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Socrates' Way: Seven Keys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2004

    More Than A Method, For More Than The Mind

    For many the term 'Socratic' evokes the countenance of the hemlock-drinking gadfly of Greek antiquity or the pedagogy of iconic Law School don Professor Kingsfield in the 1973 film, 'The Paper Chase.' For author Ronald Gross, the designation is symbolic not just of a man or inquisitional teaching style, but also of a distinctive and rewarding orientation to life itself, one he claims to have - - - and makes a compelling case for believing he has - - - lived for the past twenty years. Socrates¿ Way introduces this approach, personified by the ancient philosopher some of us thought we knew but didn¿t, or at best knew only superficially from some long-forgotten Western Civilization class. By reputation most of us are acquainted with Socrates the provocateur and logician, ever-ready to deflate an untested assumption or weak argument with pointed and masterfully-aimed questions. Fewer of us are familiar with the other Socrateses revealed in this book: the friend, the conversationalist, the bon vivant, the citizen, the soldier, and the student. As the author points out, these and other lesser-known faces of the legendary philosopher represent personal potentialities that we can develop fully if we are willing to follow his example and are embodied in the Seven Keys, to which each a full chapter is dedicated. As with many of the authors¿ previous works such as The Independent Scholars¿ Handbook and Peak Learning, Socrates¿ Way is a chockablock with the author¿s trademark blend of reasoned encouragement, concrete examples and practical applications. Some may find certain Keys (e.g. ¿Grow With Friends¿) difficult at best and impracticable at worst in what appears at times to be an increasingly anti-intellectual age. If such is the case it is worth noting that Socrates himself did not always find such precepts easy to follow, as his ultimate demise illustrates. That said, I cannot, however, imagine anyone¿s days not being enriched by embracing at least one of these Keys. Most of us know Socrates¿ dictum that the unexamined life is not worth living. Given the example of the journey travelled by the full-blooded sage so ably portrayed in the pages of this book, one is inclined to believe he would similarly admonish that the unlived life is not worth examining. Socrates¿ Way shows us not only how to explore such a life, but how to walk a path befitting such scrutiny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    For students of themselves

    This is an excellent choice for anyone who is serious about the quest for self improvement. With the large amount of material available on that subject it's often overwhelming to discern the useful from the waste of time. This one is a gem of usefulness in making practical the applications of Socrates' methods in everyday interactions with one's self and with others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2002

    My book "find" of the year.

    What a terrific book! Who would think that reading about an ancient Greek would be so riveting and rewarding? On any page you can find so much that is relevant to your life and the world today that it is hard to put down, or forget. The lovely illustrations, format and layout make it very readable. It invites and inspires you to go on finding out more. The way Socrates, so long ago, can show us today how to enhance our lives, think clearly, and enliven our own spirit is positively encouraging in our troubled world. I, for one, have not read such an accessible, intellectual and invigorating book in ages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2002

    A great handbook for The Good Life

    Remembering Socrates from college reading, I really enjoyed getting to know him first-hand in this beautifully illustrated book. In each chapter the author took me back to "the glories that were Greece", then showed how fascinating people today use Socrates' principles, and finally offered wonderful Exercises which are really fun to do. A great adventure in learning and growth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    Socrate's Way: Seven Keys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost

    Socrates¿ Way is the best book on self-development I have read since Michael Gelb¿s How to Think Like Leonardo. Gross shows how to apply the famous Socratic Method to such practical issues as how to choose your friends, how to get new ideas to improve your life, and how to find the time to nurture your emotional life. I especially enjoyed the chapter on ¿Socrates¿ Way for Women,¿ which showed why the unique psychological strengths which many women have, equip us so well to succeed in the 21st century. Corene Ross

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    Socrate's Way: Seven Keys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost

    TITLE: Socrates is ME! Reading this wonderful book, I realized that the same spirit that inspired Socrates, is alive and well in me! Like him, I want to Think for Myself, Grow with Friends, Ask Great Questions, and Strengthen My Soul. The book enabled me walk around Athens with Socrates, learning from him as if he were my personal tutor. There are numerous exercises in which you put his principles right to work in your life. (I used his ¿best question to ask about the organization where you work¿ to get myself a promotion!) Christy-Hansen Bernal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    Yea! Yea! Socrates Way!

    Ron Gross has written a spellbinding, user friendly book unusual in that it juxtaposes Socrates' methods and philosphies with today's lifestyle. Each chapter illuminates Socratic ideas that merit pondering, e.g., Chapter Four: "Challenge Convention: ("Escaping from the cave of illusions"--how pertinent!); and Chapter Two: "Ask Great Questions" ("the way toward the truth"). The concept of the "100 questions" was especially intriguing. The final chapter, seven, acquaints us with Socrates' enlightened attitude toward women: "To judge a person's capability by gender is like judging a man's intelligence by the amount of hair on his head." Check out Socrates' Way if you and your friends want to be both educated and entertained.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2002

    My new "coach," Socrates!

    This book brought Socrates alive for me -- both as a witty, loving, and charismatic character in his own time, AND as a living presence who can energize our lives today. While reading the book I started implementing four of the seven keys to using my mind more effectively, and found them immediately rewarding. The many fresh ways of Asking Questions have already changed my conversational style, and I've freed my mind of several long-held misconceptions about myself. I feel much more in control of my thinking and my creative process.

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