Antibiotics: Side Effects and Alternatives

KellyBroganMD.com
Dr. Kelly Brogan
February 20, 2020

We use a lot of antibiotics. For coughs, cuts, urinary tract infections, and many times “just in case.” You could be considered reckless or ignorant if you opted to not use them. “But you could die of a deadly infection that could kill you!” chants the choir of voices entrained by a system that sees dangerous enemies lurking behind every life experience.

What may surprise you is that the real danger could lie in assaulting your body with an “anti-life” (the actual meaning of the word!) chemical that could very well be a Russian Roulette of unintended harms. Some of these harms are so significant that they could change the course of your entire life as you know it. Given that, I bet that if you knew that there were effective, safe “alternatives,” you’d seriously consider them.

To make your own decisions about health, you must inform yourself. Informed consent around medical interventions involves exploration of the risks, benefits, and alternatives. In our reactivity, however, we are accustomed to focusing only on the promise – knock that infection out and feel better quick! – without any meaningful information around the full breadth of scientifically-evidenced risks and treatment options.

The Benefits

Antibiotics obviously work, right? Well, we are learning that our dogmatic assumptions about the sacred cows of conventional medicine may be leaning on a house of cards. Or a house of placebos to be more exact. The reality is that infections have a natural course with an inbuilt capacity for robust recovery, so we may be giving undue credit to antibiotics. This appears to be possible based on the published literature. For instance, this study[1] on rhinosinusitis concluded:  “…the risks of potential side effects need to be weighed against the potential benefit that antibiotics give to the patient. This is especially pertinent as usage of the placebo has shown to be almost as efficacious as using the antibiotic therapy, and also much safer.”

WIth rising rates of antibiotic-resistant infections (which have resulted from rampant antibiotic use), and fewer novel medications in the pipeline, it seems we are coming to a point of reckoning around our belief that the rampant extinguishing of life is a health-promoting practice.

The Risks

“Catherine, you have an upper respiratory infection. We aren’t sure whether it is necessarily bacterial, but you should go ahead and take that Z pack just in case…oh, and it’s unlikely, but it’s possible that you could be left bed-bound from neurological damage, develop a serious opportunistic infection, and possibly even a brand new psychiatric diagnosis like Bipolar Disorder. Hope you feel better soon!”

Microbiome-dependent risks

With the discovery of the microbiome, conventional medicine as we know it should have gone back to the drawing board. With the understanding that an inner ecosystem drives our epigenetic expression, ranging from nutrient production to metabolic health to hormonal balance to immunity and inflammatory response, the ‘body as machine’ model became obsolete. We need to better understand what makes a microbiome healthy and what hurts it.

So far, we have been left with many questions and few answers[2]. We have looked at super healthy modern hunter gatherers to try to quantify their gut health, we have studied the beneficial effects of probiotics, and we have learned that chemicals like Monsanto’s Roundup wreak havoc on our bugs. We have learned that the transfer of bacteria occurs well before birth, and continues throughout breastfeeding, setting the stage for adult health by age 2. And it has almost become common knowledge that the indiscriminate killing of bacteria through the use of antibiotics may come with a cost. But will the cost really be anything more than a yeast infection or a bout of diarrhea?

Perhaps. We have ample evidence that antibiotics take out the “good” with the “bad” bacteria and leave a trail of imbalance that leaves the patient more vulnerable[3]. A 2017 review[4] references the increased risk of foodborne infection, including antibiotic-resistant strains, in those who took antibiotics during travel, with unpredictable recovery rates that seem to get dismally worse with repeated antibiotic exposure:

Even short antibiotic exposures disrupt the gut microbiome up to a year or more, and repeated exposures appear to attenuate recovery from ever occurring.”

Similarly, up to a one-third reduction in biome diversity can persist longer than 6 months, even after one short course of the popularly-dispensed antibiotic, Cipro.[5] This decrease in diversity can, itself, be a precursor to new illness. For instance, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of several chronic illnesses associated with low levels of beneficial bacteria[6]. Dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria) is also a precursor to autoimmunity,[7] obesity, and weight gain[8].

Yeah, we all should be using less antibiotics – but what if we have to take an antibiotic? Then can’t we just take a probiotic afterward?

There is, unfortunately, scant evidence to support this seemingly logical integrative medicine practice. While hamster studies suggest recovery of damage is possible[9], the broad spectrum of antibiotic effects and probiotic options makes personalization of this support method challenging. Most probiotics contain only a few bacterial species, and our gut contains thousands.

Microbiome-independent risks

As if that weren’t enough to slow your pace to the CVS pharmacy counter, there is a growing body of literature focused on the non-microbiome-based risks of antibiotics. From slowed fracture healing[10] to acute liver injury[11], antibiotics have effects at the cellular level beyond simply inducing dysbiosis. These include changes in up to 87% of gut metabolites[12] functional in the gut, injury and destruction of mitochondria (the energy centers of the cell), and damage to gut tissue.

