Education: The Last Great Aristotelian

Reformer Mortimer Adler concedes nothing to age or convention

Surrounded by the classics and a pair of typewriters battered from the writing of 15 books in the past decade, the director of Chicago's Institute for Philosophical Research bounces forward to greet a visitor. "I had two ideas last night," booms Mortimer Adler. This is not a man whose ideas run to trivia. His latest work, "We Hold These Truths" (Macmillan; $16.95), examines the U.S. Constitution, tracking the concept of "rightful authority" back to the Greek statesman Solon, then bringing it forward to culmination in the Constitution's codification of the world's first federal republic. The logic and progression is pure Adler,...

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