- 25. University of Chicago
- How to Think about the Great Ideas:From the Great Books of Western Civilization
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These four principles are huge - I try to imagine what Somalia or Zimbabwe might be like today, if these principles were in effect there. Nature doesn't care whether we humans suffer or not, only we humans care. We have bootstrapped ourselves, via these principles, to an amazing level of comfort, knowledge and prosperity, compared to what might have been. Insightful, but I'd add one more Western characteristic: Christianity, in all its forms.
25. University of Chicago
Western civilization is not Islamic, Buddhist or Confucian. This fact's implications could fill books. For one, the invention of the printing press, WC's crowning achievement, was motivated by Christianity's desire to mass produce Bibles. Smelly, Christianity has clearly been a huge influence, but somehow it doesn't seem to belong on this list. If we make it essential to being Western then it would no longer be true that India, Japan, So. Korea, etc.
- The Great Ideas;
- Untitled Jennifer Bradbury Novel.
Also, it is result, not process. Of course, someone could say that my list is all wrong. How come when you write about The Great Books, Weismann addresses your post. When I do so, he leaves what is essentially an ad in my comments?
How to Think about the Great Ideas:From the Great Books of Western Civilization
As someone who owns The Great Books series, I agree with your sentiments about the merits of the ideas in the books. But I think it's a real shame that readers aren't given context and that we're expected to muddle through old translations or the English language as it was years ago and actually understand everything. The 10 volume introductory series is much more user friendly. I have a partial set, collected over the years in used book stores.
I also have a complete Harvard Classics, which does have some advantages over the GB. I suppose the annoying no-footnotes-or-commentary feature is part of the hyper-democratic idea that if you just put plain folk face to face with a great text, without the priesthood of the commentator intervening, something will happen. Maybe we should call it "literary protestantism"!
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Nonetheless, factual explanatory footnotes would have helped a lot. Also better translations, rather than those cheap, public domain ones that they generally used. I like your four points of Western Civilization.
I prefer editorial apparatus: cultural setting, footnotes, and maps. While the newest translations into English are not necessarily better, for my favorites of the Great Books I've gone on to find editions more useful to me. That said, I first encountered some favorites via the Great Books.
And that may be where I first grasped the scope of the Western idea itself. I too rather like some of those old translations. For one thing, when Plutarch quotes poetry, as he often does, Dryden translates it into something that actually scans properly and works as poetry. Your commentary is right on!
- A Little Book Of Poetry.
- How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization?
- Understanding Freud: Flash!
- The Red Priests Annina: A Novel of Vivaldi and Anna Girò.
- Take Up and Read: How to Think about the Great Ideas!
- The Leithen Stories (Canongate Classics).
- Smileys Caribbean Coctail Bible;
In addition to understanding the basis of Western Civilization these books help you become a better reader. Plus some of the authors like Darwin and Gibbon are actually fun to read. Yes -- Especially Gibbon, who is surprisingly entertaining. Another one of these books that's a hoot to read is Boswell's Life of Johnson, esp, the reports of the conversations between the two men which of course it the bulk of the book.
Johnson is the opposite of me in almost every respect, but as Boswell presents him he is gloriously, perfectly what he is. Agree with the argument. Western civilization is a large part of world civilization, already overpowering others, which should be studied and understood at school. I think everything will be accepted proportionally if we could strike a balance among great civilizations.
Post a Comment. It's not easy to think of anything more politically incorrect than promoting "great" a hierarchical concept books of the Western a Eurocentric concept world, but the Great Books project was basically a noble attempt to bring culture and world-historical ideas to the masses. The Great Books came and went, and both Adler and Hutchinson died believing that their lives had basically been failures a sentiment that Adler's son agreed with.
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The 25 Best Great Books Programs - Best College Reviews
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