Ten Year Plan for Reading “Great Books of the Western World”

Year 1

  1. Plato – Apology
  2. Plato – Crito
  3. Aristophanes – Clouds
  4. Aristophanes – Lysistrata
  5. Plato – Republic (Book 1, Book 2)
  6. Aristotle – Ethics (Book 1)
  7. Aristotle – Politics (Book 1)
  8. Plutarch – The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (Lycurgus, Numa
    Pompilius, Lycurgus and Numa Compared, Alexander, Caesar)
  9. New Testament – The Gospel According to Saint Matthew
  10. New Testament – The Acts of the Apostles
  11. St. Augustine – Confessions (Book 1-8)
  12. Machiavelli – The Prince
  13. Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel (Book 1, Book 2)
  14. 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 Measure Truth 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 Some Verses of Virgil)
  15. Shakespeare – Hamlet
  16. Locke – Concerning Civil Government (2nd Essay)
  17. Rousseau – The Social Contract (Book 1, Book 2)
  18. Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Chapter 15, Chapter 16)
  19. The Declaration of Independence
  20. The Constitution of the United States
  21. The Federalist (Number 1, Number 2, Number 3, Number 4, Number 5, Number 6, Number 7, Number 8, Number 9, Number 10, Number 15, Number 31, Number 47, Number 51, Number 68, Number 69, Number 70, Number 71)
  22. Smith – The Wealth of Nations (Introduction – Book 1, Chapter 9)
  23. Marx & Engels – Manifesto of the Communist Party

Year 2

  1. Homer (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7, Book 8, Book 9, Book 10, Book 11, Book 12, Book 13, Book 14, Book 15, Book 16, Book 17, Book 18, Book 19, Book 20, Book 21, Book 22, Book 23, Book 24)
  2. Aeschylus – Agamemnon
  3. Aeschylus – Choephoroe
  4. Aeschylus – Eumenides
  5. Sophocles – Oedipus the King
  6. Sophocles – Antigone
  7. Herodotus – The History (Book 1[Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10], Book 2)
  8. Plato – Meno
  9. Aristotle – Poetics
  10. Aristotle – Ethics (Book 2, Book 3, Book 6)
  11. Nicomachus – Introduction to Arithmetic (Book 1, Book 2)
  12. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4)
  13. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
  14. Hobbes – Leviathan (Part 1 – [Introduction – Chapter 5], [Chapter 6 – Chapter 11], [Chapter 12 – Chapter 16]
  15. Milton – Areopagitica
  16. Pascal – Pensées (No. 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, 396, 397, 409, 412, 413, 416, 418, 425, 430, 434, 435, 463, 491, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531, 538, 543, 547, 553, 556, 564, 571, 586, 598, 607, 608, 609, 610, 613, 619, 620, 631, 640, 644, 673, 675, 684, 692, 693, 737, 760, 768, 792, 793)
  17. Pascal – Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle
  18. Swifter – Gulliver’s Travels
  19. Rousseau – A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  20. Kant – Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals
  21. Mill – On Liberty

Year 3

  1. Aeschylus – Prometheus Bound
  2. Herodotus – The History (Book 7, Book 8, Book 9)
  3. Thucydides – The History of the Peloponnesian War (Book 1, Book 2, Book 5)
  4. Plato – Statesman
  5. Aristotle – On Interpretation (Chapter 1-10)
  6. Aristotle – Politics (Book 3, Book 4, Book 5)
  7. Euclid – Elements (Book 1)
  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 (Chapter 1-6)
  16. Lavoisier – Elements of Chemistry (Part 1)
  17. Dostoevsky – The Brothers Karamazov (Part 1, Part 2)
  18. Freud – The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis

Year 4

  1. Euripides – Medea
  2. Euripides – Hippolytus
  3. Euripides – Trojan Women
  4. Euripides – The Bacchantes
  5. Plato – Republic (Book 6, Book 7)
  6. Plato – Theaetetus
  7. Aristotle – Physic (Book 4)
  8. Aristotle – Metaphysics (Book I, Ch. 1-2; Book IV; Book VI, Ch. 1; Book XI, Ch. 1-4)
  9. St. Augustine – Confessions (Book 9-13)
  10. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica (Part I, QQ 16-17, 84-88)
  11. Montaigne – Apology for Raymond de Sebonde
  12. Galileo – Two New Sciences (Third Day, through Scholium of Theorem II)
  13. Bacon – Novum Organum (Preface, Book I)
  14. Descartes – Discourse on the Method
  15. Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Prefaces, Definitions, Axioms, General Scholium)
  16. Locke – An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Book 2)
  17. Hume – An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  18. Kant – Critique of Pure Reason (Prefaces, Introduction, Transcendental Aesthetic)
  19. Melville – Moby Dick
  20. Dostoevsky – The Brothers Karamazov (Part 3, Part 4)
  21. James – Principles of Psychology (Chapter 15, Chapter 20)

