THE DIFFERENCE OF MAN AND THE DIFFERENCE IT MAKES by Mortimer J. Adler
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THE DIFFERENCE OF MAN AND THE DIFFERENCE IT MAKES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

How do we view man? Is the difference between man and animals a difference of degree or a difference in kind? Are non-physical factors in our make-up our true distinguishing marks, producing the proverbial triumph of mind over matter? Or do we really belong to a determinist universe, running along the principle of phytogenetic continuity, and governed like animals, by our instincts? As the computer age progresses, what will happen to traditional beliefs once the so-called Turing machine, or the robot, reaches a state capable of producing propositional speech, i.e., the ability to carry on a conversation Just like you and me? In the most intriguing study since Koestler's The Act of Creation, Dr. Adler brings these science fiction debates and/or philosophic dilemmas into close intellectual range, referring to all sides of his ""mixed"" subject, from Plato and Descartes and Kant to the claims of theology and the contemporary pursuits of psychologists, anthropologists, and biologists. Only a mind as wide-ranging as Dr. Adler's could present so thoroughgoing and tight a survey, or relate the latest concerns of Lorenz, say, with those of Freud, or examine in so cogent a manner all the possibilities the future holds for proponents of the immaterialist or materialist hypotheses. Dr. Adler obviously favors the former, and his implied anti-behaviorist bias is the only blot on an otherwise scrupulous book.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 1967
ISBN: 0823215342
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston