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”

Insights from Fulton Sheen’s Way to Happiness

The Venerable Fulton Sheen encouraged generations of the faithful through his radio and television broadcasts in the mid 20th century. The bishop’s words carried a weight unmatched in his popular television program Life Is Worth Living, where he spoke to a live audience without a script, often touching on important contemporary issues like communism andContinue reading “Insights from Fulton Sheen’s Way to Happiness”

Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World

At ThinkingWest we often discuss books that have stood the test of time. These “classics” arose from the tremendous impact of their ideas, masterful command of the language, and storytelling power – not from their physical appearance. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we often hear, but today we are going to do justContinue reading “Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World”

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”

What is a Classic Book?

There’s no single answer for what a “classic” book is. For anyone who ventures an answer, many others will disagree and propose their own definitions, such as the 14 various definitions offered in a New York Review article – none of which I agree with. I found most of these “definitions” to be tongue-in-cheek andContinue reading “What is a Classic Book?”

Applying Machiavelli to Life

“It is better to be feared than loved” is by far the most famous quote from Machiavelli’s The Prince, but the short book has much more to offer than a pithy statement voided of its true nuance (for Machiavelli importantly added “…if you cannot be both.” Written in 1513 for the new Florentine ruler, aContinue reading “Applying Machiavelli to Life”

Don Quixote and The Difference Between Wisdom and Intelligence

Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote excellently portrays wisdom’s distinction from intelligence through the character growth (or at least revelation) of Don Quixote and his trusted squire Sancho Panza. While both play the part of the fool in many respects, both exhibit moments of intelligence or wisdom throughout their adventures. The Intelligent Don Quixote Don QuixoteContinue reading “Don Quixote and The Difference Between Wisdom and Intelligence”

Why a Classical Education is Needed Now More than Ever

If you were to ask yourself what single aspect of education is lacking in modern society, what would it be? What topic, if better integrated into school curricula, would benefit the world the most? Teaching science and technology better? It seems we have plenty of the technical aspects of education in place today: everyone knowsContinue reading “Why a Classical Education is Needed Now More than Ever”