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Paperback A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning Book

ISBN: 1882926536

ISBN13: 9781882926534

A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning

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Format: Paperback

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Self-discipline and developing your personal library - great advice!

James Schall, professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University, wrote this book as part of the ISI Guides to the Major Disciplines. The primary emphasis of Shall's book is to encourage the student to think, even saying that "thinking is adventure." He encourages students to read great books saying that "the very existence of the great books enables us to escape from any tyranny of the present, from the idea that we only want to study what is currently `relevant' or immediately useful." Amen! How can a student accomplish this life-long journey of learning - Schall gives two simple steps: 1) self-discipline and 2) a personal library. Schall encourages college students to practice self-discipline, mastery over their passions to the end that they might be free to pursue those things of meaning and purpose in life. Of course, if a student is able to control his sensual appetite, he can then dine on the delicacies of the great works of literature - Schall encourages students to begin to build their own personal library of great books that they can read and re-read and use in a variety of ways once they have been digested fully by the reader. Schall is good about giving numerous lists of books that he considers worthy of our time and energy to read. He also notes in the book that everyone has the time to read and reflect, but few actually use it...he encourages the reader to make use of those odd or spare moments and hours in a week to read and reflect. The book is good, but since Schall is coming from a Catholic background, many of the books that he suggests wouldn't be on my Top Ten list...although many would!

Jared Wizner's Personal Opinion

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Proverbs 3:13-18 As we journey through life we find ourselves on a boundless quest. Whether chosen or accidental, the trials and circumstances we face along our path bear witness to the life-long search for wisdom and understanding. Wisdom presented not in the attainment of knowledge but the application thereof, gives us the consideration that it takes more than just "higher learning" to accomplish that which we have set out to attain. As Aristotle stated: "Many people who do not know books are nevertheless very wise, often wiser than the so-called learned. Perhaps it will be our grandfather or an ordinary farmer or worker. We should look for and respect the experience of ordinary people." Throughout his short, yet enlightening book, James Schall clarifies that the search for wisdom and truth can be difficult in today's popular culture. Furthermore, university education can further lead one away from the clarity which they seek and into a liberal setting clouded with ideologies and shallow information. In his book, A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning, Schall emphasizes the failure in modern scholastic society and offers a simple, yet specific, guide to attaining an unpolluted understanding of truth and, hopefully, the achievement of true wisdom. The "love of wisdom," according to Schall, is the meaning of the Greek words which give us the word philosophy. In the pursuit of an intellectual life open to the truth, the author suggests three critical elements which one should incorporate into their personal learning efforts. These elements include: Self-Discipline, The Personal Library, and Teaching. Not solely considering himself as the absolute authority in this area, Schall uses a vast variety of reputable, highly intellectual, and moral sources while establishing these facets or tools of reinforced, or more accurate, learning. Self-discipline, probably the most obvious of any suggestion towards enhanced learning, is Schall's first step in revealing the truth. He focuses on the fact that self-discipline, or self-denial, is not a pleasant course. As naturally errant beings, we continually resort to habits and choices which prevent us from achieving that which we may desire. According to Schall: "Discipline means instruction, especially organized instruction. When we add the notion of `self' to this instruction, we are indicating that we are ourselves objects of our own rule, of our own need to instruct ourselves." Clarifying, in a sense, that we are our own masters, he established that success or failure falls within the realm of our own decisions. An internal

Great resource for students!

As a student at a rather liberal university, this book gave me some ideas on how to maintain academic freedom and stand up for what's right on campus. A great gift for any student!

Another fine little book about Liberal Arts

If you are worn thin by the books that have given a solid but depressing diagnosis of the decline of liberal arts in the west, here is part of the solution. Read this book by Dr. Schall then get the books he recommends for a true education. After that read his book-Another Sort of Learning and then read the books he recommends in that book.

What this book is about and what it says

James V. Schall believes, like Aristotle, there are things that should be known " `for their own sakes, ` not for some useful or pleasurable purpose". These things help us in our pursuit of truth, to know reality the way it really is which is the true purpose of the mind. Unfortunately, these things are not taught in today's universities nor in the popular culture but this book is a guide to find them. The author wrote another book, _Another Sort of Learning_, which is a more detailed recommendation on how to go about learning these things. Throughout the main part of Schall's booklet (an essay in his words) are lists of books, which he suggests one read in the pursuit of "an intellectual life open to the truth". In addition, he makes a few notable suggestions: 1) Read the great books (of the Western world) "The very existence of the great books enables us to escape from any tyranny of the present, from the idea that we only want to study what is currently `relevant' or immediately useful." 2) Build a personal library "...we have not read a great book at all if we have read it only once." " differing times of my life I have seen things in these works that I could not have seen when I was younger." "There is nothing wrong with going back and in our leisure finding out what we had forgotten or not placed in the right context." 3) Engage in self-denial. "Almost always, on reflection upon ourselves, we can find something in us, in our desires or habits or choices, that would prevent us from confronting the really important things." Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
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