Ten Years of Reading in Great Books of the Western World

 

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 & Romans [Lycurgus, Numa Pompilius, Lycurgus & Numa Compared, Alexander, Caesar]
  7. New Testament [The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, The Acts of the Apostles]
  8. St. Augustine: Confessions [Book I-VIII]
  9. Machiavelli: The Prince
  10. Rabelais: Gargantua & Pantagruel [Book I-II]
  11. Montaigne: Essays [Of Custom, & That We Should Not Easily Change a Law Received; Of Pedantry; Of the Education of Children; That It Is Folly to Measure Truth & Error by Our Own Capacity; Of Cannibals; That the Relish of Good & Evil Depends in a Great Measure upon the Opinion We Have of Them; Upon Some Verses of Virgil]
  12. Shakespeare: Hamlet
  13. Locke: Concerning Civil Government [Second Essay]
  14. Rousseau: The Social Contract [Book I-II]
  15. Gibbon: The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire [Ch. 15-16]
  16. The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The Federalist [Numbers 1-10, 15, 31, 47, 51, 68-71]
  17. Smith: The Wealth of Nations [Introduction – Book I, Ch. 9]
  18. Marx-Engels: Manifesto of the Communist Party

 

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: Areopagatica
  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

 

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]
    1. On Interpretation
  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 & 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 & Development of Psychology

 

Fourth Year

  1. Euripides: Medea, Hippolytus, Trojan Women, The Bacchantes
    • Medea
    • Hippolytus
    • Trojan Women
    • The Bacchantes
  2. Plato: Republic [Book VI-VII]
    • Book VI
    • Book VII
  3. Plato: Theaetetus
  4. Aristotle: Physics [Book IV, Ch. 1-5, 10-14]
    • Book IV
  5. Aristotle: Metaphysics [Book I, Ch. 1-2; Book IV, Book VI, Ch. 1; Book XI, Ch. 1-4]
    • Book I
    • Book IV
    • Book VI
    • Book XI
  6. St. Augustine: Confessions [Book IX-XIII]
    • Book IX
    • Book X
    • Book XI
    • Book XII
    • Book XIII
  7. St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 16-17, 84-88]
  8. Montaigne: Apology For Raimond de Sebonde
    • Apology For Raimond 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]

 

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, & 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. Ptolomy: The Almagest [Book I, Ch. 1-8]
    Copernicus: Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres [Introduction – Book I, Ch. 11]
    Kepler: Epitome of Copernican Astronomy [Book IV, Part II, Ch. 1-2]
  8. Plotinus: Sixth Ennead
  9. St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 75-76, 78-79]
  10. Dante: The Divine Comedy [Hell]
  11. Harvey: The Motion of the Heart & Blood
  12. Cervantes: Don Quixote [Part I]
  13. Spinoza: Ethics [Part II]
  14. Berkeley: The Principles of Human Knowledge
  15. Kant: Critique of Pure Reason [Transcendental Analytic]
  16. Darwin: The Origin of the Species [Introduction – Ch. 6, Ch. 15]
  17. Tolstoy: War & Peace [Book I-VIII]
  18. James: Principles of Psychology [Ch. XXVIII]

 

Sixth Year

  1. Old Testament [Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy]
  2. Homer: The Odyssey
  3. Plato: Laws [Book X]
    • Book X
  4. Aristotle: Metaphysics [Book XII]
    • Metaphysics
  5. Tacitus: The Histories
  6. Plotinus: Fifth Ennead
  7. St. Augustine: The City of God [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
    • Comedy of Errors
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
    • The Taming of the Shrew
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
    • As You Like It
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
    • Twelfth Night
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
  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 & 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 & Peace [Book IX-XV, Epilogues]

 

Seventh Year

  1. Old Testament [Job, Isaiah, Amos]
    • 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]
    • Canto 1-3
    • Canto 4-6
    • Canto 7-9
    • Canto 10-12
    • Canto 13-15
    • Canto 16-18
    • Canto 19-21
    • Canto 22-24
    • Canto 25-27
    • Canto 28-30
    • Canto 31-33
  10. Rabelais: Gargantua & Pantagruel [Book III-IV]
  11. Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra, Coriolanus
    • Julius Caesar
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
    • Antony & Cleopatra
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
    • Coriolanus
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
  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

 

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 II, Ch. 1; Book III, Ch. 13-19]
  5. St. Augustine: On Christian Doctrine
  6. Hobbes: Leviathan [Part II]
  7. Shakespeare: Othello, King Lear
    • Othello
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
    • King Lear
      • Act I
      • Act II
      • Act III
      • Act IV
      • Act V
      • Summary
  8. Bacon: Advancement of Learning [Book I, Ch. 1 – Book II, Ch. 11]
  9. Descartes: Meditations of the First Philosophy
  10. Spinoza: Ethics [Part III]
  11. Locke: A Letter Concerning Toleration
  12. Sterne: Tristram Shandy
  13. Rousseau: A Discourse on Political Economy
  14. Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nation [Book II]
  15. Boswell: The Life of Samuel Johnson
  16. Marx: Capital [Prefaces, Part I-II]
  17. Goethe: Faust [Part I]
  18. James: Principles of Psychology [Ch. VIII-X]
    • Chapter VIII
    • Chapter IX
    • Chapter X

