“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”[Bold Emphasis Added]
– John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.
March 29, 2019
Education is the most vital component of an individual’s repertoire. Without it, the individual is like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly amidst the seas of life
For that reason it is imperative to make sure individuals continue to educate themselves, no matter what stage of life they are in. This is why the following list has been composed.
Each of the books reviewed below offer abundant wisdom from which to learn from. Considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be wise for individuals to take their own education into their hands.
The books below will help individuals cement a firm foundation upon their intellectual faculties and be able to extract the most out of life and their individual journey. If you wish to read more about the books, click the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.
Book #1: Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D
Out of all of these 7 books, this is hands down the most demanding one. That said, this book will net the most benefits because it couples into all the other subjects and areas of life, and well as each of your everyday endeavors. The lessons of this book will be useful every single day. This is because logic is employed in everyday life in one form or another.
Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics.
Book #2: The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
Historically, the Trivium was taught as part of classical education. That is no longer the case however. Because of that it is imperative that books discussing classical education as The Trivium be ruminated upon since the trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.
The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric. This book is a thorough presentation on general grammar (vastly different than what modern schooling teaches), fallacies, syllogisms, a solid logic introduction, enthymemes, poetics, figurative language , all with a hefty dose of examples from which to learn from.
Just as a house cannot be complete without a foundation, an individual’s education, no matter the age, cannot be complete without knowledge of the Trivium.
Book #3: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
The title of this book is a misnomer and many people overlook it because they ‘know’ how to ‘read’ a book. Reading isn’t the main focus as much as information extraction – getting the most out of the book, which is much more different than simple reading.
If there is one book you read, make it this one, that is because you read within every day life, and the more information we are subjected to, the more we will read. Knowing how to get the most out of everything we read, every article, every study, every book, every story and so on, et al., will only help you get and remain ahead of the curve.
This is definitely a must-read book. In fact, it would be a mistake not to have it because not following many of these tenets would mean an individual is only attaining fractional understanding of all subjects. The book really is phenomenal and highly recommended. It’s been popular for decades, and with good reason.
Book #4: Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
If you want an easy-to-follow introduction to philosophy that is accessible to everyone but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, ponder this book. It’s a very unique way of looking at philosophy and should not be overlooked. It is also much shorter than the previous three books above.
Book #5: The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
This book hones your critical thinking skills in a very incredible manner. Seeing the failure of modern schooling, one would figure for a public school system that continues to fail, one would figure critical thinking would be at the top of agenda to implement within public schooling.
This book is affordable, has ample exercises, uses a very logical and reasonable approach that builds on itself and is easy to follow. It’s complex enough, but not overly so. It’s a book that’s referenced often and highly valuable.
Book #6: The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
Now, this piece by Cioffi brings a fascinating and refreshing outside-of-the-box perspective to argumentation to boot. The author takes a rather unique approach I’ve never seen before, and one I wished was available in public schooling, but of course isn’t. The book covers everything from essays, thesis, creative writing, paragraph design, audience considerations, writing prompts, fallacies and more. If you’re a regular writer of any type, even if it’s not argumentation per se, I would still say this is a must read. Or at least consider it. As part of a homeschooling and self-directed course, this is definitely a must have though.
Book #7: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
And here comes the curveball: learning Logic through fiction!
This one’s an outside-of-the-box suggestion, but with good reason. Sherlock Holmes hands down is the best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form. If you have any suggestions to add, or better, I would really like to hear them because I am always open-minded and would like to read similar books in fictional form since it allows a reader to enjoy leisure time, while also honing the mind simultaneously.
Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case. Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read and is part of an individual’s robust cultural literacy as well.
What we as individuals accomplish in life, especially if you want to live life to the fullest, is directly proportional to what we know and are capable of. Without robust capabilities an individual is like a leaf in the wind, merely flowing aimlessly in the wind without chosen direction.
This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground. Without it, we’re only merely ghosts of ourselves, carrying out only a fraction of what would be possible within our lives.
It’s never too late to proactively continue one’s education.
Seek to better yourself, every single day; every single step, every single breath.
Seek to learn every day, from every person, in every instance.
Not only will that help solidify your intellectual faculties in an ironclad manner, but it will also imbue your life with more meaning than you could ever imagine.
After all, if we don’t continue our education, we surrender ourselves to self-chosen ignorance.
And who wants to do that?
Suggested Reading & Watching:
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
What Is Education? The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
Social Engineering 101
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors
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About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.