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The Trivium guides the reader through a clarifying and rigorous account of logic, grammar, and rhetoric. A thorough presentation of general grammar, propositions, syllogisms, enthymemes, fallacies, poetics, figurative language, and metrical discourse--accompanied by lucid graphics and enlivened by examples from Shakespeare, Milton, Plato, and others-makes The Trivium a per The Trivium guides the reader through a clarifying and rigorous account of logic, grammar, and rhetoric. A thorough presentation of general grammar, propositions, syllogisms, enthymemes, fallacies, poetics, figurative language, and metrical discourse--accompanied by lucid graphics and enlivened by examples from Shakespeare, Milton, Plato, and others-makes The Trivium a perfect book for teachers, students, writers, lawyers, and all serious users of language.


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The Trivium guides the reader through a clarifying and rigorous account of logic, grammar, and rhetoric. A thorough presentation of general grammar, propositions, syllogisms, enthymemes, fallacies, poetics, figurative language, and metrical discourse--accompanied by lucid graphics and enlivened by examples from Shakespeare, Milton, Plato, and others-makes The Trivium a per The Trivium guides the reader through a clarifying and rigorous account of logic, grammar, and rhetoric. A thorough presentation of general grammar, propositions, syllogisms, enthymemes, fallacies, poetics, figurative language, and metrical discourse--accompanied by lucid graphics and enlivened by examples from Shakespeare, Milton, Plato, and others-makes The Trivium a perfect book for teachers, students, writers, lawyers, and all serious users of language.