 

Ninth Year

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

 

Tenth Year

  1. Sophocles: Ajax, Electra
    • 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 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 Judgment [Critique of Teleological Judgment]
  13. Boswell: The Life of Samuel Johnson
  14. Goethe: Faust [Part II]
  15. Darwin: The Descent of Man [Part I; Part III, Ch. 21]
  16. Marx: Capital [Part VII-VIII]
  17. James: Principles of Psychology [Ch. I, V-VII]
  18. Freud: A General Introduction to Psycho-Analysis

 


 

Additional Texts from the 2nd Edition

 

First Year

  1. Tocqueville – Democracy in America
  2. Ibsen – The Master Builder
    1. Act 1
    2. Act 2
    3. Act 3
  3. Schrödinger – What is Life?

 

Second Year

  1. Voltaire – Candide
    1. Ch. 1-5
    2. Ch. 6-10
    3. Ch. 11-15
    4. Ch. 16-20
    5. Ch. 21-25
    6. Ch. 26-30
  2. Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil
    1. Ch. 1 – On the Prejudices of Philosophers
    2. Ch. 2 – The Free Spirit
    3. Ch. 3 – What is Religious?
    4. Ch. 4 – Apophthegms and Interludes
    5. Ch. 5 – The Natural History of Morals
    6. Ch. 6 – We Scholars
    7. Ch. 7 – Our Virtues
    8. Ch. 8 – Peoples and Fatherlands
    9. Ch. 9 – What is Noble?
  3. Whitehead – Science and the Modern World
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 6

 

Third Year

  1. Twain – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  2. Lévi-Strauss – Structural Anthropology (Selections)
  3. Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis
    • Part 1
    • Part 2

 

Fourth Year

  1. Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book 3)
    • Book 3 – On The Manner Of Receiving The Grace Of Christ, The Benefits Which We Derive From It, And The Effects Which Follow It.
      • Argument.
      • Chapter 1 – What Is Declared Concerning Christ Rendered Profitable To Us By The Secret Operation Of The Spirit.
      • Chapter 2 – Faith Defined, And Its Properties Described.
      • Chapter 3 – On Repentance.
      • Chapter 4 – The Sophistry And Jargon Of The Schools Concerning Repentance, Very Remote From The Purity Of The Gospel. On Confession And Satisfaction.
      • Chapter 5 – Indulgences And Purgatory. The Supplements To Their Doctrine Of Satisfactions.
      • Chapter 6 – The Life Of A Christian. Scriptural Arguments And Exhortations To It.
      • Chapter 7 – Summary Of The Christian Life. Self-Denial.
      • Chapter 8 – Bearing The Cross, Which Is A Branch Of Self-Denial.
      • Chapter 9 – Meditation On The Future Life.
      • Chapter 10 – The Right Use Of The Present Life And Its Supports.
      • Chapter 11 – Justification By Faith. The Name And Thing Defined.
      • Chapter 12 – A Consideration Of The Divine Tribunal, Necessary To A Serious Conviction Of Gratuitous Justification.
      • Chapter 13 – Two Things Necessary To Be Observed In Gratuitous Justification.
  2. Frazer – The Golden Bough (Selections)
  3. Heisenberg – Physics and Philosophy
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 6

 

Fifth Year

  1. Dewey – Experience and Education
  2. Waddington – The Nature of Life
  3. Orwell – Animal Farm
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10

 

Sixth Year

  1. Kierkegaard – Fear and Trembling
  2. 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
  3. Shaw – Saint Joan
    1. Scene 1
    2. Scene 2
    3. Scene 3
    4. Scene 4
    5. Scene 5
    6. Scene 6

 

Seventh Year

  1. Weber – Essays in Sociology (Part 3)
  2. Proust – Swann in Love
  3. Brecht – Mother Courage and Her Children

 

Eighth Year

  1. Barth – The Word of God and the Word of Man
    • Part 1
    • Part 2
    • Part 3
    • Part 4
  2. Bergson – An Introduction to Metaphysics
  3. Hardy – A Mathematician’s Apology
  4. Kafka – The Metamorphosis

 

Ninth Year

  • Molière – Tartuffe
    • Act 1
    • Act 2
    • Act 3
    • Act 4
    • Act 5
  • Austen – Emma
  • Planck – Scientific Autobiography
  • Veblen – The Theory of the Leisure Class
  • Joyce – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Hemingway – The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

 

Tenth Year

  1. Erasmus – In Praise of Folly
  2. 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
  3. Eddington – The Expanding Universe
  4. Eliot – The Waste Land