The Alphabet Effect: The Impact of the Phonetic Alphabet on the Development of Western Civilization

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9780312009939: The Alphabet Effect: The Impact of the Phonetic Alphabet on the Development of Western Civilization
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Traces the development of the alphabet, compares Eastern and Western writing systems, and argues that the computer is reducing cultural differences

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This book has a message: the rise in the West of codified law, monotheism, theoretical science, logic, and individualism was fostered by the phonetic alphabet. Unfortunately, the message is not substantiated. Logan shows that literacy has contributed to many "Western" innovations, but literacy is not synonymous with alphabetas witness the Chinese, the Japanese, etc. Further, the relation between the alphabet and monotheism is obscure: both the ancient Greeks and the Hindus had an alphabet and many gods. Logan may argue that the phonetic alphabet possesses "logic," but where is the logic in a random list of alphabetized words: aardvark, abacus, acrobat, admirable? Yet many Chinese dictionaries are logical, grouping related words under the appropriate sign. Not recommended. Catherine von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook Lib.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780688063894: The Alphabet Effect: The Impact of the Phonetic Alphabet on the Development of Western Civilization

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ISBN 10:  0688063896 ISBN 13:  9780688063894
Publisher: William Morrow & Co, 1986
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