Quick Thoughts: Education II

Dec 10, 2012 by

The core curriculum must be reads that promote the exploration into the human mind’s need to question, reason, and to know. Are there other books that could be on the list or replace those on the list? That is for you to decide. Here is a brief look into my choices.

The Bible is the foundation of most religious faiths in a Supreme Being. At the very least it is an epic journey detailing the struggles between good and evil. It has become the subject and starting point of most discussions on religious faith and or the origins of organized religions. To not explore its words would leave a hole in discussion and understanding that could not be filled by any other writing.

Beyond Good and Evil by Friederich Nietzsche battles the acceptance of religious, mainly Christian, concepts of morality. Nietzsche takes us on a journey of thought beyond the religious understanding of good and evil based on motivations and advances the idea of individuals, “Supermen”, who posses the ability to reason the just relationship between important and unimportant things in their proper context.

Of all the books I have read, The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle is the one that I most refer to because it is the classical work on a life well lived based on reason and function. The poet Dante wrote that Aristotle was “the master of those who know”.

The fictional work, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, explores animal instinct and passion verses human reason. It is a well crafted story that brings to life a natural struggle.

Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre examines ontology which is the study of the nature of being. Sartre advocates the idea of “freedom over choice” which states that humans have complete and total responsibility over their actions.

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith is simply the authority on economics. Its insight into the market, free-enterprise and capitalism is the foundation for all economic thought.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’ Communist Manifesto is a communion of politics and economics using a historical approach and analysis emphasizing the continued class struggle while exposing the problems of capitalism.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli takes the reader into the practical world of politics and its benefits of achieving political security and social stability. Machiavelli believes that political security and social stability are the true ends of the political system.

The Spirit of the Laws by Baron de Montesquieu details the structure of constitutional government based on the separation of powers, the protection of civil liberty, advocating the ending of slavery, and the foundation for all just governments based on the rule of law.

The Last Lion-Winston Spencer Churchill Defender of the Realm by William Manchester and Paul Reid chronicles the dynamic leader who exhibited the wisdom to understand the critical and urgent situation of his time, the will to overcome popular consensus, the courage to act when others disappeared in the face of adversity, and the strength to guide his nation, and the world to rightful action with the spirit to “never surrender”.

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