Year 5

  1. Plato – Phaedo
  2. Aristotle – Categories
  3. Aristotle – On the Soul (Book 2, Chapter 1-3), Book 3)
  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 1, Chapter 1-8)
  8. Copernicus – Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (Introduction – Book 1, Chapter 11)
  9. Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (Book 4, Part 2, Chapter 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 1)
  15. Spinoza – Ethics (Part 2)
  16. Berkeley – The Principles of Human Knowledge
  17. Kant – Critique of Pure Reason (Transcendental Analytic)
  18. Darwin – The Origin of Species (Introduction – Chapter 6, Chapter 15)
  19. Tolstoy – War and Peace (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7, Book 8)
  20. James – Principles of Psychology (Chapter 28)

Year 6

  1. Old Testament – Genesis
  2. Old Testament – Exodus
  3. Old Testament – Deuteronomy
  4. Homer – The Odyssey (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7, Book 8, Book 9, Book 10, Book 11, Book 12, Book 13, Book 14, Book 15, Book 16, Book 17, Book 18, Book 19, Book 20, Book 21, Book 22, Book 23, Book 24)
  5. Plato – Laws (Book 10)
  6. Aristotle – Metaphysics (Book 12)
  7. Tacitus – The Histories
  8. Plotinus – Fifth Ennead
  9. St. Augustine – The City of God (Book 15-18)
  10. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica (Part I, QQ 1-13)
  11. Dante – The Divine Comedy (Purgatory)
  12. Shakespeare – Comedy of Errors
  13. Shakespeare – The Taming of the Shrew
  14. Shakespeare – As You Like It
  15. Shakespeare – The Twelfth Night
  16. Spinoza – Ethics (Part 1)
  17. Milton – Samson Agonistes
  18. Pascal – The Provincial Letters
  19. Locke – An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Book 4)
  20. Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5)
  21. Kant – Critique of Pure Reason (Transcendental Dialectic)
  22. Hegel – Philosophy of History (Introduction)
  23. Tolstoy – War and Peace (Book 9-15, Epilogues)

Year 7

  1. Old Testament – Job
  2. Old Testament – Isaiah
  3. Old Testament – Amos
  4. Plato – Symposium
  5. Plato – Philebus
  6. Aristotle – Ethics (Book 8, Book 9, Book 10)
  7. Archimedes – Measurement of a Circle, The Equilibrium of Planes (Book I), The Sand-Reckoner, On Floating Bodies (Book I)
  8. Epictetus – Discourse
  9. Plotinus – First Ennead
  10. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica (Part I-II, QQ 1-5)
  11. Dante – The Divine Comedy (Paradise)
  12. Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel (Book 3, Book 3)
  13. Shakespeare – Julius Caesar
  14. Shakespeare – Antony and Cleopatra
  15. Shakespeare – Coriolanus
  16. Galileo – Two New Sciences (First Day)
  17. Spinoza – Ethics (Part 4, Part 5)
  18. Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Book 3, Rules)
  19. Newton – Optics (Book 1, Part 1; Book 3, Queries)
  20. Huygens – Treatise on Light
  21. Kant – Critique of Practical Reason
  22. Kant – Critique of Judgment (Critique of Aesthetic Judgment)
  23. Mill – Utilitarianism

Year 8

  1. Aristophanes – Thesmophoriazusae
  2. Aristophanes – Ecclesiazusae
  3. Aristophanes – Plutus
  4. Plato – Gorgias
  5. Aristotle – Ethics (Book 5)
  6. Aristotle – Rhetoric (Book 1, Chapter 1 – Book 2, Chapter 1; Book 2, Chapter 20 – Book 3, Chapter 1; Book 3, Chapter 13-19)
  7. St. Augustine – On Christian Doctrine
  8. Hobbes – Leviathan (Part 2)
  9. Shakespeare – Othello
  10. Shakespeare – King Lear
  11. Bacon – Advancement of Learning (Book 1, Chapter 1 – Book 2, Chapter 11)
  12. Descartes – Meditations on the First Philosophy
  13. Spinoza – Ethics (Part 3)
  14. Locke – A Letter Concerning Toleration
  15. Rousseau – A Discourse on Political Economy
  16. Smith – The Wealth of Nations (Book 2)
  17. Boswell – The Life of Samuel Johnson
  18. Marx – Capital (Prefaces, Part 1-Part 2)
  19. Goethe – Faust (Part 1)
  20. James – Principles of Psychology (Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10)
  21. Sterne – Tristam Shandy