Of significant interest to me are the known and well-documented psychiatric risks of antibiotics. I imagine there are few patients consented for acute onset psychosis or suicidality before being prescribed an antibiotic. An excellent 2017 review by Zareifopoulos and Panayiotakopoulos[13] suggests that patients should be told of these risks including irritability, confusion, encephalopathy, suicidality, psychosis, and mania. These researchers conclude:

“The neuropsychiatric effects of antimicrobial drugs are extensively documented in the literature. A number of antimicrobial drugs have the potential to exert CNS effects and many are associated with stimulant, psychotomimetic and epileptogenic properties, mediated by GABA antagonism (beta-lactams, quinolones and clarithromycin), NMDA agonism (D-cycloserine, aminoglycosides, and perhaps quinolones), MAO inhibition (linezolid, metronidazole and isoniazid weakly) as well as more exotic mechanisms, as in the case of trimethoprim, isoniazid, ethambutol, rifampicin and the tetracyclines.”

In fact, the term ‘antibiomania’ has been coined around the potential for antibiotics to induce manic symptoms. In a recent review, two-thirds of the mania-inductions were in male subjects[14]. The resolution of acute-onset mania with charcoal suggests that these psychiatric risks may be both microbiome-dependent and independent. Relatedly, data suggests that there is a dose-dependent risk of new-onset depression; the higher the antibiotic exposure, the higher the risk of depression[15].

If you don’t know to connect these dots, then you could end up believing that your “mental illness” is an entirely new diagnosis requiring lifelong treatment.

The Alternatives

Fortunately, many alternative strategies exist that resolve bacterial imbalances without the side effects of pharmaceutical antibiotics. Even better – many of the plant-derived therapies can be easily incorporated in your everyday meals as a tasty preventative approach to resiliancey.

Colloidal Silver

Also called silver nanoparticles, colloidal silver has been used for over 2,000 years to resolve bacterial infections[16]. As such, silver is commonly used in intravenous catheters, dental fillings, wound dressings, and bone implants[17]. Though the exact antimicrobial mechanisms are still debated, colloidal silver generally works by damaging the cell membranes of pathogenic bacteria. Depending on the surface charge of the silver nanoparticles and the type of bacteria, bacteria can be killed by the formation of free radicals, accumulation of nanoparticles in bacterial cell walls, or depletion of cell membrane components[18]. Colloidal silver is effective both as a topical treatment for skin infections, like MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)[19], as well as an oral antibiotic[20].

Botanical Herbs

For centuries, botanical herbs have been used as antibiotics. Since there are countless herbal remedies for various types of infections[21],[22],[23], I’ll just list a few common herbs that have been validated by modern research. For example, the herb Inula helenium, also called elecampane, was shown to be 100% effective against 200 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as “staph infection”).[24] Similarly, a study that evaluated Alpinia galanga, a plant in the ginger family that has been traditionally used in Asian countries, found that this herb was effective against Salmonella typhi and E. coli, as well as against other drug-resistant bacterial strains.[25] Extract from Nigella sativa, a flowering plant native to south Asia, kills MRSA,[26] while cinnamon and oregano are potent selective antibiotics against many drug-resistant species[27]. Similarly, easy-to-find spices like cumin[28] and rosemary[29] are powerful antimicrobials, as are child-friendly options like elderberry[30],[31]. Many high-quality herbal products combine evidence-based herbs such as oregano[32],[33], echinacea[34],[35],[36], and goldenseal[37],[38],[39] into an effective immune support formula.

Probiotics

A great way to prevent imbalances from making you sick is by strengthening your beneficial bacteria, also called probiotics. Incorporating probiotics improve your metabolic and immune functioning while also crowding out pathogenic bacteria. Probiotics can resolve bacterial infections ranging from oral gingivitis[40] to H. pylori-mediated gastric infections[41] to bacterial vaginosis[42]. As one of the earliest and richest sources of probiotics is breastmilk, it isn’t surprising that breastmilk probiotics have been shown superior to antibiotics to treat mastitis, a common infection during lactation[43] (just another reason to breastfeed!). I recommend that people get probiotics through fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut[44], as these contain many more complementary bacterial strains than supplements for daily prevention.

Garlic

‘Let food be thy medicine,’ decreed Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine – and he would have ranked garlic as one of the most medicinal foods. Numerous studies have shown the antimicrobial effects of garlic, including a report in which researchers tested garlic-water against 133 multidrug-resistant species, showing remarkable antimicrobial properties[45]. A randomized controlled clinical trial showed that garlic was more effective than a standard antibiotic, metronidazole, for bacterial vaginosis. Authors remarked that garlic provided both increased therapeutic efficacy as well as decreased side effects[46]. Garlic is an effective treatment for stomach infections caused by H. pylori[47] and C. difficile,[48] as well as for pneumonia[49] and other lung infections[50]. Amazingly, consuming garlic not only protects against bacterial infections, but also lowers blood pressure[51],[52], stabilizes blood sugar[53], and decreases cancer risk.[54]

Manuka Honey

Raw Manuka honey is one of the tastiest ways to stay healthy. This honey comes from bees in New Zealand who pollinate the Manuka bush, and it has been used for thousands of years by various cultures to promote wellness. This high-antioxidant golden honey is a popular ingredient in high-end skin care products, as it is broadly anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial[55]. Inside the body, manuka honey can cure antibiotic-resistant C. difficile infection[56],[57], Strep throat[58],[59], urinary tract infections[60], and MRSA[61]. A bonus of eating honey is that it can include propolis, a mixture of bee saliva and wax known as “bee glue,” which contains over 300 therapeutic compounds that fight cancer[62],[63] as well as harmful bacteria[64],[65].

