.org/