A VISION OF THE FUTURE: Twelve Ideas for a Better Life and a Better Society by Mortimer J. Adler

A VISION OF THE FUTURE: Twelve Ideas for a Better Life and a Better Society

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Adler does end this scholastic treatise with a plea for world government--but he offers less a vision of the future than a survey of the Adlerian perennial philosophy (Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Mill, etc.). The twelve ideas, which form an all-encompassing conceptual grid, are work and leisure, wealth and property, virtue and happiness, state and society, government and constitution, democracy and citizenship. With dull methodicalness Adler glosses each of these dyads in the unquestioned light of liberal bourgeois values. He casually accepts Locke's argument for private property--whatever the individual removes from the common by ""improving"" with his labor rightfully belongs to him--without considering today's environmental ramifications or exploring alternatives. ""Only in a capital-intensive economy,"" he declares, ""can enough free time become open for the many as well as for the few""--untenable today, and historically. Adler's greatest weakness, though, lies in his tediously overschematized style, his need to underline the obvious: ""A reasonable modicum of play should be added, not only for its own sake but also to relieve the tensions of serious and intense leisure-work and to refresh the energies exhausted by it."" Newcomers to philosophy can always learn something from Adler, who provides, along with clear, step-by-step lessons, a mini-anthology of classic texts on his various topics. Otherwise: an uninspiring performance.

Pub Date: March 29th, 1984
Publisher: Macmillan