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”

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”

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”

Insights from the Lord of Montaigne on Education

Who better to inquire about education than a famed 16th century nobleman who inscribed excerpts of wisdom on the wooden beams of his library? Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (often called simply “Montaigne”) authored the heavily influential Essays, an outpouring of his natural philosophies, and had much to say on education. The first thing he tellsContinue reading “Insights from the Lord of Montaigne on Education”

Learning History, The Right Way

The typical history class goes like this: “The Peloponnesian War was fought by the Delian league, led by Athens, against the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta, during the years spanning 341 to 404 BC. The Delian League leveraged the sea might of Athens, while the Spartans assaulted primarily by land. Ultimately the war was wonContinue reading “Learning History, The Right Way”

The Case for Homeschooling (Part 3): Child Safety

“Homeschooling … not only violates children’s right to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.” This statement was published as part of a mid-2020 Harvard Magazine article interviewing Elizabeth Bartholett, a Harvard Law professor and now infamous anti-homeschoolingContinue reading “The Case for Homeschooling (Part 3): Child Safety”

The Importance of Good Conversation

Read Plato, St. Augustine, Jonathan Swift, Emily Bronte, or any other classic work and you’ll notice the authors’ composition, vocabulary, and coherence in thought far surpass those possessed by the vast majority of educated people today. Even students of our best liberal arts universities don’t emerge from their studies with the ability to write, speak,Continue reading “The Importance of Good Conversation”

The Nazi Origins of Germany’s Ban on Homeschooling

Given that we are caught up in terms of the history of homeschooling (see here), there is one notable historical anecdote we have left out: the case of Germany, one of few western European countries with a complete ban on homeschooling. There is an irritating and pervasive habit to treat the passing of a lawContinue reading “The Nazi Origins of Germany’s Ban on Homeschooling”