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Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Bringing to bear both philosophical insight and informed scientific hypotheses concerning the biological and behavioral characteristics of mankind, Adler explores how man differs from all other things in the universe. Rapid advances in science and technology and their influence on human value systems are lucidly outlined by Adler, as he touches on the effect of ...more
Paperback, 395 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Fordham University Press (first published January 1st 1960)
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Paul
Aug 02, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
This philosophical analysis of the problem of "human nature" casts a strong and rare light on one of the most important questions ever asked.

What is this thing called Man? In the first place he's an enigma, or, in the words of Jacob Needleman, "partly divine and partly an animal that reads." From ancient times man has been exalted as a being above all the other animals, holding mastery over the rest of creation by virtue of his intellectual power and his special relationship with God or, anyway,
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Rand
Aug 02, 2014 Rand added it
Recommends it for: Sapir-Whorf wonks
Recommended to Rand by: Raymond Dennehy
The rigor and precision of Adler's thought is certainly to be admired. However his complete disavowal of the mental and emotional capacities of non-human animals leads one to wonder if he were bitten by a baby chick at age 4 and spent the rest of his days sequestered in a library out of fear of the hoot owl outside. Such isolation breeds hubris much as mildew collects on an old damp rag.

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Caroline
Jun 22, 2015 Caroline rated it did not like it
At first I really appreciated the very structured and thorough approach this book took. However, as it became clear that Adler was not going to really question any preconceptions or common beliefs he just came off as pretentious and sophomoric. My one star rating may be a bit harsh given how long ago it was written, but a lot of this book is out of date and even the pure philosophy parts aren't worth reading.
Tom
Jun 21, 2014 Tom added it
Excellent book, but written with careful attention to detail, with rigorous intellectual scrutiny, so not for the casual reader. Better if the reader knows something of the questions Adler addresses, and understands something about how philosophical questions are explored.
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Dec 14, 2009 Erik marked it as to-read
Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Bibliography.
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Goodreads Librari...: merge request 2 19 Aug 02, 2014 09:16AM  
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Mortimer Jerome Adler was an American educator, philosopher, and popular author. As a philosopher he worked with Aristotelian and Thomistic thought. He lived for the longest stretches in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Mateo. He worked for Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Encyclopædia Britannica, and Adler's own Institute for Philosophical Research.

Adler was born in N
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