Aristotle for Everybody or Difficult Thought Made Easy

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9780025031005: Aristotle for Everybody or Difficult Thought Made Easy

Dr. Adler's overall thesis is that in contrast to Aristotle's teacher Plato, whose ideas may be considered more abstract and esoteric, Aristotle was a "common sense" philosopher whose depth and uniqueness of thought made his common sense "uncommon." While Dr. Adler criticizes Aristotle for believing in the inferiority of women and supporting slavery, he nonetheless asserts that Aristotle is the best introduction to philosophical thinking and a philosopher with insights that are still relevant and useful today. Dr. Adler acknowledges that Aristotle's own writings are difficult for a layperson, and so the author decided to create a more accessible introduction to Aristotle's thought. After a brief introduction the book is separated into five parts. The first part is "Man the Philosophical Animal," in which Dr. Adler explains that according to Aristotle human beings are distinguished from all other animals by having the ability to ask philosophical questions. Dr. Adler also explains how Aristotle excelled at classification, and that identifying distinctive features of phenomena (what makes something uniquely itself and not something else) was a key characteristic of Aristotle's thought. Dr. Adler then divides the middle three parts of the book according to Aristotle's classification of three activities of a human being: making, doing, and knowing. "Man the Maker" focuses on Aristotle's views on excellence in craftsmanship, "Man the Doer" on Aristotle's ethics and his concept of moral virtue (both personal and political), and "Man the Knower" on knowledge (epistemology) and logic. The final part of the book is called "Difficult Philosophical Questions," and in it Dr. Adler tries to apply Aristotle's views to infinity, eternity, the immateriality of the mind, and the Gods. The book concludes with an epilogue listing the specific writings of Aristotle that Dr. Adler drew upon for his book so that interested readers can consult those works directly. -- Wikipedia

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Mortimer J. Adler
Published by Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. (1979)
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