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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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
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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
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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
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The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
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Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
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Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
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The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
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7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”[Bold Emphasis Added]
– John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, [1]

AMind

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 15, 2020

Education is the most vital component of an individual’s repertoire.  Without it, the individual is like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly amidst the seas of life.

For that reason it is imperative for individuals to make sure that they continue to educate themselves, no matter what stage of life they are in.  This is why the following list has been composed.

Each of the books that have been reviewed below offers abundant wisdom from which to learn from.  Plus, considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be shrewd for individuals to take their own education into their hands.

If you wish to read more about the books, click the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.

Book #1Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D

Out of all of these 7 books, this is easily the most demanding one, but this book also has the capacity to net the most impact in your life given that logic may, and should, be employed at any given moment in life.  That is because there is no area of life that Logic cannot help in.

The lessons of this book will be useful every single day.  Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics in a pragmatic format.

Book #2The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

In the past, the Trivium was taught in classical education, and was the foundation upon the rest of an individual’s education stemmed from.  That is no longer the case however.  Because of that it is imperative that books discussing classical education such as The Trivium be given serious consideration since the Trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.

In fact, think of these names: Leonardo Da Vinci, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Ayn Rand, Nikola Tesla, Sir Isaac Newton, and countless others.  What do they all have in common?  They are some of the most brilliant minds in human history, and none of them came out of a modern public schooling system.

As Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence note in their sobering, and yet noteworthy book Rotten To The (Common) Core:

“None of them attended a twentieth or twenty-first century American public schooling system.

None of them was taught by a teacher that had to obtain a teaching “credential” at an accredited – that is to say, officially “approved” – state or private school.  Indeed, some of them positively bucked the modern system by having been “homeschooled” by persons running small “schools” out of their homes.”[2]

Translation: all of those individuals became some of the greatest minds by employing traditional methods of education, methods that have been outright siphoned from public schooling, which is why I often make the distinction in separating public schooling from education, as the late Gatto so incisively stated, as they are not the same thing.

Just as a house cannot be complete without a foundation, an individual’s education, no matter the age, cannot be complete without knowledge of the Trivium.  The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric.  This book is a thorough presentation on traditional grammar, which is vastly different than what modern schooling teaches, fallacies, syllogisms, a solid logic introduction, enthymemes, poetics, figurative language , all with a hefty dose of examples from which to learn from.

Book #3How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren.

The title of this book is a misnomer, and many people overlook it because they ‘know’ how to ‘read’ a book.  However, reading isn’t the main focus of this book; it is information extraction and retention – getting the most out of the book, which is much more different than simple reading.

If there is one book you read, make it this one because you read everyday in life, and the more information we are subjected to, the more we will read.  Knowing how to get the most out of everything we read, every article, every study, every book, and every story and so on, will only help you get ahead of the curve.

Simply stated: this is a must-read book.  In fact, it would be a mistake not to have it because not following many of these tenets would mean an individual is only attaining fractional understanding of all subjects.  The book really is downright crucial and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It’s been popular for decades, and for good reason.

Book #4Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

If you want an easy-to-follow introduction to philosophy that is accessible to everyone but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, get this book.  It’s a refreshingly unique way of looking at philosophy and should not be overlooked.  It is also much shorter than the previous three books above, and is incredibly accessible.

Book #5
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston.

This book hones your critical thinking skills in a very incredible manner.  Seeing the failure of modern schooling, one would figure for a public school system that continues to fail, critical thinking would be at the top of the agenda to implement within public schooling. Such is not the case though, wherein this book comes in.

This book is affordable, has ample exercises, uses a very logical and reasonable approach that builds on itself and is easy to follow.  It’s complex enough, but not overly so.  It’s a book that’s referenced often and highly valuable.

Book #6
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi.

Now, this book by Cioffi brings a fascinating and refreshing outside-of-the-box perspective to argumentation to boot.  The author takes a rather unique approach I’ve never seen before, and one I wished was available in public schooling, but of course isn’t.  The book covers everything from essays, thesis, creative writing, paragraph design, audience considerations, writing prompts, fallacies and more.  If you’re a regular writer of any type, even if it’s not argumentation per se, I would still say this is a must read.  Or at least consider it.  As part of a homeschooling and self-directed course, this is definitely a must have though.

Book #7: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.

And here comes the curveball: learning Logic through fiction!

This one’s an outside-of-the-box suggestion, but for an incredibly reason.  Sherlock Holmes is easily best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form.  Nothing else comes even close.  If you have any suggestions to add, or better, I would really like to hear them because I am always open-minded and would like to read similar books in fictional form since it allows a reader to enjoy leisure time, while also honing the mind simultaneously.

If you haven’t read any of the Arthur Conan Doyle books, Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case he ends up getting involved in.  Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read give that not only does it teach you Logic in a roundabout way, but it does so in an interesting way, too.

What we as individuals accomplish in life, especially if you want to live life to the fullest, is directly proportional to what we know and are capable of.  Without robust capabilities, an individual is like a leaf in the wind, merely flowing aimlessly in the wind without a chosen direction.

This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground, and you are proactive about seeking it as well.  Without a proactive approach, we’ll only achieve a portion of what we could attain in life, merely growing into a fraction of our true boundless potential, thus not living life to the fullest.

It’s never too late to be proactive about your education.

Seek to better yourself, every single day; every single step, every single breath.

Seek to learn every day, from every person, in every instance, through every breath, in every way.

Not only will that help solidify your intellectual faculties in an ironclad manner, but it will also imbue your life with more meaning than you could ever imagine.

Life never stops moving forward, and neither should you.
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[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.
[2] Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, Rotten To The(Common) Core, p 4.

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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?
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
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: 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: 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.

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