30 review for The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This dense, authoritative textbook takes all of Aristotle's teachings on logic, grammar, and rhetoric, and some of his teachings of poetics, adds some of the insights gained in the subsequent centuries, and presents it in a well-organized flow. Sister Miriam Joseph (1898-1982) was an American nun who, inspired by a lecture by philosopher Mortimer J. Adler on the liberal arts, developed a course on the language arts at Saint Mary's College which she called "The Trivium." There being no existing te This dense, authoritative textbook takes all of Aristotle's teachings on logic, grammar, and rhetoric, and some of his teachings of poetics, adds some of the insights gained in the subsequent centuries, and presents it in a well-organized flow. Sister Miriam Joseph (1898-1982) was an American nun who, inspired by a lecture by philosopher Mortimer J. Adler on the liberal arts, developed a course on the language arts at Saint Mary's College which she called "The Trivium." There being no existing textbook for it, she wrote her own, and The Trivium was published in 1937. And, luckily for those of us who would like to think, write, and read clearly, it's still in print. I have decided to do my best to acquire a liberal education through my own efforts. Toward that end I have read, so far, the two-volume Syntopicon of the Britannica Great Books of the Western World series, several other works by Mortimer J. Adler, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Edward P. J. Corbett, all six works of the Organon of Aristotle, plus Robin Smith's guide to Aristotle's Prior Analytics. Now, having read Sister Miriam Joseph's book, I think that her text should be the master text for the student of the liberal arts, and all other works, including Aristotle's originals, should be read as supplements. Sister Miriam has boiled down and systematized the material, connecting and relating all the different aspects for the student. For a book just 292 pages long, its scope is shockingly wide and deep. The student is taken on a sometimes overwhelming journey from metaphysics (the nature of reality and experience) to grammar (how language reflects our thoughts about reality) to logic (how clear statements can be ordered to discover truth) to rhetoric (how statements can be structured in discourses to persuade others). Every thought presented in the book is clear, complete, and connected with everything else. There is no vagueness, no subjectivity, no inconclusiveness. I was fascinated to read about the concept of "general grammar", as distinct from the "special grammars" of specific languages: general grammar is the way that speech conforms to thought. Sister Miriam shows how the familiar parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) correspond to Aristotle's "categories" of thought: the specific ways in which the mind is able to cognize reality. This book is not meant to be read casually. It is a whole course, or really a whole degree program, in a single binding. To master this material you will have to do a great deal of work, but the book itself contains only a few exercises; it would be great if some generous soul developed a workbook with plenty of exercises and quizzes to be used along with Sister Miriam's text. For my part I'm going back and boiling the text down into longhand notes, and trying to come up with examples and exercises of my own. I'm doing this because I believe that this material is worth mastering. Its loss from our educational system--a loss that has been progressive, apparently, since about the 14th century--has been a calamity. Homo sapiens has named himself after his supposed intellectual powers, and we are certainly the only species to have developed written language. Why would we not want, as individuals, to develop these powers? to take hold of as much of our specific nature as we can? to be as fully human as we can? Well, I do, anyway. And if that possibility also appeals to you, this text is an excellent place to start. Start soon, for the journey is not short. But whenever you start, Sister Miriam has done her utmost to make your journey as easy as it can be made.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    This book is either good or not good. This book is not good. Therefore, it is good. For a long time I’ve been curious about older models of education. Although our knowledge of the world has no doubt advanced, I can’t help wondering if our education has done likewise. Read a newspaper or a letter from one hundred or so years ago, and it seems obvious that people were generally more literate and articulate back then. Of course, such impressions are not trustworthy; and there are a great man This book is either good or not good. This book is not good. Therefore, it is good. For a long time I’ve been curious about older models of education. Although our knowledge of the world has no doubt advanced, I can’t help wondering if our education has done likewise. Read a newspaper or a letter from one hundred or so years ago, and it seems obvious that people were generally more literate and articulate back then. Of course, such impressions are not trustworthy; and there are a great many factors to take into account. Idealizing the past is, after all, the easiest thing in the world. For this reason, I wanted to experience the older paradigm for myself. This book was the perfect place to start. This book is boring. Boring is an adjective. Therefore, this book is an adjective. Sister Miriam Joseph wrote this book after hearing a lecture by Mortimer Adler, the famous advocate of ‘Great Books.’ It was created to be a textbook for a freshman liberal arts class in Saint Mary’s College. As its name indicates, the substance of the book consists of three subjects: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. These are taught in the traditional scholastic/Aristotelian form, relying heavily on Aristotle’s Organon, Rhetoric, and Poetics. This book is orange. Mangos are orange. Therefore, this book is a mango. In style, this book is remarkably dry. Joseph strove for a maximum of compression and brevity; often it is little more than an outline. When you add to this the plentiful technical terms—of grammar, logic, and rhetoric—you get a pretty slow-going read. Indeed, it really isn’t meant to be read at all, but to be studied as basis of an entire course. Be that as it may, the prose is often ponderous. Aristotle was right about everything. This book agrees with Aristotle. Therefore, this book is right about everything. I can’t deny that the scholastic Aristotelian worldview presented here has a certain appeal. The system seems to explain everything. Metaphysics is mirrored in logic, logic represented in grammar, and grammar is the backbone of rhetoric. There is thus a natural chain connecting the nature of reality, the rules of thought, the structure of language, and the art of persuasion. No nuns are men. Some Muslims are not men. Therefore, some Muslims are nuns. My problem is that I don’t find this system rewarding, appealing, or convincing. I