Briefing Room

Adler on Justice

The domain of justice is divided into two main spheres of interest. One is concerned with the justice of the individual in relation to...

Adler on Law

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. The word "law" in the vocabulary of religious Jews, Christians, and Muslims means the divinely ordained law of the Ten...

Philosophical Mistakes

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. This quote is from a chapter on Philosophy's Past from Dr. Adler's book "The Four Dimensions of Philosophy." Hopefully it...

The Importance of Philosophical Reflection — Mortimer J. Adler

MORTIMER J. ADLER The knowledge we can derive from science and history, are limited to first-order knowledge by their investigative mode of inquiry. They are...

The Ethics of Enough

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Who has not said or heard someone else say "Enough is enough"? The statement is a tautology and, as such,...

Intellectual Power

BY MORTIMER J. ADLER The Aristotelian and Thomistic doctrine concerning the intellect asserts that the human intellect is an immaterial power, in contrast to...

Adler on the Conflict Between Reason and Emotion

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Dear Dr. Adler, We are advised to be governed by reason and not to let our emotions run away with us....

Adler on the Purpose of Life

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Let us begin by asking the purpose of the question about the purpose of life. What do men have in...

Adler on Capitalism and Socialism: Two Faces of the Same Coin

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. The words "capitalism" and "socialism" are of recent origin in everyday speech -- as recent as the nineteenth and twentieth...

Adler on Wisdom

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. In our common speech we call a man wise either because he shows good judgment in the practical affairs of...

Adler on Faith and the Will to Believe

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Belief in any religious community that has an articulated creed, the first words uttered when the creed is recited are...

Adler on the Social Contract

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. "Human beings and some other nonhuman animals are gregarious and are naturally impelled to associate with one another. But while...

Adler on the Term "Education"

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Education? The word is used so loosely that to talk about "education" without qualifying adjectives attached to it is not...

Adler on the Term “Education”

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Education? The word is used so loosely that to talk about "education" without qualifying adjectives attached to it is not...

Adler on Government

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Most Americans, I fear, do not know or appreciate the fact that citizenship is the primary political office under a...

Adler on Moral Responsibility

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: We praise people for being responsible and blame them for being irresponsible. A sense of responsibility is supposed to...

Adler on the Formation of Habits

BY MORTIMER J. ADLER, PH.D. Let me begin by explaining Aristotle's famous statement that habit is second nature. Habits are additions to the nature with...

Adler on Differences in Taste

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. That people differ in their tastes is itself an indisputable fact. It is also true that there is no point...

Adler on Sin

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: I know that it is wrong to steal, to lie, to murder. What does it add to my sense...

Adler on Courage

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: Courage is a much-praised virtue, but just what it is is not too clear. We usually associate it with...

Adler on Mathematics and Ethics

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: Mathematics and philosophy are twins born of logic; and mathematics is the elder for this reason, "as mathematics is...

Adler on the Goods of Our Lives

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: In our society we place a great value on attaining material goods. We tend to judge people by their...

Adler on Truth

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: I find it hard to define what truth is. Some of my friends say that truth is what most...

Adler on Knowledge and Opinion

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Question: Is there such a thing as knowledge, or is everything a matter of opinion? Our picture of the world...

Humility as a Virtue

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Religious leaders are always preaching the virtue of humility to us. It is supposed to be wrong to push ourselves...

On How to Read a Difficult Book

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. The most important rule about reading is one that I have told at my great books seminars again and again:...

Knowledge and the Pursuit of Truth

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Dear Dr. Adler: At best, it seems like we only ever have partial knowledge. How then, or when, can we...

Representative Government

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Since the object of your efforts seems to be involving more people in "The Great Conversation," here is a philosophical...

Common Sense and Philosophy

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. Dr. Adler often speaks of "common sense" . . . How does common sense compare to wisdom? Can a man...

Writing for the General Reader

by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. A word about myself as an author. I spent about thirty years in universities, teaching experimental psychology at Columbia University...