English 論文/Paper

Why do we read classic(old) books ?

We must entangle with this problem when we read old books.

Some people disagree with reading old books(negative readers) by raising two points.

First, Old books are very difficult and diffuse to read. Reading the explanation for them, we can easily grasp the essence of old books.

They say this way is more economic than reading old books themselves.

Second, old books describe the societies and humans at that time. They do not have to do with us these days.

No doubt, it is significant for us to read recent-published books.

Those who think humans should read old books(positive readers) have difficulty in defending their opinion and opposing to their contradictions.

Because readers have a variety of ideas.

The other, more importantly, people read old books in order to have the experience which they could acquire only by reading them.

For example, the philosophy like metaphysics focuses mainly on unveiling the ultimate principles of the world over the concrete objects.

These knowledge are not immediately useful for our ordinary lives.

To understand philosophy, however, leads us to get the knowledge which we cannot make clear with words; learning other's ideas and perspectives, thinking critically and logically, and feeling the deepness and weight of word etc.

It is very hard to express in a naked meanings such experiences.

In the opposition to the negative readers who cannot understand the specific experiences, the positive readers claimed reasonably that old books are useful and end up taking conversations with them by escaping the two negative points.

In addition, the positive readers exemplify the famous CEOs who liked to read old books and succeeded by applying old books to the business.

Or, some positive readers find the negative readers incomprehensive, looks down upon them, and does not communicate with them honestly.

But, Is this way of the persuasion right ?

I return to the start of the column.

This soothing is not the way to let the negative readers read old books as classic books, but is that the positive readers present the advantage of old books and justify it by making "classic" into "vulger".

In addition, by ignoring the negative readers, the positive reader escapes responsibility to explain exactly the significance of reading old books.

Rather, possibly, the positive readers themselves avoid understanding why they read old books due to uncritically assuming old books are valuable books.

If so, what is the significance to read old books ? Why do we read old books ?

Just I read old books, I must clarify the meanings.

The meanings are 4 points below.


① Old books suggest one opinion to solve the problems in the current society.

Although this suggestion is similar to "useful " and "soothing", these adverbs are not equal to ①.

These adverbs use effective words in old books without caring about contents and contexts.

People who tend to read old books by such means interpret conveniently them and loose the difference with original meanings.

On the other hand, ① to which the positive readers belong put right interpretation on them and apply their implicit meanings to their tackling problems.


② Looking at the current society critically. we think the roots of the problems.

To read old books is to know the origin of the flow up to the current society.

It is from a history that this present society, not other society, exists.

What the origin does lead to the present ?

What the theory does work at present ?

Old books describe one of the answer to these questions.

One of the most intelligible examples is the religion.

To solve the problem about the religion, we understand the system and the doctrine, which makes us read old books naturally.

We should learn the origin, the interpretation, and the logic.

In so far, thinking critically connects to come up with the new solutions and can prevent conflicts. 


③ Old books pointed to the problem and the way of thinking.

It is often that the past problems continue up to the present.

Like ②, old books tell us the origin of matters and the process of thinking or discussion.

There are many examples that the present people make the use of the claims suggested by the past people.

Only by reading old books, can we learn the methodologies.


④ You could remember your arts and thoughts are not the rehash.

Once reading old books, you can find what has been done or not.

It is an arrogant who does not read old books that he publicizes himself as if he showed a thought at the first time - he does not know that he does the same as the past person did.

Those who know old books understand and start to solve the problems which are not tackled by other people.

They spend more times to take the new problems than the negative readers.

As the more the positive readers increase, the sooner people solve the problems in the current society.

We can create the more solutions in the future.

In addition, people come up with new ideas after another.

Through these process, human beings develop.

Old books promote the development.

These 4 points are the foundation to justify clearly the meanings of old books.

This is a part of the significance to read old books.


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