don’t agree with Aristotle’s metaphysics, I don’t find the grammar accurate, I don’t think syllogisms are terribly useful, and I believe you can get better advice on rhetoric from style guides. The profusion of jargon, diagrams, and rules might give this system an air of rigor; but to me it often seems mere pedantry. It is hard for me to endorse a system of language and thought that leads to prose I don’t like and conclusions with which I disagree. If people were truly more linguistically adept in the past, I don't think it was due to this paradigm. No Christians are atheists. No atheists are priests. Therefore, all Christians are priests. Nevertheless, I think this book is worth reading for the light it sheds on a bygone educational model. Having read Aristotle’s originals, I can say that this is an admirable summary and exposition. Joseph managed to present a useable handbook of Aristotelian thought for the modern student—an impressive feat. And if this book inspires its readers to treat arguments rigorously and to take care with their language, then I suppose its worth all the jargon you can chew. Good reasoning is sound. Sound is loud. Therefore, good reasoning is loud.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    If you can master this book it is worth more than any college education money can buy. The only reason this doesn't get five stars is because it's a bit on the difficult side. There are other books on the trivium that may be a bit easier to start with but this book has everything plus wonderful examples from the Bible to Shakespeare. After mastering this book you will easily distinguish truth from error. The trivium was how educated people from the classical age up through the 19th century. With If you can master this book it is worth more than any college education money can buy. The only reason this doesn't get five stars is because it's a bit on the difficult side. There are other books on the trivium that may be a bit easier to start with but this book has everything plus wonderful examples from the Bible to Shakespeare. After mastering this book you will easily distinguish truth from error. The trivium was how educated people from the classical age up through the 19th century. With its absence is it any wonder why we're the dumbest generation? Any one considered educated needs to read this. Highly recommended!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I should preface this by saying that this is a textbook, used in the author's Freshman English classes. Yet, hers was never typical of such classes. She did not just teach the students a little grammar, she taught them how to think. I can imagine her classes must have been one of those grueling, interminable ordeals that students so love to bemoan while in the midst of it, but that they boast about after the fact. She studied under Mortimer J. Adler, so it comes as no surprise that she is well v I should preface this by saying that this is a textbook, used in the author's Freshman English classes. Yet, hers was never typical of such classes. She did not just teach the students a little grammar, she taught them how to think. I can imagine her classes must have been one of those grueling, interminable ordeals that students so love to bemoan while in the midst of it, but that they boast about after the fact. She studied under Mortimer J. Adler, so it comes as no surprise that she is well versed in classics. If you love to learn, this is the place to start. I cannot say that this was always a pleasurable read, the chapters on logic in particular seemed long and lumbering, there was just so much there that needed more careful study than I was willing to give; however, I learned so much from the early chapters on grammar that it kept me going in hopes of learning more. It was surprising to me that I could learn so much about grammar, since I have studied the topic quite a bit in my time. Sister Mariam Joseph wastes no time on the basics. In the grammar section, she introduces such topics as the ten categories of being: substance, quality, quantity, relation, action, passion, time, space, posture, and habiliment. She has a section on ambiguity, and how it arises, including one variety I had never heard about: "Ambiguity arising from imposition and intention." Her section on Mode or Mood also took my by surprise, explaining the four modes: indicative, potential, interrogative and volitive. The only problem with this book is that it packs so much information into such a small package, that you miss the oportunity that a classroom would provide of working through exercises to consolidate what you've learned. This is a book that may need to be read many times. My favorite part, however, was the rhetoric section. She has packed volumes worth of information on writing into forty short pages. It left me longing for more. I will be purchasing another of her works, Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language, very soon. I feel that it will expand on what is offered in this volume. I can't wait to read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    When living in an age when one sees a lot of "LMAO" and "How r u". It is nice to dig into an old school grammar, logic and rhetoric book to see how language was once a fine art. This book is on three of the ancient liberal arts grammar, logic and rhetoric. It was written in the 1940s by a nun who goes over the three liberal arts of the trivium. No one in the middle ages could call themselves educated without a grounding in the seven liberal arts and the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric we When living in an age when one sees a lot of "LMAO" and "How r u". It is nice to dig into an old school grammar, logic and rhetoric book to see how language was once a fine art. This book is on three of the ancient liberal arts grammar, logic and rhetoric. It was written in the 1940s by a nun who goes over the three liberal arts of the trivium. No one in the middle ages could call themselves educated without a grounding in the seven liberal arts and the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric were the most important. This book will get you up to speed on proper writing and style and Aristotelian logic. It is well written for a textbook that one might pick it up to just read for pleasure. Update 8/14/2019 The Trivium consists of three of the seven liberal arts that a free person needed to know in the ancient world. The Quadrivium dealt with liberal arts for Matter (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy). The Trivium, in turn, dealt with arts involving the mind. Logic the art of gaining knowledge, Grammar the art of putting knowledge into symbols, and rhetoric the art of communicating knowledge. These seven liberal arts were what every educated person was expected to know in the ancient and medieval world. Of course, our world is different and requires different skill sets but it is good to know how people operated in the past. Such knowledge might have something to add to the modern conversation.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gunmetalguts

