Humanities as a Way of Knowing

By |2018-07-24T20:51:48-05:00February 12th, 2018|

The philosophical roots of the liberal arts can free students from a life of slavery spent spelunking in the cave of ignorance, trivialities, and the merely menial… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Robert M. Woods as he examines the purpose and benefits of studying the [...]

Mortimer Adler, A Socratic Gadfly

By |2018-12-21T14:43:10-05:00June 28th, 2015|Tags: |

Reforming Education: The Schooling of a People and Their Education Beyond Schooling, by Mortimer J. Adler. Mortimer Adler has been a Socratic gadfly in the corpus of the academic world for about fifty years. Perhaps best known for his editorship of the fifty-four volume Great Books of the Western World series for The Encyclopaedia [...]

A Case for the Quaint: The Great Ideas Program

By |2019-01-24T11:59:48-05:00August 25th, 2013|

Robert Hutchins Studying and leading conversations on the Great Books for more than twenty years still produces that sense of awe and wonder, especially when I discover a new tool to aide in the exploration of wisdom.  Unfortunately, this excitement is often curtailed when I engage many of those within the academy. [...]

Are the Great Books a Repository of Truth?

By |2016-11-26T09:52:11-05:00March 8th, 2013|

It is mistakenly thought by many that the great books are recommended for reading and study because they are a repository of truth. On all the fundamental subjects and ideas with which the great books deal, some truths will be found in them, but on these very same subjects and ideas, many more errors [...]

Why Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles Is a Great Book

By |2014-04-27T10:09:06-05:00February 3rd, 2013|

On numerous occasions, Mortimer Adler wrote about the criteria that were used to determine which books of all the books written in the West would be placed within The Great Books of the Western World.  Contrary to confusion and many misstatements I've read over the years, Adler says it was essentially three criteria and they [...]

Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education

By |2015-08-31T00:26:44-05:00March 9th, 2012|

Mortimer J. Adler Although the title of this essay is “Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education” and although it begins and ends with a consideration of liberal education, its main concern is with the distinction between labor and leisure. This is so because I have found it almost impossible, in my own thinking [...]

The Invitation to the Great Conversation

By |2014-01-15T14:47:22-05:00March 2nd, 2012|

If I think about it, I am saddened that I received the invitation later in life. I wish I had received and accepted the invitation in High School, or college, or certainly graduate school. It was not all my fault, I was not told about the invitation until about twelve years ago. Since that [...]

The Communist Manifesto: The Big Picture

By |2016-12-06T10:17:14-05:00January 18th, 2012|

Of all of the readings in volume one in The Great Ideas Program, by Mortimer Adler, an introduction to the Great Books toward a liberal education, possibly the one that many would be more likely to skip and yet should read now is the The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. You might ask [...]