Meditations on First Philosophy audiobook by Rene Descartes (1596-1650). Translated by John Veitch (1829-1894). After several years working on a treatise putting forth his mechanistic philosophy and physics, Descartes shelved the project when his contemporary, Galileo, was charged with heresy. That work, The World, was only published after Descartes' death. It seems that Descartes must have had this, in part at least, in mind when writing his more famous philosophical works. This is especially Read more [...]
The Philippics audiobook by Marcus Tullius Cicero A philippic is a fiery, damning speech delivered to condemn a particular political actor. The term originates with Demosthenes, who delivered an attack on Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BCE. Cicero consciously modeled his own attacks on Mark Antony, in 44 BC and 43 BC, on Demosthenes's speeches, and if the correspondence between M. Brutus and Cicero are genuine [ad Brut. ii 3.4, ii 4.2], at least the fifth and seventh speeches were Read more [...]
On the Nature of the Gods audiobook by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC) Translated by Charles Duke Yonge (1812-1891) De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods) outlines Stoic, Epicurean and Academic (Skeptical) views on religious questions. Problems discussed include: evil, the origin of the world, divination, and characteristics of God(s). (Summary by Geoffrey Edwards)     Read more [...]
The Consolation of Philosophy audiobook by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480-524/525). Translated by H.R. James (1862-1931). Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: Consolatio Philosophiae) is a philosophical work by Boethius written in about the year 524 AD. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West in medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, and is also the last great work that can be called Classical. Consolation of Philosophy was written during Read more [...]
The Mind and the Brain audiobook by Alfred Binet (1857-1911) being the authorized translation of L'?me et le corps F. Legge, editor "This book is a prolonged effort to establish a distinction between what is called mind and what is called matter. Nothing is more simple than to realise this distinction when you do not go deeply into it; nothing is more difficult when you analyse it a little. At first sight, it seems impossible to confuse things so far apart as a thought and a block of stone; Read more [...]
Topics by Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE) Translated by Octavius Owen (1816 - 1873) The Topics is is the fifth of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon ("Instrument"). The Topics constitutes Aristotle's treatise on the art of dialectic—the invention and discovery of arguments in which the propositions rest upon commonly-held opinions or endoxa. Topoi are "places" from which such arguments can be discovered or invented. In his treatise on the Topics, Aristotle Read more [...]
Rhetoric by Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE) Translated by Thomas Taylor (1758-1835) The Rhetoric was developed by Aristotle during two periods when he was in Athens, the first between 367 to 347 BCE (when he was seconded to Plato in the Academy), and the second between 335 to 322 BCE (when he was running his own school, the Lyceum). The Rhetoric consists of three books. Book I offers a general overview, presenting the purposes of rhetoric and a working definition; it also offers a detailed discussion Read more [...]
Posterior Analytics by Aristotle (384 BC -- 322 BC) Translated by Octavius Freire Owen (1816 - 1873) Posterior Analytics is the fourth of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon ("Instrument"). Posterior Analytics deals with demonstration, definition, and scientific knowledge. Demonstration is distinguished as a syllogism productive of scientific knowledge, while Definition is marked as the statement of a thing's nature, a statement of the meaning of the name, Read more [...]
Politics by Aristotle (384 BCE-322 BCE) Translated by Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893) The Politics, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that "Man is a political animal," meaning that people can only become virtuous by active participation in the political community. Aristotle also criticizes Read more [...]
Parva Naturalia (FULL Audio Book) by Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE) Translated by William Alexander Hammond Parva Naturalia [the "short treatises on nature" (a conventional Latin title first used by Giles of Rome)] is a collection of books by Aristotle, which discuss natural phenomena involving the body and the soul. The books are as follows: I - On Sensation and the Sensible II - On Memory and Recollection III - On Sleeping and Waking IV - On Dreams V - On Prophecy in Sleep VI - On Longevity Read more [...]
On the Heavens by Aristotle (384-422) Translated by John Leofric Stocks (1882 - 1937) On the Heavens (Greek: ???? ???????, Latin: De Caelo or De Caelo et Mundo) is Aristotle's chief cosmological treatise. In it Aristotle argues that the Earth is a sphere by pointing to the evidence of lunar eclipses. Aristotle also provides a detailed explanation of his theory of 'gravity' arguing that things which contain 'earth' fall towards the centre of the Universe because 'earth' is naturally attracted Read more [...]
The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE) Translated by Thomas Taylor (1758-1835) The work consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes said to be from his lectures at the Lyceum which were either edited by or dedicated to Aristotle's son, Nicomachus. In many ways this work parallels the similar Eudemian Ethics, which has only eight books, and the two works can be fruitfully compared. Books V, VI, and VII of the Nicomachean Ethics are Read more [...]
Metaphysics (FULL Audio Book) by Aristotle (384 BC -- 322 BC) Metaphysics is essentially a reconciliation of Plato's theory of Forms that Aristotle acquired at the Academy in Athens, with the view of the world given by common sense and the observations of the natural sciences. According to Plato, the real nature of things is eternal and unchangeable. However, the world we observe around us is constantly and perpetually changing. Aristotle's genius was to reconcile these two apparently contradictory Read more [...]
Studies in Pessimism by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) Translated by T. Bailey Saunders (1860-1928) Arthur Schopenhauer, an early 19th century philosopher, made significant contributions to metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. His work also informed theories of evolution and psychology, largely through his theory of the will to power -- a concept which Nietzsche famously adopted and developed. Despite this, he is today, as he was during his life, overshadowed by his contemporary, Hegel. Schopenhauer's Read more [...]
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) Translated by W. K. Marriott The Prince (Italian: Il Principe) is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccol? Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement Read more [...]