    My mind benefited more from this book than from all my years in public schools ... but does this really surprise anyone?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Benjaminxjackson

    This book teaches two lessons: first, the humanities can, and should, have rigor associated with them; and second, it teaches how to obtain and apply that rigor. While the book requires some effort to read, for those interested in logic, grammar, rhetoric, and the liberal arts, the effort is richly rewarded. The book opens with a discussion on the liberal arts and then moves to a discussion of the science of grammar. This grammar is not about subject-verb agreement and punctuation, it is about h This book teaches two lessons: first, the humanities can, and should, have rigor associated with them; and second, it teaches how to obtain and apply that rigor. While the book requires some effort to read, for those interested in logic, grammar, rhetoric, and the liberal arts, the effort is richly rewarded. The book opens with a discussion on the liberal arts and then moves to a discussion of the science of grammar. This grammar is not about subject-verb agreement and punctuation, it is about how the rules of language lend themselves to clarity of thought and communication. From there is moves into an extensive logic section talking extensively about deductive reasoning and adding a section on inductive reasoning. Finally, it talks about rhetoric and why it is important. This is a book about thinking and communication, and anyone who wants to strengthen their ability to do both can do so by spending time with this book. Though I have finished it, I am not done with it, and will spend some time going over some of the sections again. All of that said, while I did enjoy this book, it is rather academic. It sometimes seems rather far from the real world, though somehow, it manages to reconnect with everyday life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    S

    The first steps toward understanding what you know.

  9. 4 out of 5

    MM

    Excellent book for anybody who wants to learn how to think. Clear and relevant. Covers most of the stuff we didn't learn in school lol - dumb modern education

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph I would describe the Trivium as the art of learning because it teaches you to understand the nature and function of language so that you can organize your observations and thoughts in a matter that enables you to accurately express them to yourself and to others. The Trivium are the first three of the seven liberal arts and sciences and the Quadrivium are the remaining four. The three subjects which make up the Trivium are p The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph I would describe the Trivium as the art of learning because it teaches you to understand the nature and function of language so that you can organize your observations and thoughts in a matter that enables you to accurately express them to yourself and to others. The Trivium are the first three of the seven liberal arts and sciences and the Quadrivium are the remaining four. The three subjects which make up the Trivium are part of what’s called a "classical" education today, which is something that very few of us get in our public schooling. Up until about a hundred years ago, the Trivium and Quadrivium were the basis and premier study in a general education. General grammar, formal or Aristotelian logic, and classical rhetoric. Many ancient texts refer to these as knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. General grammar is the systematic method of gathering raw data of a similar nature into a body of knowledge. When that gathering is complete we call it a subject or a study. Formal logic is the system of bringing full and intimate understanding to that body of knowledge by systematically eliminating all stated contradictions within it. So at this point we have coherent meaningful knowledge of the set of data, due to the applications of the rules of grammar, and we have an understanding brought about by making that knowledge consistent by applying the rules of logic. To communicate this comprehensive knowledge and understanding to ourselves and to others or to utilize the insights in the real world in the form of instructions or protocols we apply another set of rules; the rules of rhetoric which display wisdom. So one very important advantage is that we can learn on our own, virtually any subject, with almost no guidance from a teacher or facilitator. The Trivium reflects the structure of almost all fields of study. It reflects the structure of the way that we think. Once this method is learned it becomes second nature to us. It’s like learning to read, at first we have difficulty learning the alphabet and then we have to learn how to put it together, then we see it put together in the form of words. At first it’s very hard for us to get the method of putting it all together but then one day, almost without realizing it, we understand what those words are saying on a page. It’s from developing that skill of reading: from the memorization of the ABC’s, to putting it together. If we’re lucky we have the key to language, which is phonics, and if we’re taught phonics we’re all that much better off. In the same way, the Trivium teaches us how to think. My favourite component is logic (and argumentation) to identify diversionary tactics and logical fallacies. An argument that deals with the point at issue is argumentum ad rem (literally an “argument to the thing”). Arguments that evade the issue with diversionary tactics are given special names to signify on which irrelevant grounds they are based: argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad populum, argumentum ad misericordiam, argumentum ad baculum, argumentum ad ignorantiam, and argumentum ad verecundiam. Plato and Aristotle condemned the sophists: Gorgias, Protagoras, and others for their superficiality and disregard of truth in teaching to make the worse appear the better cause. One sophist argument that was appealing to me was that they considered the loser of a debate to be the winner in the sense that the winning a debate only proves your opponent was wrong and you gain nothing but losing a debate causes you to gain truth (you discovered you were wrong and now you learned something you didn’t know before) so in that sense you won something. Here’s an excellent excerpt from the book that demonstrates logic: “Fallacies of the Dilemma: A famous ancient example is the argument between Protagoras and Euathlus, his law pupil. According to the contract between them, Euathlus was to pay half his tuition fee when he completed his studies and the other half when he had won his first case in court. Seeing that his pupil deliberately delayed beginning the practice of law, Protagoras sued him for the balance of the fee. Euathlus had to plead his own case. Protagoras' argument was that if Euathlus loses this case, he must pay me by the judgement of the court; if he wins it, he must pay me in accordance with the terms of the contract. He must either win or lose it therefore he must pay me in any case.” Euathlus rebuts the dilemma by stating that if he wins the case, he need not pay by the judgement of the court; if he loses it, he need not pay in accordance with the terms of the contract. He must either win or lose it therefore he need not pay in any case. It looks like lawyers were assholes back then too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This book more than any other reset my course and gave me the foundation I have long sought in order to learn everything else. It is less about her subjects, grammar, logic and rhetoric than a course in critical thinking. I am a lifelong fan of logic and reason and I had a pretty good grasp of that. But Sister Miriam's teaching enlightened me. I can now use it with more precision and express and persuade others more easily due to that precision. God Bless Sister Miriam.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ioseph Bonifacius (Ioannes)

