#Quote Of The Day | #Education | #Reading | #Books | #Knowledge | #Wisdom | #Writing

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”
– Socrates

#Book Review: Socrates Meets Kant by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. | #SmartReads | #Philosophy


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 10, 2019

Socrates Meets Kant – The Father Of Philosophy meets His Most Famous Influential Modern Child by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. is a fictional foray into a philosophical conversation taking place as Kant awaits in ‘purgatory’.

In his usual logical and deft way, Kreeft does a exemplary job of employing philosophy and seeking truth through the eyes of Socrates.  Via the Socratic lens that employs cross-examination, Kreeft goes on to dissect the vital components of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy.  Considering Kant’s philosophy is concerned about the nature of knowing of things as well as ethics, this book is a great introductory synopsis of the core topics Kant spent his lifetime studying.

Given Kant’s prowess as one of the ‘most influential’ philosophers of history, Kreeft’s choice of employing a fictional Socrates – especially given that he’s the grandfather of cross examination – to critique Kant’s philosophy was merely logical.  It’s interesting to fictionally see how Kant would have ‘reacted’ to Socrates’ notable questions, particularly those that touch upon Kant’s Categorical Imperative and Critique of Pure Reason.

Both characters – Socrates & Kant – are brought to life rather well through a very intriguing, and yet not overly complex dialogue.   Kreeft even employs some dry humor to add a bit of flavor to these philosophic inquiries.  That said, the book mainly revolves around Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” as it critiques and analyzes all crucial points therein.

In its totality, this volume seems rather fit for anyone who is seeking an introductory volume to Kant’s work in general, while still offering enough substance for more astute readers of Kant’s philosophical outlook as a whole.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading & Viewing:

The Catastrophic Decline Of Public Schooling: 21 Facts About Why Public Schooling Performs So Poorly
The Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More
Piercing Perspectives #3: The Divide & Conquer Left Right Paradigm
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
How Our Public Schooling Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
The Seven Lesson School Teacher
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
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
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
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.
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
The Secret History Of Western Education – Charlotte Iserbyt [Documentary]
The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, feel free to 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

___________________________________________________________
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.

#Book Review: Paradise Lost by John Milton | #SmartReads

A Veritable Milestone In Historical Literature


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 7, 2019

Paradise Lost by John Milton is a veritable landmark book within the chronicles of humanity’s past.

Milton’s imagination was as boundless as it was incisive, and he paints a masterful world in which good and evil battle for the fate of the world.

Undoubtedly one of the best epics of all-time, Milton’s Paradise Lost, features a plethora of allusions the likes of which haven’t been replicated since, and just might not be replicated ever.

Milton’s constant inferences to theological and classical underpinnings of society are one of the greatest components of this masterpiece.  Every line is incisively thought out, and weaves seamlessly into the next manifesting a masterpiece of literature that’s as thought-provoking as it is deep.

The diction used in Milton’s time might be something that could turn certain readers off, but the notations at the bottom of each page of this particular version help the reader traverse through this fascinating and fierce fictional world that Milton crafted rather seamlessly.

Admittedly, an epic like this will demand a lot from the reader, and rightly so.  As a quintessential milestone in history, it is written with orders of magnitude more depth than most works thereafter have.

Given the complex range of characters it employs, such as Adam, Eve, Satan, God, Michael, etc., and given the philosophical underpinnings of what many of humanity’s deeper yearnings and concerns are, this work is in a league of its own. 

Ruminating upon its breadth, scope and complexity, it’s a pity that more works aren’t as well thought out as this.  The standards Milton set upon himself to accomplish this piece should be held in high respect, for it is a testament to what human creativity can achieve when it sets its mind to it.  And that is priceless, just like this book is.

___________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Novels & Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tokien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue By Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Marko Ph.D.
Lord Of The Rings: How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien [Presentation]
The Vision Of Freedom That Tolkien Got & The West Forgot [Video]

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, feel free to 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

___________________________________________________________
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.

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

H2RAB

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
March 19, 2019

“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

This particular book is a book that helps you extract more information from all types of reading.  It will help you think sharper, more incisively and ultimately help you achieve more from the full spectrum of reading.

At the behest of the author of Socratic Logic [review here], Peter Kreeft PhD, the following book was recommended.   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.

How To Read A BookThe Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren is a phenomenal 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, it features much more than that.

As a caveat, the authors make the distinction in the fact different type of genres should be read in different ways.  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 set 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.

Without a doubt, 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.

Furthermore, 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, suggestion for reading stories, plays and poems, how to read history, how to read philosophy as well as much, much more.

A noteworthy 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.  Since synthesizing information is a process that yields incredible growth for individuals of all types, the information for me in this particular section was quite noteworthy.

A book like How To Read A Book should be an integral component in everyone’s education 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-teaching or autodidacticism that will breakaway from the pack.

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.

Mind you, schooling and education are not the same thing, which is an important distinction because what society gets in America nowadays – given that we have strewn away from classical education – is barely a facsimile of schooling, and in no way shape or form the true education of times past.  Authors like 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 quite saliently, 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.

Furthermore, 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 this particular category of great books so unique?  That the gems of knowledge contained within these books and 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.  Moreover, 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.

___________________________________________________________
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
___________________________________________________________
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.

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
December 15, 2018

In an age where the public dumbing down of the population is reaching new lows [Read Here For More] 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. Such is not the case anymore though. 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?  To accomplish this, one must go ‘back to the roots’ so to speak, as 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 [Review Here] 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.

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  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.”

5.  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.”

6.  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.

7.  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.

8.  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.).

9.  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.

10.  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.

11.  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).

12.  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.

13.  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 its been removed from the public school system, and exactly why all individuals need to employ it into their repertoire.

___________________________________________________________
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.

___________________________________________________________
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
___________________________________________________________
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.