Here is where I recommend purchasing high quality supplements.

Make a Truce

It requires a mindset shift to stop fighting. Stop fighting each other, stop fighting nature, and stop fighting our own bodies. We need to break out of our patterned programs of control and domination and understand that this only strengthens our perceived enemies. We need to reconnect to the sacred complexity of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding as the origin of our health resiliency rather than a time to throw pharmaceuticals into the black box of undisclosed risks. The microbiome itself has taught us – through the poetry of biology – that we are inextricably connected to and dependent upon the web of the natural world. And that it is not possible to simply pull one thread of that web while leaving the rest of it intact. Remember that symptoms give us an opportunity, and perhaps the next time you have an antibiotic prescription dancing in your sights, you might see what it feels like to bring your body love and support rather than the detonation of grenades.

Visit the research dashboard on greenmedinfo.com to do your own exploration of risks, benefits, and alternatives to conventional pharmaceuticals. 

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25756071
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831151/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831151/table/Tab1/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28520993
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19018661
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12583961
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15158604
[8] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7122/abs/nature05414.html
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28529928
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15688263
[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22891208
[12] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043661812001661
[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28197902
[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28550767
[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26580313
[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17379174
[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18372271
[20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18854209
[21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27899152
[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030608/
[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28377931
[24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20095126
[25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501283
[26] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19610522
[28] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20548937
[29] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17900043
[30] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28198157
[31] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25395702
[32] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27994215
[33] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27051475
[34] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19748859
[35] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16398593
[36] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9043936
[37] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22814821
[39] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11509983
[40] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27829746
[41] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22452604
[42] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16697231
[43] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20455694
[44] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18979556
[45] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15383227
[46] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166107/#A19118R8
[47] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27761418
[48] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28489336
[49] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12602248
[50] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16339933
[51] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25837272
[52] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24035939
[53] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26693740
[54] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21473867
[55] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28474502
[56] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28417271
[57] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257905
[58] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22294681
[59] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23043914
[60] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27787156
[61] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28438282
[62] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28472978
[63] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28358699
[64] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28358806
[65] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28603105

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© Kelly Brogan MD. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Kelly Brogan MD. For more articles, sign up for the newsletter at kellybroganmd.com.”
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Kelly Brogan, MD

Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a Manhattan-based holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. View full bio. Want to share this article on your own blog? View our reposting guidelines.

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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression & How Women Can Heal Their Bodies To Reclaim Their Lives by Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D. & Kristin Loberg
Psycho Neuro-Iimmuology – Uncovering The Roots Of Mental Illness
Drugs, The Illegality Of Healing & Pharmageddon
Dr. Belisa Vranich On The Intricacies Of Breathing [Video]
The Dark Side Of Food [Video]
Cancer Is Serious Business – Burzynski [Documentary]
The World According To Monsanto [Documentary]
Thimerosal – Let The Science Speak – The Evidence Supporting The Immediate Removal Of
Depression Most Likely Not Caused By Genetics

 

 

 

 

13 Great Reasons To Study Logic

“Raising the level of logic and understanding is an extremely worthwhile activity, and it benefits those who can grasp the essentials.”
– Jon Rappoport, The Fallacy Of Circular Reasoning: A Vast Infection In Public Discourse

“Logic and analysis keeps you from being sent down wrong roads, keeps you from buying official reality. Logic also reminds you that you have a mind. Logic is a road that can take you deeper and deeper into more fallacies that underpin organized society and its branches of knowledge. Logic tells you there are always more fundamental questions to ask and answer. There are levels of lies. The deeper you go, the more confident you become. The more powerful. Logic also lets you know when you’re projecting basic pre-judgments over a whole landscape and neglecting to look at the details.”
– Jon Rappoport

ScreenHunter_1216 Dec. 15 09.15

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 16, 2020

In an age where the public dumbing down of the population is reaching new lows, a mindful, thorough and proactive approach to an individual’s self-directed education is vitally needed.  A great tool to help that helps accomplish this type of self-directed learning, or learning in general, is Logic.

Throughout most of History, Logic has been a component of the Trivium, which entails Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.  Public schooling used to teach the Trivium in the past as part of a much more robust academic curriculum, but such is not the case anymore. This outright stripping of core components of classical education is one of the incisive reasons why public education has become so dismal.

