The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1993-01-01
  • Publisher: INGRAM

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In this classic work, Adler explores how man differs from all other things in the universe, bringing to bear both philosophical insight and informed scientific hypotheses concerning the biological and behavioral characteristics of mainkind. Rapid advances in science and technology and the abstract concepts of that influence on man and human value systems are lucidly outlined by Adler, as he touches on the effect of industrialization, and the clash of cultures and value systems brought about by increased communication between previously isolated groups of people. Among the other problems this study addresses are the scientific achievements in biology and physics which have raised fundamental questions about humanity's essential nature, especially the discoveries in the bilogical relatedness of all living things. Thrown into high relief is humanity's struggle to determine its unique status in the natual world and its value in the world it has created. Ultimately, Adler's work develops an approach to the separation between scientific and philosophical questions which stands as a model of thought on philosophical considerations of new scientific discoveries and its consequences for the human person.

Author Biography

Mortimer J. Adler was the director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago and a member of the board of editors of the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Table of Contents

Author's Preface to the 1993 Edition
The Modes of Difference
The Question About Manp. 3
The Possible Answersp. 19
The State of the Question, Past, Present, and Futurep. 36
The Difference of Man
The Philosophers Give All the Answers and Establish Nonep. 51
Why Darwin Answered the Question As He Didp. 66
The Line Drawn by the Fossilsp. 81
The Laboratory Findings and Their Interpretationp. 99
The Pivotal Fact: Human Speechp. 112
The Pivotal Issue: Language and Thoughtp. 125
Resolution of the Pivotal Issue (I): The Negative Argumentp. 141
Resolution of the Pivotal Issue (II): The Positive Argumentp. 165
The Efforts of the Philosophers to Resolve the One Issue That Remainsp. 191
The Three Prongs of the Cartesian Challengep. 227
The Third Prong: From Descartes to Turingp. 240
The Future Resolution of the One Remaining Issuep. 247
The Difference It Makes
To Whom It Makes a Differencep. 255
The Consequences for Actionp. 259
The Consequences for Thoughtp. 281
Notesp. 297
Referencesp. 371
Index of Proper Namesp. 391
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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