Ten Philosophical Mistakes

Adler’s general argument is this: the important modern philosophers, beginning with Descartes, made certain errors which have had disastrous results for contemporary notions of the objects of consciousness, the nature of the human mind, the nature of language, of knowledge, of moral principles, of free will, and even the nature of happiness. Succeeding philosophers, especially Kant, instead of ferreting out these initial errors, tried instead to circumvent their consequences, thus in a sense compounding the errors. The errors were made due to ignorance on the part of modern philosophers of ancient and medieval philosophy, especially Aristotle and Aquinas. This ignorance in turn was due to the stultifying way in which the earlier doctrines were taught in late scholasticism, and also, no doubt, due to an over-zealous rejection of the past in the light of the new advances in material science.