In A Different Kind Of Teacher, the late John Taylor Gatto, who was an award winning lifelong teacher of exemplary virtue and respect, bluntly states that the school system keeps failing us because:

Schools were designed by Horace Mann, E.L. Thorndike, and others to be instruments of scientific management of a mass populationSchools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlledTo a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

In other words, school system is about social engineering the masses towards robotic-like predictable behaviour, and not producing critically thinking well-rounded educated individuals.

In the same vein, outspoken critic of our dwindling education system, Professor Patrick Deneen, shared in his landmark piece, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture:

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings.”[2][Emphasis Added]

As clear as one can see the sun setting, one can also see that it isn’t by accident that the school system has reached the state of decline it has.

Coming to terms with this, what’s an individual to do?  Individuals need to return to the core concepts that were integral components of education over a century ago, and there is no better place to begin but in the realm of Logic.

But you might be asking: why is Logic so vital?

To answer this, let’s delve into the words of Jon Rappoport [NoMoreFakeNews.com], that home in on the matter:

Logic and analysis keeps you from being sent down wrong roads, keeps you from buying official reality. Logic also reminds you that you have a mind. Logic is a road that can take you deeper and deeper into more basic fallacies that underpin organized society and its branches of knowledge. Logic tells you there are always more fundamental questions to ask and answer. There are levels of lies. The deeper you go, the more confident you become. The more powerful. Logic also lets you know when you’re projecting basic pre-judgments over a whole landscape and neglecting to look at the details.”[Jon Rappoport][Bold & Italic Emphasis Added]

To further buttress our foray into why Logic is so crucial, let’s take a look at the work of Philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D.  Kreeft, in his extraordinary book called Socratic Logic outlines the many reasons why Logic is crucial to an individual’s growth.

Kreeft minces no words in stating that in the past, most students were privy to was called “the old logic”.  Due to this, those individuals were much better prepared to “think, read, write, organize, and argue much better than they can today”.[3]

Getting back to classical education, which employed The Trivium – with Logic as one of its anchoring components – is what will ultimately help individuals breakaway from the downward avalanche public schooling is undertaking.

Below follow salient reasons why to study Logic:

“13 Good Reason Why You Should Study Logic

  1. Logic brings order.

Logic builds the mental habit of thinking in an orderly way.

No course is more practical than logic, for no matter what you are thinking about, you are thinking, and logic orders and clarifies your thinking.  No matter what your thought’s content, it will be clearer when it has a more logical form.  The principles of thinking logically can be applied to all thinking and to every field.

  1. Logic brings power.  Logic brings the power of proof and persuasion.

The power of logic comes from the fact that it is the science and art of argument.  Any power can be either rightly used or abused.  This power of logic is rightly used to win the truth and defeat error; it is wrongly used to win the argument and defeat your opponent.

  1. Logic helps reading. Logic will help you in education and learning, for “logic will help you to read any book more clearly and effectively.  And you are always going to be reading books; books are the single most effective technological invention in the history of education.

On the basis of over 40 years of full time college teaching of almost 20,000 students at 20 different schools, I am convinced that one of the reasons for the steep decline in students’ reading ability is the decline in the teaching of traditional logic.

  1. Logic helps writing.  Logic will also help you to write more clearly and effectively, for clear writing and clear thinking are a “package deal”: the presence or absence of either one brings the presence or absence of the other.  Muddled writing fosters muddled thinking, and muddled thinking fosters muddled writing.  Clear writing fosters clear thinking, and clear thinking fosters clear writing.  Common sense expects this, and scientific studies confirm it.  Writing skills have declined dramatically in the 40 years or so since symbolic logic has replaced Aristotelian logic, and I am convinced this is no coincidence.

It is simply impossible to communicate clearly and effectively without thinking clearly and effectively.  And that means logic.”

  1. Logic brings happiness.  In a small but significant way, logic can even help you attain happiness.  We all seek happiness all the time because no matter what else we seek, we seek it because we think it will be a means to happiness, or a part of happiness, either for ourselves or for those we love.  And no one seeks happiness for any other end; no one says he wants to be happy in order to be rich, or wise, or healthy.  But we seek riches, or wisdom, or health, in order to be happier.

How can logic help us attain happiness?  Here is a very logical answer to that question:

(1)  When we attain what we desire, we are happy
(2)  And whatever we desire, whether Heaven or a hamburger, it is more likely that we will attain if it we think more clearly.
(3)  And logic helps us to think more clearly.
(4)  Therefore logic helps us to be happy.

Even fantasy is not illogical.  In fact, according to the greatest master of this art, J.R.R. Tolkien, “Fantasy is a rational, not an irrational, activity…creative fantasy is founded upon a hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact, but not a slavery to it.  So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll.  If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy stories about frog-kings would not have arisen.”

  1. Logic helps with religious faith.  Even religion, though it goes beyond logic, cannot go against it; if it did, it would literally be unbelievable.  Some wit defined “faith” as “believing what you know isn’t true.”  But we simply cannot believe an idea to be true that we know that has been proven to be false by a valid logical proof.

It is true that faith goes beyond what can be proved by logical reasoning alone.  That is why believing in any religion is a free personal choice, and some make that choice while others do not, while logical reasoning is equally compelling for all.  However, logic can add faith in at least three ways.

