A random.random() Joseph Wilbrand Weblog

A random.random() Joseph Wilbrand Weblog

Great Books

Great Conversation Reading Group – Ten Year Reading Plan

FIRST YEAR

  1. PLATO: Apology, Crito
  2. ARISTOPHANES: Clouds, Lysistrata
  3. PLATO: Republic [Book I-II]
  4. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book I]
  5. ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book I]
  6. PLUTARCH: The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans [Lycurgus, Numa Pompilius, Lycurgus and Numa Compared, Alexander, Caesar]
  7. NEW TESTAMENT: [The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, The Acts of theApostles]
  8. ST. AUGUSTINE: Confessions [Book I-VIII]
  9. MACHIAVELLI: The Prince
  10. RABELAIS: Gargantua and Pantagruel [Book I-II]
  11. MONTAIGNE: Essays [Of Custom, and That We Should Not Easily Change a Law Received; Of Pedantry; Of the Education of Children; That It Is Folly to MeasureTruth and Error by Our Own Capacity; Of Cannibals; That the Relish of Good and Evil Depends in a Great Measure upon the Opinion We Have of Them; Upon SomeVerses of Virgil]
  12. SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet
  13. LOCKE: Concerning Civil Government [Second Essay]
  14. ROUSSEAU: The Social Contract [Book I-II]
  15. GIBBON: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [Ch. 15-16]
  16. The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The Federalist [Numbers 1-10, 31, 47, 51, 68-71]
  17. SMITH: The Wealth of Nations [Introduction—Book I, Ch. 9]
  18. MARX-ENGELS: Manifesto of the Communist Party
  19. (**) TOCQUEVILLE – Democracy in America [Vol 1, part II ch 6-8]
  20. (**) IBSEN – The Master Builder
  21. (**) SCHRODINGER – What is Life?

SECOND YEAR

  1. HOMER: The Iliad
  2. AESCHYLUS: Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides
  3. SOPHOCLES: Oedipus the King, Antigone
  4. HERODOTUS: The History [Book I-II]
  5. PLATO: Meno
  6. ARISTOTLE: Poetics
  7. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book II; Book III, Ch. 5-12; Book VI, Ch. 8-13]
  8. NICOMACHUS: Introduction to Arithmetic
  9. LUCRETIUS: On the Nature of Things [Book I-IV]
  10. MARCUS AURELIUS: Meditations
  11. HOBBES: Leviathan [Part I]
  12. MILTON: Areopagitica
  13. PASCAL: Pensées [Numbers 72, 82-83, 100, 128, 131, 139, 142-143, 171, 194- 195, 219, 229, 233-234, 242, 273, 277, 282, 289, 298, 303, 320, 323, 325, 330-331, 374, 385, 392, 395-397, 409, 412-413, 416, 418, 425, 430, 434-435, 463, 491, 525- 531, 538, 543, 547, 553, 556, 564, 571, 586, 598, 607-610, 613, 619-620, 631, 640, 644, 673, 675, 684, 692-693, 737, 760, 768, 792-793]
  14. PASCAL: Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle
  15. SWIFT: Gulliver’s Travels
  16. ROUSSEAU: A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  17. KANT: Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals
  18. MILL: On Liberty
  19. (**) VOLTAIRE – Candide
  20. (**) NIETZSCHE – Beyond Good and Evil
  21. (**) WHITEHEAD – Science and the Modern World [Ch I – VI]

THIRD YEAR

  1. AESCHYLUS: Prometheus Bound
  2. HERODOTUS: The History [Book VII-IX]
  3. THUCYDIDES: The History of the Peloponnesian War [Book I-II, V]
  4. PLATO: Statesman
  5. ARISTOTLE: On Interpretation [Ch. 1-10]
  6. ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book III-V]
  7. EUCLID: Elements [Book I]
  8. TACITUS: The Annals
  9. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I-II, QQ 90-97]
  10. CHAUCER: Troilus and Cressida
  11. SHAKESPEARE: Macbeth
  12. MILTON: Paradise Lost
  13. LOCKE: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [Book III, Ch. 1-3, 9-11]
  14. KANT: Science of Right
  15. MILL: Representative Government [Ch. 1-6]
  16. LAVOISIER: Elements of Chemistry [Part I]
  17. DOSTOEVSKY: The Brothers Karamazov [Part I-II]
  18. FREUD: The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis
  19. (**) TWAIN – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  20. (**) LEVI-STRAUSS – Structural Anthropology [Selections]
  21. (**) POINCARÉ – Science and Hypothesis [Part I – II]

