“The life which is unexamined is not worth living” – Socrates
Hi, my name is Ryan Boissonneault. I’m a technical writer by trade and a lifelong student of philosophy.
Escaping Plato’s Cave is a record of my personal journey through the history of Western philosophy and a collection of the most valuable lessons from the great philosophers of the past. From Socrates and the Presocratics to John Rawls and beyond, every great thinker has something valuable to teach us, and this website is my attempt to communicate those lessons in a clear and relevant way.
I’ve assembled a reading list of 72 classic works of philosophy spanning 2,400-plus years. Each month, I’ll tackle a selection from the list, providing a summary of the main lessons and insights from each book. (In addition, I’ll also be reviewing the latest books in philosophy, general and intellectual history, the sciences, and more.)
I believe that philosophy is among the most practical and potentially life-changing subjects one can study, and that its absence in our educational system is largely to blame for our substandard public discourse and general sense of confusion and anxiety. By studying the big questions of philosophy—and the various attempts at answers—we can begin to chart our own path to intellectual independence—and stop relying on others, or the cultures in which we are raised, to do the thinking for us.