Year 9

  1. Plato – The Sophist
  2. Thucydides – The History of the Peloponnesian War (Book 7, Book 8)
  3. Aristotle – Politics (Book 7, Book 8)
  4. New Testament – The Gospel According to St. John
  5. New Testament – The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans
  6. New Testament – The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians
  7. St. Augustine – The City of God (Book 5, Book 19)
  8. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica (Part II-II, QQ 1-7)
  9. Gilbert – On the Loadstone
  10. Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind
  11. Descartes – Geometry
  12. Pascal – The Great Experiment Concerning the Equilibrium of Fluids, On Geometrical Demonstration
  13. Montesquieu – The Spirit of Law (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 8, Book 11, Book 12)
  14. Faraday – Experimental Researches in Electricity (Series 1, Series 2)
  15. Faraday – A Speculation Touching Electric Conduction and the Nature of Matter
  16. Hegel – Philosophy of Right (Part 3)
  17. Marx – Capital (Part 3, Part 4)
  18. Freud – Civilization and Its Discontents
  19. Apollonius – On Conic Sections (Book 1, Prop. 1-15, Book 3, Prop. 42-55)
  20. Fielding – Tom Jones
  21. Fourier -Analytical Theory of Heat (Preliminary Discourse, Chapter 1, Chapter 2)

Year 10

  1. Sophocles – Ajax
  2. Sophocles – Electra
  3. Plato – Timaeus
  4. Aristotle – On the Parts of Animals (Book 1, Chapter 1 – Book 2, Chapter 1)
  5. Aristotle – On the Generation of Animals (Book 1, Chapter 1, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23)
  6. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things (Book 5, Book 6)
  7. Virgil – The Eclogues
  8. Virgil – The Georgics
  9. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica (Part I, QQ 65-74)
  10. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica (Part I, QQ 90-102)
  11. 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)
  12. Shakespeare – The Tragedy of King Richard II
  13. Shakespeare – The First Part of King Henry IV
  14. Shakespeare – The Second Part of King Henry IV
  15. Shakespeare – The Life of King Henry V
  16. Harvey – On the Generation of Animals (Introduction – Exercise 62)
  17. Cervantes – Don Quixote (Part 2)
  18. Kant – Critique of Judgement (Critique of Teleological Judgement)
  19. Goethe – Faust (Part 2)
  20. Darwin – The Descent of Man (Part 1, Part 3, Chapter 21)
  21. Marx – Capital (Part 7, Part 8)
  22. James – Principles of Psychology (Chapter 1, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7)
  23. Freud – A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis
  24. Boswell – The Life of Samuel Johnson

Additional Texts

  1. Tocqueville – Democracy in America (Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8)
  2. Ibsen – The Master Builder
  3. Schrödinger – What is Life?
  4. Voltaire – Candide
  5. Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil
  6. Whitehead – Science and the Modern World (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6)
  7. Twain – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  8. Lévi-Strauss – Structural Anthropology (Selections)
  9. Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis (Part 1, Part 2)
  10. Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book 3)
  11. Frazer – The Golden Bough (Selections)
  12. Heisenberg – Physics and Philosophy (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6)
  13. Dewey – Experience and Education
  14. Waddington – The Nature of Life
  15. Orwell – Animal Farm
  16. Kierkegaard – Fear and Trembling
  17. Huizinga – The Waning of the Middle Ages (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10)
  18. Shaw – Saint Joan
  19. Weber – Essays in Sociology (Part 3)
  20. Proust – Swann in Love
  21. Brecht – Mother Courage and Her Children
  22. Barth – The Word of God and the Word of Man (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
  23. Bergson – An Introduction to Metaphysics
  24. Hardy – A Mathematician’s Apology
  25. Kafka – The Metamorphosis
  26. Molière – Tartuffe
  27. Austen – Emma
  28. Planck – Scientific Autobiography
  29. Veblen – The Theory of the Leisure Class
  30. Joyce – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  31. Hemingway – The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
  32. Erasmus – In Praise of Folly
  33. Huizinga – The Waning of the Middle Ages (Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23)
  34. Eddington – The Exanding Universe
  35. Eliot – The Waste Land