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RESCUED TREASURES: THE GREAT IDEAS Television Series

A Relatively Unknown Story about Mortimer Adler

by Max Weismann

The story begins fifty years ago in the San Francisco Bay area when an extraordinary educational event took place -- Mortimer Adler made his television debut.

Unbeknownst to most of us, in the years 1953 and 1954 Mortimer Adler hosted a live, half-hour, weekly television series comprised of 52 programs entitled THE GREAT IDEAS. These programs were produced by the Institute for Philosophical Research and were carried as a public service by the American Broadcasting Company, presented by (NET) National Educational Television, the precursor to what is now PBS.

Unfortunately, only Bay-area residents were privileged to see and hear Dr. Adler deliver these highly instructive and penetrating programs. Were it not for the forethought of Dr. Adler and his colleagues to film each telecast (as this was a time before videotape) they would have been lost. Sadly, since that time, these films have rested undisturbed in the Institute's storage room in Chicago.

Then the building that housed the Institute was going to be razed forcing Dr. Adler and his staff to move into the Encyclopedia Britannica head-quarters. Fortunately during this move, these films were found and rescued. I am pleased to report that Dr. Adler has donated these films to the Center as it has been his wish to make these films readily available as inexpensively as possible to you, educational institutions, and the general public.

The happiest ending to this story would be to carry out Dr. Adler's wish and release these programs while at the same time preserving these outstanding examples of our intellectual and educational history. To accomplish this, we conducted a fund-raising campaign to underwrite the cost of restoring and transferring these films to video. We are pleased to announce that the campaign was successful and has provided the necessary funds to produce this video retrospective.

These programs will now make Dr. Adler's work available to our universities, colleges, high schools, libraries, fellow citizens, and particularly to our young people who may not be aware of his important contributions. These half-hour programs are the perfect length for use in your home, office, classrooms, or discussion groups. The fifty-two (52) different program titles on twenty-two (22) video cassettes are listed below.

I cannot begin to convey to you how profound and instructive these programs are. Although television presentation techniques have improved drastically since then, it is the content of these programs that remains timeless and relevant to our world today.

1

SERIES ON ART
The Nature of Art
The Kinds of Art
The Fine Arts

   
2 BEAUTY
   
3 CHANGE
   
4 DEMOCRACY
   
5 EMOTION
   
6 FREEDOM
   
7 GOD
   
8 GOOD and EVIL
   
9 SERIES ON GOVERNMENT
The Necessity of Government
The Nature of Government
The Powers of Government
The Forms of Government
The Best Government
   
10 JUSTICE
   
11

SERIES ON LABOR
The Parts of Life: Sleep, Work, Play, Leisure, and Rest
The Distinction of Work, Play, and Leisure
The Kinds of Work and the Dignity of All Forms of Labor
Labor and Leisure in Pre-Industrial and Industrial Societies
Liberal Education in Relation to Labor and Leisure

   
12 LANGUAGE
   
13

SERIES ON LAW
The Nature of Law
The Kinds of Law
The Making of Law
The Justice of Law

   
14

SERIES ON LEARNING
The Nature of Human Learning
Adult Learning
Learning from Books - How to Read a Book
Learning from Discussion - The Art of Conversation
Learning Through Television - How to Watch Television

   
15

SERIES ON LOVE
The Nature and Kinds of Love
Love as Friendship; A World Without Sex
Sexual or Erotic Love
The Morality of Love

   
16

SERIES ON MAN
Issue About Man's Nature and Origin
Does Man Differ from Animals in Kind or Degree?
The Darwinian Theory of Man's Origin
The Answer to Darwin
The Practical Consequences of Taking Sides on This Issue

   
17

SERIES ON OPINION
The Nature of Opinion
The Difference Between Knowledge and Opinion
Opinion in Relation to Freedom and Government
Controversy, Freedom of Speech, and Majority Rule

   
18

SERIES ON PHILOSOPHY
The Use of Philosophy
How Philosophy Differs from Science and Religion
Unsolved Problems of Philosophy
The Conditions of Progress in Philosophy

   
19 PROGRESS
   
20 PUNISHMENT
   
21 TRUTH
   
22 WAR and PEACE
   

The entire DVD set may be obtained for a $395 donation.
The entire VHS set may be obtained for a $495 donation.
The entire audio set may be obtained for a $195 donation.
Individual DVDs are $20 and individual VHS are $30.
There is no additional charge for shipping.

Contact us for information about many other
video programs and audio books by Dr. Adler.