How to Read (and write!) a Book

Some good thoughts from Peter Kreeft. Applicable for anyone who wants to communicate and think clearly:

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 abilities is the decline in the teaching of traditional logic.

Mortimer Adler’s classic How to Read a Book is based on the traditional common-sense logic of the “three acts of the mind” [simple apprehension, judging, reasoning]. . . . If I were a college president, I would require every incoming freshman to read Adler’s book and pass a test on it before taking other courses.

. . . . clear writing and thinking are a “package deal”: the presence or absence of either one brings the presence or absence of the other. Muddled writings fosters muddled thinking, and muddled thinking fosters muddled writing. Clear writing fosters clear thinking, and clear thinking fosters clear writing. . . .

There is nothing more effective than traditional logic in training you to be a clear, effective, and careful writer.

HT: Justin Taylor

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