The concept of education through systematic reading of seminal works themselves (rather than textbooks), was carried on by John Erskine at Columbia University , and, in the 1930s, Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins at the University of Chicago, carried this idea further with the concepts of education through study of the " great books " and "great ideas" of Western civilization. This led to the publication in 1952 of Great Books of the Western World , which is still in print and actively marketed. In 1937, under Stringfellow Barr , St. John's College introduced a curriculum based on the direct study of "great books". These sets are popular today with those interested in homeschooling .
An alternative interpretation of the dialectic is that it is a method for direct perception of the Form of the Good. Philosopher Karl Popper describes the dialectic as "the art of intellectual intuition, of visualising the divine originals, the Forms or Ideas, of unveiling the Great Mystery behind the common man's everyday world of appearances."  In a similar vein, French philosopher Pierre Hadot suggests that the dialogues are a type of spiritual exercise. Hadot writes that "in Plato's view, every dialectical exercise, precisely because it is an exercise of pure thought, subject to the demands of the Logos , turns the soul away from the sensible world, and allows it to convert itself towards the Good."