Most people aren’t aware of the Great Conversation, even though it’s been going on around them for their entire lives.
Truth be told, this exchange of ideas has been going on for at least as long as we have written records.
This great conversation is where the ideas that shape humanity’s understanding are being debated and discussed.
You’re not likely to find them in a textbook, yet the conclusions tend to shape what is taught in textbooks for multiple generations.
The term “Great Conversation” was coined by Mortimer Adler who helped to compile the Great Books of Western Civilization.
He used it to describe the ideas and ideals that were being examined by the world’s leaders at any given moment in human history.
They are the questions that shape our understanding of things relevant to every human being and society. Some of the questions examined include:
What is justice?
What is happiness?
What are good and evil?
What is beauty?
People who study the classics will find that the common questions that have occupied mankind haven’t really changed much over the ages.
This is because human nature has remained remarkably constant.
And those willing to pay the price to go beyond the superficial sources of information like news and entertainment will increase both their understanding and their influence.
Not only will life-long learners come to recognize the language of the Great Conversation when they hear it but also they learn to add their voices to it.
Hyde In Plain Sight is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.