Of Mortimer J. Adlers works, this is the least one that I have liked. Partly written when this author was converting to an organized religion, his artticles reflect his new clouded thinking. Furthermore when he reflects upon pain and pleasure he is dead wrong. He separates the two as one that has neurological centers and one that doesnt. His articles provoke thought. However the thought is usually what mistakes he has made.
However dont let this work scare you away from Morimer Jerome Adler. His insights into education in the Paideia Proposal and Program are great, and his "The Great Ideas" seems to be the enhanced, original edition, with less flaws of Adlers Philosophical Dictionary.
I read this short book because it had helped me understand a few terms, and I felt i should read the entire book. I was dissapointed in Adlers impregnation of religious ideologies and it outraged me when he kept refering to consciousness as immaterial and supernatural, even though research in science is discovering more and more.
It offended me even more when he misinforms the reader that the difference between pain and pleasure is that pain is a sensation with nerve endings and that, and I quote "We have no neurophysiological centers of pleasure." Obviously the author has no understanding of how drugs affect pleasure chemicals in nerve cells. I first thought that this book was written several decades ago because maybe research wasnt available, but NO it was written in the past 5-10 years!
However his thoughts on government and other issues that arent as religous are good, even though he misinforms the reader a few more times. I still love all books and i dont give anything below 3 stars. If the author had taken by biology class last semster and seen my final project as a freshman in highschool about pleasure and the nervous sytem he would have been a bit more enlightened.
For the majority of humankind the world is a real place and we share common experiences. If you are one of the many who share this worldview than this dictionary will help you get a better feel for questions concerning everyday life. This is not a professional philosophers dictionary but an amateur one. We should all be amateur philosophers degreed or not.