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Online Great Books Podcast

Mar 17, 2022

In 1943, two University of Chicago educators, Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer Adler, launched a series of Great Books seminars with prominent Chicagoans.

By 1952, Hutchins had penned "The Great Conversation," an essay promoting the Great Books of the Western World published by Encyclopædia Britannica and intended for the masses. 

The Great Conversation embodies the tradition of the West that began in the dawn of history and continues to the present day— a tradition Online Great Books strives to keep alive. 

Both Alder and Hutchins point out that these books act as a principal instrument of liberal education. “Until lately the West has regarded it as self-evident that the road to education lay through great books,” Hutchins writes. 

However, Scott and Karl disagree on Hutchins' metaphysical judgment of the books lodged in his salesmanship. Scott says, "I think they need to be read because there is something divine and special about these books and they are edifying to the individual." 

Karl adds, "I think you should read the Great Books, dear listener. I don't think necessarily everyone ought to read the Great Books. More people ought to read them than do, but a lot of people can't read." 

Tune in to learn more about the substance of a liberal education. Brought to you by