7 Historical Philosopher-Kings to Inspire You

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates envisions the ideal city-state. After describing life within his supposed utopia, his detractors press him on whether or not his dream could ever come to fruition. Socrates replies:  “Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy … cities will neverContinue reading “7 Historical Philosopher-Kings to Inspire You”

The Importance of Fairy Tales for Children

For the past year, I’ve been reading stories from classic children’s anthologies (many printed in the 1940s – 1960s era) to my kids before bed. One such collection of stories is from a series called Childcraft, which I find so aptly named since reading good stories is so critical in “crafting” children to be virtuous,Continue reading “The Importance of Fairy Tales for Children”

4 Reasons to Own Physical Books in the Digital Age

We at ThinkingWest have dedicated this website to exploring the content contained in the Great Books. Our aim has always been to spark interest in the classics and challenge our readers to delve into these works by whatever method suits them best. With the rising popularity of audiobooks, digital E-readers like Kindle, and free onlineContinue reading “4 Reasons to Own Physical Books in the Digital Age”

Gateway to Philosophy: 5 Great Books to Get Reading

Mark Twain once said,  “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Glancing through book lists like the Great Books of the Western World or The Harvard Classics, it’s hard to argue with Twain’s sentiment. The great books often appear daunting, especially for novice or younger readers. Many ofContinue reading “Gateway to Philosophy: 5 Great Books to Get Reading”

The Benefits of Reading the Great Books

Why read the great books? Apart from fulfilling some antiquarian dream or feeding an ego pining for intellectual praise, these books serve a useful purpose. That the books are (usually) old is of little consequence except in evidence that these books are important enough to have survived so long. Hence, we do not read theseContinue reading “The Benefits of Reading the Great Books”

Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

For a Roman emperor and the most powerful man in the world, Marcus Aurelius lived a notably uncomfortable life. Choosing a life of stoicism rather than comfort, Aurelius shirked the luxuries that his high status provided him. He slept in a simple cot with an animal skin rather than a comfortable bed. He worked incessantly,Continue reading “Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations”

A Year of Reading: Books I Read in 2021

As is customary, let’s take a look at the books I read in 2021. My reading heavily favored nonfiction and has begun leaning toward histories. Overall, my time spent reading declined from 2020 as the last year was busier than ever. My reading of the Great Books especially slowed down since I had little timeContinue reading “A Year of Reading: Books I Read in 2021”

The 12 Book Classical Education

A true classical education is a lifelong pursuit of wisdom and understanding with no demonstrable end. The end of the classical education is played out in real time, in parallel to its pursuit in everyday life. When confronting a claim, one might turn to principles put forth by Aristotle or Bacon to find their veracity;Continue reading “The 12 Book Classical Education”

3 Ways St. Augustine’s Confessions Describes the Fallen Modern World

St. Augustine of Hippo was born in Northern Africa in the 4th century AD. A bishop of the Hippo Regius region in Numidia, he is widely considered one of the most influential early Christians, mainly due to his prolific writings. Despite his saintly status, Augustine lived a worldly life before his conversion, and documented hisContinue reading “3 Ways St. Augustine’s Confessions Describes the Fallen Modern World”

Confessions of a Bibliophile

Less than two years ago I became a bibliophile when researching what kind of education would be best for my kids and reading Susan Wise Bauer’s A Well Educated Mind. Reading that one book instilled an infectious desire to read the greatest books of the world, and hence I began to love books despite myContinue reading “Confessions of a Bibliophile”