First, logic can often clarify what is believed, and define it.

Second, logic can deduce the necessary consequences of the belief and apply it to difficult situations.

Third, even if logical arguments cannot prove all that faith believes, they can give firmer reasons for faith than feeling, desire, mood, fashion, family or social pressure, conformity, or inertia.

  1. Logic helps attain wisdom.  “Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom.”  Although logic alone cannot make you wise, it can help.  For logic is one of philosophy’s main instruments.  Logic is to philosophy what telescopes are to astronomy or microscopes to biology or math to physics.
  2. Democracy.  There are even crucial social and political reasons for studying logic.  As a best-selling modern logic text says, “the success of democracy depends, in the end, on the reliability of the judgments we citizens make, and hence upon our capacity and determination to weigh arguments and evidence rationally.”  As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be lead by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reason becomes of the first importance.”[Copi & Cohen, Logic, 10th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1998.).
  3. Defining logic’s limits.  Does logic have limits?  Yes, but we need logic to recognize and definite logic’s limits.  Logic has severe limits.  We need much more than logic even in our thinking.  For instance, we need intuition, too.  But logic helps us recognize this distinction.
  4. Logic helps in testing authority.  We need authorities because no individual can discover everything autonomously  We do in fact rely on the human community, and therefore on the authority of others – parents, teachers, textbooks, “experts,” friends, history, and tradition – for a surprising large portion of what we know – perhaps up to 99%, if it can be quantified.  And that is another reason we need logic: we need to have good reasons for believing our authorities, for in the end it is you the individual who must decide which authorities to trust.
  5. Logic helps recognizing contradictions.  Logic teaches us which ideas contradict each other.  If we are confused about that, we will either be too exclusive (that is, we will think beliefs logically exclude each other when they do not) or too inclusive (that is, we will believe two things that cannot both be true).
  6. Logic brings certainty.  Logic has “outer limits”; there are many things it can’t give you.  But logic has no “inner limits”: like math, it never breaks down.  Just as 2 plus 2 are unfailingly 4, so if A is B and B is C, then A is unfailingly C, Logic is timeless and unchangeable.  It is certain.

And logic never becomes obsolete. The principles of logic are timelessly true.

  1. Logic helps one attain truth.  Logic helps us to find truth, and truth is its own end: it is worth knowing for its own sake.

Logic helps us to find truth, though it is not sufficient of itself to find truth.  It helps us especially (1) by demanding that we define our terms so that we understand what we mean, and (2) by demanding that we give good reasons, arguments, proofs.”[4]

In the age of information, ignorance is no excuse.

And Logic, more than anything else, helps eviscerate that ignorance in a way that nothing else can.

That’s exactly why it’s been removed from the public school system, and exactly why all individuals need to relearn it so they can integrate into their repertoire once and for all.

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Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 16.
[2] Professor Patrick Deneen, How A Generation Lost Its Culture
[3] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Socratic Logic, p. 1.
[4] Ibid., pp. 1-7.
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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
Are You Living Your Dreams?
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi
A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David Morrow
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review: A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston | #SmartReads

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 14, 2020

Having read A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston and finding it quite useful, the prospect of reading a book along very similar lines but offering more expanded thought seemed quite intriguing.  Thankfully, the following book delivered in spades.

A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston is a very comprehensive and incisive foray into what it takes to create a critical thinking mind, and how to employ it effectively as well.

Not only does A Workbook For Arguments contain the text from A Rulebook For Arguments with further extensions which help the reader become more robust with the content further broken down, but it also features simple and yet acute advice for the individual to become more apt in argumentation.

In conjunction with that, the authors break down about half the exercises in the book with model responses in the back of the book.  Most of these exercise detail real world dilemmas one is likely to hear quite often, detailing the pros and cons of whatever answers were employed, and how each of those may affect an individual or society as a whole.

Also included in the book is a rundown of some of the most common fallacies, which is also useful since fallacies are employed far more often than most realize, and aren’t really taught in school, when in all actuality they should be.  Knowing these fallacies is vital to understand not only someone else’s argument and their inherent flaws, but also in constructing and fine-tuning one’s own.

Arguably, the most important part of this book is that from the beginning it guides the reader through the steps in constructing a critical argument in a very logical fashion.  What’s more, throughout the book, new topics continually build on the prior ones continuing to add layers to the strong foundation the book helps cement from the get go.

Personally, this is the kind of book whose contents should be mandatory to learn in school and should definitely not be overlooked for homeschooling, autodidacts and self-teachers.

Simply stated, anyone who is seeking to employ critical thinking, use logic in argumentation and become more robust in most key aspects of argumentation should get this book, if not file it under careful consideration.  If you think about it, even if it was priced at double or triple the price, it would STILL be worth it, because college courses covering the same subject are often more costly, and offer barely a fraction of what’s here, IF they offer anything of such high quality.

Bottom line: get this book.  You will not regret it.

