The Undergraduate Center

Undergraduate Center Readings

The following files can be viewed on-line. Click on the file name and it will be sent to your browser.

Once you get the file, you can view it with your browser, use the "Search" or "Find" function to locate particular passages or terms, and/or "save" it to your own computer for later use.

Most of these files are so large that it would take too long for you to read them directly on line. The best way to use them is to print them out and then read them at your leisure, or to do a "search" for specific items that you are interested in.

Even though computers can help organize material, and can lead you by hypertext links to different ideas, the best way to read is still from a clean printed page that you can turn at your own speed. Computers can help, but no computer screen will ever replace that page-turning!

Supplemental Philosophy Files

In most cases, the following group of files contains LONGER versions of the readings than you will find in your philosophy text. In some cases they use a different translation, or represent a different edition of the work. But the reason they are here is that they should help you do more in-depth research than you can get from your text alone.
  1. The Apology Plato's APOLOGY in its entirety. Plato's account of the trial of Socrates, and Socrates' "defense" of himself.
  2. Crito Plato's CRITO, the dialogue dealing with Crito's attempts to convince Socrates to escape the Athenian jail, and Socrates' arguments about why he must stay.
  3. Phaedo by Plato, the dialogue dealing with the death of Socrates.
  4. The Symposium Plato's SYMPOSIUM, the dialogue dealing with the nature of love, discussed after dinner and over much wine.
  5. The Republic Plato's REPUBLIC, the dialogue dealing with the nature of justice, but also with the "divided line" account of reality and the "allegory of the cave."
  6. BOOK VII of The Republic just the "Allegory of the Cave" section.
  7. Gyges Ring from the Republic. Would you be moral if you knew you couldn't be caught?
  8. Oedipus the King Sophocles' classic tragedy about the blind guy with big troubles.
  9. "Oedipus Rex as Ideal Tragic Hero of Aristotle" A short essay by Marjorie Barstow written as a sophomore in college.
  10. Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle's text on ethics, complete.
  11. Rhetoric by Aristotle.
  12. Poetics Aristotle's text on forms of poetry, especially "epic poetry," and "tragedy."
  13. The Discourses by Epictetus. Classic "stoic" text.
  14. Confessions by St. Augustine. The whole sordid truth about those pears, and what REALLY happened!
  15. Summa Contra Gentiles(short excerpt) by St. Thomas Aquinas. Compare with Aristotle's Ethics.
  16. The Inferno from Dante's "Divine Comedy." Full English translation, but without many explanatory notes or comments.
  17. The Prince Machiavelli's classic on how to get ahead in the Doge eat Doge world.
  18. Meditations On The First Philosophy Descartes' MEDITATIONS, the whole text.
  19. Discourse on Method Descartes' analytic, mathematical method explained in depth
  20. Pensees (Thoughts) by Blaise Pascal, the whole text.
  21. Othello Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.
  22. Hamlet Shakespeare's tragedy of the returning student with the ultimate disfunctional family.
  23. Leviathan Thomas Hobbes' LEVIATHAN, complete.
  24. Essays Francis Bacon
  25. Paradise Lost John Milton's poetic view of the Devil and hell. Compare this with Dante's Inferno for a very different picture of evil!
  26. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge by George Berkeley (1710)
  27. A Modest Proposal by the satirist Jonathan Swift (1729). A model of a well-written essay, with clear arguments, good evidence, and a terrible conclusion.
  28. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (short excerpts) by David Hume.
  29. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Kant's "Groundwork" for ethics, complete.
  30. The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics Lesser-read work by Kant than the "Groundwork" but interesting.
  31. On Liberty John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, the whole text. The "classic" account of civil liberty.
  32. Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill's UTILITARIANISM, complete.
  33. An Inquiry Into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, complete. (VERY long, detailed discussion. He only mentions the "invisible hand" once.)
  34. Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844) by Karl Marx. (First manuscript, dealing with "alienated labor.")
  35. Peer Gynt Henrik Ibsen's play about wasted opportunities. (The dustballs have dialogue!)
  36. A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen's play.
  37. A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen's play (alternate translation).
  38. Ghosts Henrik Ibsen's play. (What Ibsen said life would be like if Nora stayed with Torvald.)
  39. An Enemy of the People Henrik Ibsen's play.
  40. Rosmersholm Henrik Ibsen's play.
  41. Notes from Underground Dostoyevsky's short novel of freedom and perversity.
  42. The Grand Inquisitor taken from Dostoyevsky's novel Brothers Karamazov. How "free" do we really want to be?
  43. The Death of Ivan Ilych by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Death for the sake of the Dining Room?
  44. Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (1891).
  45. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Jonathan Edwards classic fire and brimstone sermon.
  46. What Is Man? by Mark Twain. Odd collection of essays: Man a "machine?" making dates in history stick, "mistakes" on student papers, travel notes, and MUCH MUCH MORE!
  47. English as She is Taught short section from the above; see how little education has changed since 1917!
  48. Universal Declaration of Human Rights The United Nations' 1948 proclamation.
  49. Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr's letter from jail, Eastertime 1963.
  50. I Have A Dream speech by M. L. King Jr.

  51. The Bhagavad Gita The classic Indian text, including the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna.
  52. 4-Fold Path Buddha's sermons on the 4 noble truths and the 8-fold noble path.
  53. Gospel of the Buddha Buddha's sermons on release from suffering.
  54. The Word of the Buddha Straightforward explanations of the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eightfold Noble Path."
  55. Analects Confucius' text.
  56. The Mean Confucius' text on the "golden mean."
  57. The Great Learning Confucius' text.
  58. Tao Teh Ching The entire Taoist text attributed to "Lao Tzu."
  59. The Art of War by Sun Tzu. How to practice Taoist "active non-action" in war.
  60. Chuang Tzu's classic Taoist texts

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