    A classic. Young catholics should certainly read this in order to think better and express themselves well. I read it in another book that today people who receive university degrees do not know how to express themselves, in the middle ages those who would study were very precise with their words and were very logical and rational in expressing something, that is what this book tries to accomplish.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ann Michael

    OK, this book may not be an 'easy read' and may not be everyone's cup of tea. Not a beach book. Having noted the above, I want to add that anyone who is interested in logic, grammar, and how the two connect will find this book illuminating. Sister Miriam was a wonderful teacher, and this book is still sometimes used in college undergraduate classes to explain how Aristotelian logic works and how logic relates to rhetoric, grammar, argument. She's remarkably clear. Her language is straightforward; OK, this book may not be an 'easy read' and may not be everyone's cup of tea. Not a beach book. Having noted the above, I want to add that anyone who is interested in logic, grammar, and how the two connect will find this book illuminating. Sister Miriam was a wonderful teacher, and this book is still sometimes used in college undergraduate classes to explain how Aristotelian logic works and how logic relates to rhetoric, grammar, argument. She's remarkably clear. Her language is straightforward; she explains the terms sensibly. I studied philosophy as an undergrad and loved the discipline, but I wish I'd read this text then. It would have helped me to put into better words the things I was thinking. As a word person, and as a teacher, I found this book satisfying. But is IS a text! It's not "logic made fun and readable for the average everyday person." If you WANT "logic made fun and readable for the average everyday person," then check out The Big Questions: How Philosophy Can Change Your Life by Lou Marinoff.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Worth reading for all the infromation about writing and word usage.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dmitry Mikhaylov

    This book may be interesting to those who have never taken courses on logic and rethoric. Both subjects represent a large body of knowledge and are given in the book in a proper order and detail. The book starts from the very basic questions such as: what is "matter" and what is "form"; how the human mind learns about the world; how the knowledge gets conceptualized, put into words, and used to create new knowledge. The topics which follow those basics are related to the practicle apects of commun This book may be interesting to those who have never taken courses on logic and rethoric. Both subjects represent a large body of knowledge and are given in the book in a proper order and detail. The book starts from the very basic questions such as: what is "matter" and what is "form"; how the human mind learns about the world; how the knowledge gets conceptualized, put into words, and used to create new knowledge. The topics which follow those basics are related to the practicle apects of communucation. The various forms of arguments are introduced in the book along with the rules which can help keeping them away from fallacies. The final chapter of the book offers to learn about the foms of composition including the poetry. In particular, this part explains how to read and enjoy the unrhymed poetry such as that called "blank verse" preferred by Shakespeare.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Davey Ermold

    This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be! I bought it in order to better understand the history and philosophy of teaching the trivium, especially as it related to primary and secondary education; however, the subtitle of the book was a greater indication of its true subject matter: "Understanding the Nature and Function of Language." Indeed, "The Trivium" functions as a primer of sorts on grammar, logic, and rhetoric. While it can definitely serve as an introduction to these concep This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be! I bought it in order to better understand the history and philosophy of teaching the trivium, especially as it related to primary and secondary education; however, the subtitle of the book was a greater indication of its true subject matter: "Understanding the Nature and Function of Language." Indeed, "The Trivium" functions as a primer of sorts on grammar, logic, and rhetoric. While it can definitely serve as an introduction to these concepts, it is by no means a casual read, as it is full of terminology and principles with which to become acquainted. As my kids grow older, especially when we teach them formal logic and rhetoric, I'm sure I'll find myself turning back to this book. It is a wealth of information!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Connor