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Author’s Note:

I recently found out, there is in fact a 3rd Edition of the book.  I haven’t reviewed it, but I do plan on reading it in the future.  I say that just in case anyone is interested in knowing.  Whenever I do read it, I will note how much content has been added and/or changed.  Until though, I cannot vouch for it, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was worth the money, considering the quality of work of the authors.

_________________________________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review: The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi | #BookReview #Writing

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 13, 2020

The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi is an innovative book that shows writers how to explore a wide array of subjects in a truly creative way.

Cioffi infuses the book with abundant practical, thoughtful, yet incisive examples that teach individuals the many possibilities available in argumentation, while still leaving the reader the versatility to focus and employ their own creative style in their writing repertoire.

Sourcing authors such as Orwell, Goffman, Benedict, Updike, James, Nabovok and others, the author helps the reader analyze them and view their notable writing idiosyncrasies for the strengths they were, while also showing the vast range these writers employed each in their own unique way.

The Imaginative Argument is an outside of the box book that it is better thought of as belonging in its own writing domain, for it doesn’t operate within any proverbial box, as it teaches argumentation in a robust and yet meaningful way that doesn’t shackle itself to any preconceived notions but uses imagination as the gateway from which it operates.

In other words, what Cioffi offers in this book is a mixture of equal parts mad scientist and academician who employ mathematical precision merged with the range of a boundless artist that utilizes the universe as its canvas for writing.  The Imaginative Argument is a true perfect fusion of the left and right brain to boot, which is the best part of this book.

Writing argumentative papers or articles on serious subjects can really make for a dull read.  But this book helps add additional depth and intrigue by its inherent strength in showing many of the ways that subjects can be explored in a non-traditional way that really leaves the reader thinking in ways they wouldn’t have done so if a subject was written about in a more traditional way as writing is often taught.

Covered also within the confines of this book are all of the major parts of constructing an essay: a solid foundational introduction, a consideration of the audience which is focused on quite a bit throughout the book, a foray into the writing process, a focus on the thesis, arguments, style, and much more.

The end of the book even provides additional sample essays and writing prompts which serve to further an individual’s self-directed learning process.

In its totality, this book offers a lot of ideas for consideration for all writers.  Cioffi’s refreshing and fearless approach serves to engage the reader quite saliently, also providing a veritable mixture of do’s and don’ts that are not only practical but useful.

Cioffi created an absolute masterpiece in the field of creative argumentation, and for that he should be applauded at length.

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review – Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 13, 2020

My introduction to Peter Kreeft’s work took place via his magnum opus Socratic Logic – A Logic Text Using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions, And Aristotelian Principles Edition 3.1With that book, Kreeft set the bar extremely high for his own work given the phenomenal job he did in the execution and importance of that book.

Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology though not as large in scope, is still a seminal job in introducing individuals to philosophy.  In essence, what Kreeft creates is what one may call a ‘user-friendly’ guide to Philosophy.

Philosophy 101 by Socrates is distilled to serve as a very pragmatic introduction for individuals to venture forth into many philosophical subjects from a kaleidoscope of angles.  Additionally, not only is it possible to use this book as a portable classroom given the pragmatic way that it is structured, but it can be useful for homeschooling and even college classrooms.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why is Philosophy even important?”  Excellent question.   The reason Philosophy is important is because as Kreeft himself argues, Philosophy takes no prisonersPhilosophy questions everything.  Like a curious kid asking ‘why’ in their nascent stages, Philosophy seeks truth – not belief – within every crevice it dares to delve into.

Kreeft shows how Socrates’ philosophy operates in the following passage:

“Socrates is the apostle of reason.  He demands that we give logical reasons, grounds for beliefs, and follow the logical consequences of our beliefs, taken as premises or hypotheses, to their logical conclusions through a number of logically compelling steps.”[1]

Such incisiveness will undoubtedly get to the core of the issue far more often than not if employed correctly.

And yet, as Kreeft implies, philosophy isn’t an antithesis to certain disciplines, such as religion.  In fact, Kreeft goes to show how faith and reason can coexist if used trenchantly:

“One of the main functions of philosophy as practiced by Socrates is a critique of religion, finding reasons for (or against) faith.  These reasons often claim only probability rather than certainty; and even when they claim certainty, they may be mistaken for man is not God and infallible; but it is surely a gain to use binocular vision, reason and faith, and to make at least somewhat clearer and/or more reasonable the ideas most people find the most important in their lives.”[2]

As an introduction to philosophy and Socrates simultaneously, one would be hard-pressed to find a better book than this.  In that, Kreeft does an exceptional job in showing how Philosophy and Socrates interweave, especially given how Socrates planted many of the seeds that helped become the foundation through  his life’s work.

Employing Plato’s Apology as the foundation of the book, Kreeft undertakes the task of showing the many ways philosophy can be understood, by using forty different descriptions of the subject.  It was particularly interesting seeing the range of descriptions that Kreeft was able to come up with and how he was able to seamlessly show how apt those descriptions were to the act of philosophizing and broadening an individual’s understanding of a wide array of subject matter.