FOURTH YEAR

  1. EURIPIDES: Medea, Hippolytus, Trojan Women, The Bacchantes
  2. PLATO: Republic [Book VI-VII]
  3. PLATO: Theaetetus
  4. ARISTOTLE: Physics [Book IV, Ch. 1-5, 10-14]
  5. ARISTOTLE: Metaphysics [Book I, Ch. 1-2; Book IV; Book VI, Ch. 1; Book XI, Ch.1-4]
  6. ST. AUGUSTINE: Confessions [Book IX-XIII]
  7. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 16-17, 84-88]
  8. MONTAIGNE: Apology for Raymond de Sebonde
  9. GALILEO: Two New Sciences [Third Day, through Scholium of Theorem II]
  10. BACON: Novum Organum [Preface, Book I]
  11. DESCARTES: Discourse on the Method
  12. NEWTON: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy [Prefaces, Definitions, Axioms, General Scholium]
  13. LOCKE: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [Book II]
  14. HUME: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  15. KANT: Critique of Pure Reason [Prefaces, Introduction, Transcendental Aesthetic]
  16. MELVILLE: Moby Dick
  17. DOSTOEVSKY: The Brothers Karamazov [Part III-IV]
  18. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. XV, XX]
  19. (**) CALVIN – Institutes of the Christian Religion [Book III]
  20. (**) FRAZER – The Golden Bough [Selections]
  21. (**) HEISENBERG – Physics and Philosophy [ch 1 – 6]

FIFTH YEAR

  1. PLATO: Phaedo
  2. ARISTOTLE: Categories
  3. ARISTOTLE: On the Soul [Book II, Ch. 1-3; Book III]
  4. HIPPOCRATES: The Oath; On Ancient Medicine; On Airs, Waters, and Places; The Book of Prognostics; Of the Epidemics; The Law; On the Sacred Disease
  5. GALEN: On the Natural Faculties
  6. VIRGIL: The Aeneid
  7. PTOLEMY: The Almagest [Book I, Ch. 1-8]
  8. COPERNICUS: Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres [Introduction—Book I-Ch. 11]
  9. KEPLER: Epitome of Copernican Astronomy [Book IV, Part II, Ch. 1-2]
  10. PLOTINUS: Sixth Ennead
  11. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 75-76, 78-79]
  12. DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Hell]
  13. HARVEY: The Motion of the Heart and Blood
  14. CERVANTES: Don Quixote [Part I]
  15. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part II]
  16. BERKELEY: The Principles of Human Knowledge
  17. KANT: Critique of Pure Reason [Transcendental Analytic]
  18. DARWIN: The Origin of Species [Introduction—Ch. 6, Ch. 15]
  19. TOLSTOY: War and Peace [Book I-VIII]
  20. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. XXVIII]
  21. (**) DEWEY – Experience and Education
  22. (**) WADDINGTON – The Nature of Life
  23. (**) ORWELL – Animal Farm

SIXTH YEAR

  1. OLD TESTAMENT [Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy]
  2. HOMER: The Odyssey
  3. PLATO: Laws [Book X]
  4. ARISTOTLE: Metaphysics [Book XII]
  5. TACITUS: The Histories
  6. PLOTINUS: Fifth Ennead
  7. ST. AUGUSTINE: The City of God [Book XV-XVIII]
  8. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 1-13]
  9. DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Purgatory]
  10. SHAKESPEARE: Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It,Twelfth Night
  11. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part I]
  12. MILTON: Samson Agonistes
  13. PASCAL: The Provincial Letters
  14. LOCKE: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [Book IV]
  15. GIBBON: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [Ch. 1-5, General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West]
  16. KANT: Critique of Pure Reason [Transcendental Dialectic]
  17. HEGEL: Philosophy of History [Introduction]
  18. TOLSTOY: War and Peace [Book IX-XV, Epilogues]
  19. (**) KIERKEGAARD – Fear and Trembling
  20. (**) HUIZINGA – The Waning of the Middle Ages [I – X]
  21. (**) SHAW – Saint Joan

SEVENTH YEAR

  1. OLD TESTAMENT [Job, Isaiah, Amos]
  2. PLATO: Symposium
  3. PLATO: Philebus
  4. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book VIII-X]
  5. ARCHIMEDES: Measurement of a Circle, The Equilibrium of Planes [Book I], The Sand-Reckoner, On Floating Bodies [Book I]
  6. EPICTETUS: Discourses
  7. PLOTINUS: First Ennead
  8. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I-II, QQ 1-5]
  9. DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Paradise]
  10. RABELAIS: Gargantual and Pantagruel [Book III-IV]
  11. SHAKESPEARE: Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus
  12. GALILEO: Two New Sciences [First Day]
  13. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part IV-V]
  14. NEWTON: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy [Book III, Rules], Optics [Book I, Part I; Book III, Queries]
  15. HUYGENS: Treatise on Light
  16. KANT: Critique of Practical Reason
  17. KANT: Critique of Judgment [Critique of Aesthetic Judgment]
  18. MILL: Utilitarianism
  19. (**) WEBER – Essays in Sociology [Part III]
  20. (**) PROUST – Swann in Love
  21. (**) BRECHT – Mother Courage and Her Children

