Undergraduate Center Readings
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Most of these files are so large that it would take too long for you
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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.
The Apology Plato's APOLOGY in its entirety.
Plato's account of the trial of Socrates, and Socrates' "defense" of himself.
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.
Phaedo by Plato, the dialogue dealing with
the death of Socrates.
The Symposium Plato's SYMPOSIUM, the
dialogue dealing with the nature of love, discussed after dinner and over
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."
BOOK VII of The Republic just the "Allegory
of the Cave" section.
Gyges Ring from the Republic. Would you be moral
if you knew you couldn't be caught?
Oedipus the King Sophocles' classic tragedy
about the blind guy with big troubles.
"Oedipus Rex as Ideal Tragic Hero of Aristotle"
A short essay by Marjorie Barstow written as a sophomore in college.
Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle's text on
Rhetoric by Aristotle.
Poetics Aristotle's text on forms of poetry,
especially "epic poetry," and "tragedy."
The Discourses by Epictetus. Classic
Confessions by St. Augustine. The whole
sordid truth about those pears, and what REALLY happened!
Summa Contra Gentiles(short excerpt) by
St. Thomas Aquinas. Compare with Aristotle's Ethics.
The Inferno from Dante's "Divine Comedy."
Full English translation, but without many explanatory notes or comments.
The Prince Machiavelli's classic on how
to get ahead in the Doge eat Doge world.
Meditations On The First Philosophy Descartes'
MEDITATIONS, the whole text.
Discourse on Method Descartes' analytic,
mathematical method explained in depth
Pensees (Thoughts) by Blaise Pascal, the
Othello Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello,
the Moor of Venice.
Hamlet Shakespeare's tragedy of the returning
student with the ultimate disfunctional family.
Leviathan Thomas Hobbes' LEVIATHAN, complete.
Essays Francis Bacon
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!
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human
Knowledge by George Berkeley (1710)
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.
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
(short excerpts) by David Hume.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
Kant's "Groundwork" for ethics, complete.
The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics Lesser-read
work by Kant than the "Groundwork" but interesting.
On Liberty John Stuart Mill's On Liberty,
the whole text. The "classic" account of civil liberty.
Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill's UTILITARIANISM,
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.)
Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844)
by Karl Marx. (First manuscript, dealing with "alienated labor.")
Peer Gynt Henrik Ibsen's play about wasted
opportunities. (The dustballs have dialogue!)
A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen's play.
A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen's play
Ghosts Henrik Ibsen's play. (What Ibsen
said life would be like if Nora stayed with Torvald.)
An Enemy of the People Henrik Ibsen's play.
Rosmersholm Henrik Ibsen's play.
Notes from Underground Dostoyevsky's
short novel of freedom and perversity.
The Grand Inquisitor taken from Dostoyevsky's
novel Brothers Karamazov. How "free" do we really want to be?
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Lev Nikolayevich
Tolstoy. Death for the sake of the Dining Room?
Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Jonathan
Edwards classic fire and brimstone sermon.
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!
English as She is Taught short section from
the above; see how little education has changed since 1917!
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The
United Nations' 1948 proclamation.
Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther
King Jr's letter from jail, Eastertime 1963.
I Have A Dream speech by M. L. King Jr.
The Bhagavad Gita The classic Indian
text, including the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna.
4-Fold Path Buddha's sermons on the 4
noble truths and the 8-fold noble path.
Gospel of the Buddha Buddha's sermons
on release from suffering.
The Word of the Buddha Straightforward
explanations of the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eightfold Noble Path."
Analects Confucius' text.
The Mean Confucius' text on the "golden
The Great Learning Confucius' text.
Tao Teh Ching The entire Taoist text attributed
to "Lao Tzu."
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. How to practice
Taoist "active non-action" in war.
Chuang Tzu's classic Taoist texts
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