Subsequent to that, Kreeft gives readers a cursory analysis of parts of the Euthyphro, as well as Phaedo, which are both dialogues by Plato, the latter of which details Socrates’ last days.  These dialogues help undergird the book with a wider foundation of Philosophy that merge swiftly with the rest of the book.

One of the main strengths of this book is its ability to narrow complex topics into practical – but not overly simplified – gems of information that the reader can learn from easily.  By contrast, many other philosophy books tend to overcomplicate philosophy, which turn readers off, or to oversimplify philosophy, which ends up not showcasing the latitude and incisiveness that philosophy can employ when used effectively.

This practical primer of philosophy also helps readers realize the importance of the art of cross-examination, which Socrates is the father of.  Coupled with that, and more importantly, by the very precise cross-examination techniques Socrates employs in philosophy, Kreeft helps readers gain an understanding of the thorough depth that philosophy will venture to in search for truth and the process that it employs in seeking to achieve that.  Philosophy 101 can only strengthen an individual’s repertoire.

Plain and simple, this book by Kreeft should be an integral component in every single individual’s education.  What the book offers is a template for what’s possible by the application of philosophy in a sound manner, and not having knowledge of these skills in life emblematic of a surgeon at the operating room without a scalpel.

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Sources & References:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology, p. 104.
[2] Ibid., p. 141

_________________________________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review: The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric By Sisters Miriam Joseph Ph.D. | #Education #Autodidact


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 11, 2020

In How To Read A Book – The Classical Guide To Intelligent Reading, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren postulated that most published books out there will not be complex enough to teach the reader anything of true substance.[1]

That is unfortunate, because given the decline in education, substance is exactly what our culture needs, especially given how culture as a whole is also declining as well, as Professor Patrick Deneen penned in a paper years ago.

Transitioning to the opposite side of the spectrum of education, let us now take a look at a highly underrated book that would go a long way to aid in an individual’s self-directed learning.

There is no better place to start with respect to education, then gravitating towards the Trivium, which was part of classical education, though that is no longer the case.  In The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D. does an exemplary job teaching classical components of education which do not get the light of day in modern times.

As this passage by Marguerite McGlinn relates, which speaks incisively:

“Ultimately, Sister Miriam Joseph speaks most eloquently about the value of this book.  She explains that studying the liberal arts [The Trivium] is an intransitive activity; the effect of studying these arts stays within the individual and perfects the faculties of the mind and spirit.  She compares the studying of the liberal arts with the blooming of the rose; it brings to fruition the possibilities of human nature.  She writes, “The utilitarian or servile arts enable one to be a servant – of another person, of the state, of a corporation, or a business – and to earn a living.  The liberal arts, in contrast, teach one how to live; they train the faculties and bring them to perfection; they enable a person to rise above his material environment to live an intellectual, a rational, and therefore a free life in gaining truth.”[2][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

The book doesn’t just speak of The Trivium, but shows how to employ the core concepts rather saliently.

By covering the vital topics of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric, The Trivium goes far above and beyond most books that are ‘mandatory’ in the public school system.

Given that the once mandatory subjects of rhetoric and logic are all but gone from mainstream schooling and only a shadow of those remain, while what is taught of grammar is very superficial, a book like this blows away anything that regular schooling could offer.

Why such a bold statement?  Because the Trivium is the foundation upon which classical education was built.  However, after a shift away from classical education, the Trivium was removed from the system of public schooling to the detriment of the students and America as a whole.

The Trivium features not only a very methodical approach into the learning and teaching of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric, but the book is also chock-full of numerous examples coming straight from the upper tiers of literary history which are used to buttress lessons from the book.

Additionally, not only does this book explain in detail the core concepts of the Trivium, but at key junctures it also offers some exercises in order to apply what one has learned to gauge an individual’s progress.

The Trivium is a really thorough presentation of classical education in a user-friendly manner.  It encompasses everything from poetics, fallacies, syllogisms, propositions, grammar, composition, enthymemes and much more.

If you’re a homeschooler, an unschooler, an autodidact, a self-directed learner, or simply someone that is seeking to teach themselves about these crucial parts of education, then ruminate deeply about getting this book.  Its lessons would benefit every individual come to terms with the greater capability that they always could have had, but never found a way to achieve due to the terribly lacking public schooling system.

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Sources & References:
[1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren.
[2] Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.,The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric, pp. x-xi.
_______________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren | #BookReview #SmartReads #Reading #Education

A Mind needs a book as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep it’s edge.”
– George R. R. Martin

“A man is known by the books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Read not to contradict and confuse; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”
– Francis Bacon

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 10, 2020

This particular book is a book that helps you extract more information from all types of reading, whether it is books, or otherwise.   How To Read A Book will help you think more effectively, more incisively and ultimately help you achieve more from the full spectrum of reading.

At the behest of Peter Kreeft PhD, the author Socratic Logic Peter Kreeft PhD, the following book came highly recommended in his list of critical content to further your own education.   Holding Kreeft’s opinion in high respect – and after doing some research into the book – getting this book seemed to be more than a safe bet.  In fact, it was much more than that, for getting this book has made me a better reader, writer, and communicator due to the logical and cogent way in which it explains its concepts, as well as how to extract the most out of reading proactively.