EIGHTH YEAR

  1. ARISTOPHANES: Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus
  2. PLATO: Gorgias
  3. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book V]
  4. ARISTOTLE: Rhetoric [Book I, Ch. 1—Book II, Ch. 1; Book II, Ch. 20—Book III, Ch. 1; Book III, Ch. 13-19]
  5. ST. AUGUSTINE: On Christian Doctrine
  6. HOBBES: Leviathan [Part II]
  7. SHAKESPEARE: Othello, King Lear
  8. BACON: Advancement of Learning [Book I, Ch. 1—Book II, Ch. 11]
  9. DESCARTES: Meditations on the First Philosophy
  10. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part III]
  11. LOCKE: A Letter Concerning Toleration
  12. ROUSSEAU: A Discourse on Political Economy
  13. ADAM SMITH: The Wealth of Nations [Book II]
  14. BOSWELL: The Life of Samuel Johnson
  15. MARX: Capital [Prefaces, Part I-II]
  16. GOETHE: Faust [Part I]
  17. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. VIII-X]
  18. (*) STERNE: Tristam Shandy
  19. (**) BARTH – The Word of God and the Word of Man [I – IV]
  20. (**) BERGSON – An Introduction to Metaphysics
  21. (**) HARDY – A Mathematicians Apology
  22. (**) KAFKA – The Metamorphosis

NINTH YEAR

  1. PLATO: The Sophist
  2. THUCYDIDES: The History of the Peloponnesian War [Book VII-VIII]
  3. ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book VII-VIII]
  4. NEW TESTAMENT [The Gospel According to St. John, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians]
  5. ST. AUGUSTINE: The City of God [Book V, XIX]
  6. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part II-II, QQ 1-7]
  7. GILBERT: On the Loadstone
  8. DESCARTES: Rules for the Direction of the Mind
  9. DESCARTES: Geometry
  10. PASCAL: The Great Experiment Concerning the Equilibrium of Fluids, On Geometrical Demonstration
  11. MONTESQUIEU: The Spirit of Laws [Book I-V, VIII, XI-XII]
  12. FARADAY: Experimental Researches in Electricity [Series I-II], A Speculation Touching Electric Conduction and the Nature of Matter
  13. HEGEL: Philosophy of Right [Part III
  14. MARX: Capital [Part III-IV]
  15. FREUD: Civilization and Its Discontents
  16. (*) APOLLONIUS: On Conic Sections [Book I, Prop. 1-15; Book III, Prop. 42-55]
  17. (*) FIELDING: Tom Jones
  18. (*) FOURIER: Analytical Theory of Heat [Preliminary Discourse, Ch. 1-2]
  19. (**) MOLIÈRE – Tartuffe
  20. (**) AUSTEN – Emma
  21. (**) PLANCK – Scientific Autobiography
  22. (**) VEBLEN – The Theory of the Leisure Class
  23. (**) JOYCE – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  24. (**) HEMINGWAY – The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

TENTH YEAR

  1. SOPHOCLES: Ajax, Electra
  2. PLATO: Timaeus
  3. ARISTOTLE: On the Parts of Animals [Book I, Ch. 1—Book II, Ch. 1], On the Generation of Animals [Book I, Ch. 1, 17-18, 20-23]
  4. LUCRETIUS: On the Nature of Things [Book V-VI]
  5. VIRGIL: The Eclogues, The Georgics
  6. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 65-74]
  7. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 90-102]
  8. CHAUCER: Canterbury Tales [Prologue, Knight’s Tale, Miller’s Prologue and Tale, Reeve’s Prologue and Tale, Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, Friar’s Prologue and Tale, Summoner’s Prologue and Tale, Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale]
  9. SHAKESPEARE: The Tragedy of King Richard II, The First Part of King Henry IV, The Second Part of King Henry IV, The Life of King Henry V
  10. HARVEY: On the Generation of Animals [Introduction—Exercise 62]
  11. CERVANTES: Don Quixote [Part II]
  12. KANT: Critique of Judgement [Critique of Teleological Judgement]
  13. GOETHE: Faust [Part II]
  14. DARWIN: The Descent of Man [Part I; Part III, Ch. 21]
  15. MARX: Capital [Part VII-VIII]
  16. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. I, V-VII]
  17. FREUD: A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis
  18. (*) BOSWELL: The Life of Samuel Johnson
  19. (**) ERASMUS – In Praise of Folly
  20. (**) HUIZINGA – The Waning of the Middle Ages [XI – XXIII]
  21. (**) EDDINGTON – The Expanding Universe
  22. (**) T.S. ELIOT – The Waste Land

Notes:

In the list, the sequentially numbered items WITHOUT asterisks are common to both the first edition’s suggested 10-year reading schedule and the second edition’s schedule. Items listed below with a single asterisk (*) indicates readings only included in the first edition’s suggested ten year reading schedule. Items listed with double asterisk (**) indicate readings only included in the second edition’s schedule.

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