The Four Dimensions of Philosophy: Metaphysical, Moral, Objective, Categorical

The Four Dimensions of Philosophy: Metaphysical, Moral, Objective, Categorical

by Mortimer Jerome Adler

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Adler's central thesis, in this concise, lucid survey, is that philosophy not only ranks on a par with science as a means to knowledge, but also claims superiority over science in certain areas, for example, in telling us what ends we ought to pursue. The prolific author of Six Great Ideas equips the armchair thinker with a road map to Western philosophy's peaks, abysses and abiding questions as he underscores the pitfalls to be avoided, and fruits to be won, in pursuing four distinct philosophical realms--metaphysical, moral, objective (i.e., understanding of ideas) and categorical (understanding of subjects). Adler's approach ranges widely, moving from ``disorders'' of medieval thought to the modern ``political illnesses'' of nationalism, tribalism and xenophobia. This invigorating introduction to how philosophy works emphasizes the importance of philosophical introspection in the lives of ordinary men and women. (July)
Library Journal
Adler's 53rd book is an introduction to such questions as ``What is philosophy?'' ``What are its relations to other forms of thought?'' and ``What are the structures through which philosophical knowledge is derived and validated?'' No new ground is covered, but Adler writes in a competent, nontechnical style that will be appreciated by the general reader, who is the most likely candidate for this book. Later sections of the text lean heavily on the topical outlines found in the multivolume Great Books of the Western World , published by Encyclopaedia Britannica. Readers unfamiliar with this collection, or with the supplementary materials accompanying it, may find Adler's text more accessible after examining the Great Books. For an alternative, readers should examine Thomas Nagel's What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy ( LJ 10/1/87).-- Terry Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec

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Meet the Author

Mortimer J. Adler is Chairman of the Board of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, and Honorary Trustee of the Aspen Institute. He has authored fifty books. He lives in Chicago.

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