How To Read A BookThe Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren is an extraordinary book in various ways.  Not only does it teach the reader how to correctly read different kinds of books – by reading proactively, by rather reactively – but it also provides essential tools for the synthesis of other great – and more meaningful – pieces of literature.  However, How To Read A Book still features an extensive array of tools to enable individuals to increase the breadth and scope of their reading repertoire to a significant degree.

As a caveat, the authors do make a crucial distinction in the fact different type of genres should be read differently.  To say it another way, poetry, plays, or even fiction, will be read drastically different from nonfiction books.  This is something that’s not taught to individuals for the most part, and we miss out incredibly because of it.

Adler and Van Doren cover an extensive range of tools for reader’s to learn and implement – if they so choose – in order to maximize their understanding of the information held within books.  The book features a wide ranging set of suggestions that build on themselves throughout the chapters, all of which help the reader navigate all the way from the basics to the more advanced in seamless fashion.

To a great extent, the authors show the lengths to which proper reading can be taken too, as well as the depth that can be gathered by undertaking their advice.  As an avid reader and researcher, the information within the pages of this book have helped me considerably not only in pushing myself as a reader, but in understanding – and even merging – the depth and scope of information that is stated in various reading formats, as well as sifting out deeper implications when information isn’t obvious.

Additionally, covered within How To Read A Book are topics such as inspectional reading, systematic skimming, problems in comprehension, ‘x-raying’ a book, coming to terms with the author, criticizing a book fairly, reading aids, how to read practical books, how to read imaginative literature, suggestions for reading stories, plays and poems, how to read history, how to read philosophy as well as much, much more.

A significantly striking component of the book was the topic of syntopical reading, which is what the authors call ‘The Fourth Level Of Learning’.  In laymen terms, syntopical reading is the ability to  synthesize information from various sources, which paradoxically is not taught much, if at all, in public schooling.  Since synthesizing information is a process that yields incredible growth for all individuals, the information in this particular section was quite vital.

A book like How To Read A Book should be an integral piece in everyone’s education, be it self-directed or otherwise, given that an incredible amount of what individuals learn comes via reading, and that is no overstatement.  In an age where cognitive decline of education continues unabated, it’s those that push themselves into the realm of self-directed learning who will be the ones that will always stay ahead of the masses.  More saliently, self-directed education is crucial because simply, it’s what’s best for you as an individual, irrespective of what anyone else is doing.  It is something that is possible or anyone to do, of nigh any age.

The suggestions in this book seep into most if not all books [or reading] in some way shape or form.  When carried out, this undoubtedly filters into an individuals’ everyday lives proportional to how much its concepts are employed.  There really aren’t too many books out there that urge the reader to go beyond the conventional baseline of public schooling and education, but this book is certainly one of those precious few.  The authors certainly to seek to further one’s education beyond the bounds of modern schooling.

Please keep in mind, schooling and education are not the same thing, which is an important distinction because what individuals receive in America is barely a facsimile of education, and is in no way shape or form the true education of times past, given that America as a nation has strewn away from classical education.

Authors like the late award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto’s in his landmark Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, Dr. Joseph P Farrell & Gary Lawrence’s Rotten To The Common Core , and Charlotte Iserbyt, who served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, in her The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America  all outline the deliberate dumbing down of America with incredible precision, and these authors by far are not even the only speaking at length about this disturbing trend.

At the end of the book the authors also graciously feature a list of ‘the greatest books of all time’ in their opinion, and after having read the list and having read a few dozen of them it’s hard to disagree.  This additional piece of mental pie is something that’s worth considering for an individual’s mental faculties.

What’s more, the authors state that there exist specific books which fall into the category of what they call ‘Great books’, such as The Illiad, The Odyssey, Organon, The Republic, Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, et al.  The authors postulate that only 1% of the millions of book out there – if not less – fall within this category of ‘Great Books’.  What makes those books special is that:

“…if the book belongs to the highest class – the very small number of inexhaustible books – you discover on returning that the book seems to have grown with youYou see new things in it – whole new sets of new things – that you did not see before.  Your previous understanding of the book is not invalidated; it is just as true as it ever was, and in the same ways that it was true before.  But now it is true in still other ways, too.”[1][Bold, Underline & Italics Emphasis Added].

Essentially, that the gems of knowledge contained within these books and the growth the reader will attain will not only be extensive, given the depth and immensity of the concepts within the book, but these books will teach you the most about reading and about life.  Equally, regardless of how many times one reads these books, they are so profound and demanding of the reader that one will always learn something from them.

If you appreciate books, reading, classical education, or are striving to demand more from yourself or even plan on building a home-schooling curriculum, GET THIS BOOK!  This book really is for everyone.  Educated minds have great foundations, and this book helps lay those foundations in an ironclad manner.

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Footnotes:

[1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, p. 333.

________________________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com
________________________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan