“Almost all of the philosophical truths that I have come to know and understand I have learned from Aristotle,” says Mortimer J. Adler. This easy-to-listen-to exposition of Aristotle’s thoughts about nature, human actions, and the conduct of life confirms convictions that most of us hold, though we may not be fully aware of them. This is because Aristotle’s philosophical insights are grounded in the common experience we all possess and because they illuminate the common sense we all rely on.
Philosophy is everybody’s business. It deepens our understanding of the knowledge we already have about ourselves, our society, and the world in which we live. With the proper guidance, all of us can experience success and great satisfaction from this effort of understanding, and in this, no better guide can be found than Aristotle.
©1978 Mortimer J. Adler (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This is a self-help book in the best sense of the term.... The Aristotelian wisdom Adler affords us goes far beyond anything all the Norman Vincent Peales, Michael Kordas, and Wayne W. Dyers combined have to offer. Above all, Adler once again demonstrates that philosophy, real philosophy, can actually be useful.” (Chicago Tribune Book World)
“Davidson has a wonderful voice. Far from common, it’s a genuinely erudite English actor’s voice. His sound is classy and classical.” (AudioFile)
I like to listen to audio books whilst mountain biking.
This is actually the first audio book I have listened to over and over (at least a few chapters 5 times). Chapters 12-15 (Audible's numbering) should be required reading for every member of human race. They deal with why we should live well, virtues and vices, making good choices. It amazes me, though it probably shouldn't, that Aristotle was thinking of things like the nature of love and friendship, family, government in 400 BC.
I also cannot say too much about Frederick Davidson, who has become my favorite narrator. He seems to completely understand the subject matter, which means we listeners are given a great advantage. He paces the text perfectly and puts the right emphasis on the complex parts which helps them sink in.
Don't be afraid of it. This really is an outstanding piece of work.
You either like Dr. Adler, or you hate him. A good experiment to tell whether or not you have a problem with intellectual hubris is to read one of his books and see how much it raises your blood pressure. He takes a very didactic tone, and if you don't like that, you'd better find somewhere else to get your primer in Aristotelian thought. Unfortunately, I think the choice of narrator may exacerbate this--the nasal tone with British accent and drawn out inflection may stir unconscious prejudices of snobbishness.
However, if you can swallow your ego for a few hours and listen to this book, you will be rewarded! It may even cause you to rethink some of your basic assumptions/ideas about reality. The chapter on logic and argumentation was great! (though, admittedly, I had to pause quite often to allow my brain to catch up with the various propositions, etc...)
I'm an Adler fan, so I admit my bias here, but I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dive into Aristotelian conceptions of physics and metaphysics, ethics, politics, and theology.
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