    Joseph's putative goal is to organize and explain norms within the three arts of the trivium: logic, grammar, and rhetoric. But because she oversimplifies, she's more likely to mislead than educate. Her definitions use philosophical terms of art in a way that confuses without adding meaning. For example, she writes, "A word, like every other physical reality, is constituted of matter and form. Its matter is the sensible sign; its form is the meaning imposed upon it by convention." Here, she cram Joseph's putative goal is to organize and explain norms within the three arts of the trivium: logic, grammar, and rhetoric. But because she oversimplifies, she's more likely to mislead than educate. Her definitions use philosophical terms of art in a way that confuses without adding meaning. For example, she writes, "A word, like every other physical reality, is constituted of matter and form. Its matter is the sensible sign; its form is the meaning imposed upon it by convention." Here, she crams words (which don't fit in the class of "physical reality" easily) into the frame of hylomorphism. Yet, after reading her explanation, it seems her only apparent reason for doing so is circular (i.e., so that she could find a place for words within matter and form, which, according to her scholastic view, comprise reality). And the tone is dogmatic. For instance: "Voice is the sound uttered by an animal. The voice of irrational animals has meaning from nature, from the tone of the utterance. The human voice alone is symbolic."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Maina

    Wow! This is a book that should be read very slow by any student of poetry and anyone who wants to be well versed with the language that is English. Especially more if you have plans to be a writer. It is almost impossible to write about logic, rhetoric and grammar and not quote from the classical age. Those guys were worth their salt. True to say that life can only be understood backwards but lived forward. I have had to read this slow (about a month) and I will definitely come back to it for purp Wow! This is a book that should be read very slow by any student of poetry and anyone who wants to be well versed with the language that is English. Especially more if you have plans to be a writer. It is almost impossible to write about logic, rhetoric and grammar and not quote from the classical age. Those guys were worth their salt. True to say that life can only be understood backwards but lived forward. I have had to read this slow (about a month) and I will definitely come back to it for purposes of reference. My purpose when reading was that so that the book would not come to and end but sadly it came to an end. I do not rate books this highly, unless they touch a nerve somewhere...and this book did. A recommended slow read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    I rated this 4 stars for the intensity and depth of learning that can occur with this book. It reads more like a textbook. I'm glad I persevered and finished to the end. Difficult but worth it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zy Marquiez

    BreakawayIndividual.com Zy Marquiez February 11, 2020 In How To Read A Book – The Classical Guide To Intelligent Reading, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren postulated that most published books out there will not be complex enough to teach the reader anything of true substance.[1] That is unfortunate, because given the decline in education, substance is exactly what our culture needs, especially given how culture as a whole is also declining as well, as Professor Patrick Deneen penned in a paper BreakawayIndividual.com Zy Marquiez February 11, 2020 In How To Read A Book – The Classical Guide To Intelligent Reading, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren postulated that most published books out there will not be complex enough to teach the reader anything of true substance.[1] That is unfortunate, because given the decline in education, substance is exactly what our culture needs, especially given how culture as a whole is also declining as well, as Professor Patrick Deneen penned in a paper years ago. Transitioning to the opposite side of the spectrum of education, let us now take a look at a highly underrated book that would go a long way to aid in an individual’s self-directed learning. There is no better place to start with respect to education, then gravitating towards the Trivium, which was part of classical education, though that is no longer the case. In The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D. does an exemplary job teaching classical components of education which do not get the light of day in modern times. As this passage by Marguerite McGlinn relates, which speaks incisively: “Ultimately, Sister Miriam Joseph speaks most eloquently about the value of this book. She explains that studying the liberal arts [The Trivium] is an intransitive activity; the effect of studying these arts stays within the individual and perfects the faculties of the mind and spirit. She compares the studying of the liberal arts with the blooming of the rose; it brings to fruition the possibilities of human nature. She writes, “The utilitarian or servile arts enable one to be a servant – of another person, of the state, of a corporation, or a business – and to earn a living. The liberal arts, in contrast, teach one how to live; they train the faculties and bring them to perfection; they enable a person to rise above his material environment to live an intellectual, a rational, and therefore a free life in gaining truth.”[2][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added] The book doesn’t just speak of The Trivium, but shows how to employ the core concepts rather saliently. By covering the vital topics of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric, The Trivium goes far above and beyond most books that are ‘mandatory’ in the public school system. Given that the once mandatory subjects of rhetoric and logic are all but gone from mainstream schooling and only a shadow of those remain, while what is taught of grammar is very superficial, a book like this blows away anything that regular schooling could offer. Why such a bold statement? Because the Trivium is the foundation upon which classical education was built. However, after a shift away from classical education, the Trivium was removed from the system of public schooling to the detriment of the students and America as a whole. The Trivium features not only a very methodical approach into the learning and teaching of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric, but the book is also chock-full of numerous examples coming straight from the upper tiers of literary history which are used to buttress lessons from the book. Additionally, not only does this book explain in detail the core concepts of the Trivium, but at key junctures it also offers some exercises in order to apply what one has learned to gauge an individual’s progress. The Trivium is a really thorough presentation of classical education in a user-friendly manner. It encompasses everything from poetics, fallacies, syllogisms, propositions, grammar, composition, enthymemes and much more. If you’re a homeschooler, an unschooler, an autodidact, a self-directed learner, or simply someone that is seeking to teach themselves about these crucial parts of education, then ruminate deeply about getting this book. Its lessons would benefit every individual come to terms with the greater capability that they always could have had, but never found a way to achieve due to the terribly lacking public schooling system. ____________________________________ Sources & References: [1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren. [2] Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.,The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric, pp. x-xi. ____________________________________ Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren Philosophy 101b by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David Morrow The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors Tavistock Institute: Social Engineering The Masses by Daniel Estulin A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression & How Women Can Heal Their Bodies To Reclaim Their Lives by Dr. Kelly Brogan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dolphin

    A fantastic book. To the beginner it will seem very mysterious and even arcane, and put together strangely, but by a logic the book teaches, and so will seem sensible by the middle or before. The secret is that it's really a splicing together of Scholastic logic, basics of universal grammar from a book called Hermes and others, and rhetoric from Aristotle & some other places. So in a way it's half-baked, I mean it doesn't cover everything that you need to cover to understand all of what is in th A fantastic book. To the beginner it will seem very mysterious and even arcane, and put together strangely, but by a logic the book teaches, and so will seem sensible by the middle or before. The secret is that it's really a splicing together of Scholastic logic, basics of universal grammar from a book called Hermes and others, and rhetoric from Aristotle & some other places. So in a way it's half-baked, I mean it doesn't cover everything that you need to cover to understand all of what is in the book, but is excellent. It was my first real philosophical book and it still seems magic to me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Magrini Rigo

    It's a nice introduction to the Aristoteles arts. It gets quite technical on the grammar section, but the rethoric and logic sections are really enjoyable to read. I went in unwarned of the school-tone of the book, so I didn't enjoy it that much, but I really took some good stuff out of it. For instance, people usually use Entimems to hide fallacies. Entimem is a Syllogism with an implicit premise, so you need to reveal it and double-check if it is correct.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amber Scaife

    Well, that wasn't really what I was expecting. The title led me to believe it would be a cool discussion of the nature of language, but it's really just a grammar. And it reads like a grammar (i.e. not all that exciting). *shrug* Post Note: Why do grammars have to be so dull?! Language is exciting and fun, so what can't the books explaining how they work reflect that? Yoicks.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Wondrasek

    Feels like it was written to support an out-dated philosophy. But it is an old book written by a nun, so perhaps that should not be a surprise. Not much time was given to rhetoric, and the logic was pretty shallow if you have had any exposure to logic before.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zeshan Sheikh

    I wish I read it much earlier.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Austin Hoffman

    Impossibly thorough, this covers everything you could possibly want to know about the arts of the Trivium. Unfortunately, it sins by using endnotes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chad McCanless

    Very different book to read but full of wisdom and knowledge. This is not a book you can read through in a few weeks. I recommend it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Despite multiple reviews for this book that made it sound like EXACTLY what I was looking for, it really fell flat for me. Hopefully I'll "get it" when I try reading it again in the future.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian Fitzroy

    I read so many rhetoric books before this that is was all review. This just goes to show what it's like being an autodidact—you read books out of order all the time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Anoskey

    A classic, which I my opinion should be required reading for college students.

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