Updating Mortimer Adler’s Classical Reading List

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of titles on here because I just don’t see how…well, I’m not going there.  And I’ve changed some works by some authors.  I think Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago is far more powerful and infinitely more relevant to FEMA-Camp America than are his novels.  I’ve BOLDFACED the ones I have already read.

    1. Homer – Iliad; Odyssey
    2. The Old Testament
    3. Aeschylus – Tragedies
    4. Sophocles – Tragedies
    5. Herodotus – Histories (I’ve read it but I need to reread it)
    6. Euripides – Tragedies
    7. ThucydidesHistory of the Peloponnesian War
    8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings
    9. Aristophanes – Comedies
    10. Plato – Dialogues
    11. Aristotle – Works
    12. Epicurus – “Letter to Herodotus”; “Letter to Menoecus”
    13. EuclidElements
    14. Archimedes – Works
    15. ApolloniusConics
    16. Cicero – Works (esp. Orations; On Friendship; On Old Age; Republic; Laws; Tusculan Disputations; Offices)
    17. LucretiusOn the Nature of Things
    18. Virgil – Works (esp. Aeneid)
    19. Horace – Works (esp. Odes and Epodes; The Art of Poetry)
    20. LivyHistory of Rome
    21. Ovid – Works (esp. Metamorphoses)
    22. QuintilianInstitutes of Oratory
    23. PlutarchParallel Lives; Moralia
    24. TacitusHistories; Annals; Agricola; Germania; Dialogus de oratoribus (Dialogue on Oratory)
    25. Nicomachus of GerasaIntroduction to Arithmetic
    26. Epictetus – Discourses; Enchiridion
    27. PtolemyAlmagest
    28. Lucian – Works (esp. The Way to Write History; The True History; The Sale of Creeds;Alexander the Oracle Monger; Charon; The Sale of Lives; The Fisherman; Dialogue of the Gods; Dialogues of the Sea-Gods; Dialogues of the Dead)
    29. Marcus AureliusMeditations
    30. GalenOn the Natural Faculties
    31. The New Testament
    32. PlotinusThe Enneads
    33. St. Augustine – “On the Teacher”; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
    34. The Volsungs Saga or Nibelungenlied
    35. The Song of Roland
    36. The Saga of Burnt Njál
    37. MaimonidesThe Guide for the Perplexed
    38. St. Thomas Aquinas – Of Being and Essence; Summa Contra Gentiles; Of the Governance of Rulers; Summa Theologica
    39. Dante Alighieri – The New Life (La Vita Nuova); “On Monarchy”; Divine Comedy
    40. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales

Leonardo da VinciNotebooks

  1. Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
  2. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly; Colloquies (I’ve read different parts of Erasmus
  3. Nicolaus CopernicusOn the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
  4. Thomas MoreUtopia
  5. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises
  6. François RabelaisGargantua and Pantagruel
  7. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion
  8. Michel de MontaigneEssays
  9. William GilbertOn the Lodestone and Magnetic Bodies
  10. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote
  11. Edmund Spenser –; The Faerie Queene
  12. Francis BaconEssays; The Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum; New Atlantis
  13. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays
  14. Galileo GalileiStarry Messenger; Two New Sciences
  15. Johannes KeplerThe Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Harmonices Mundi
  16. William HarveyOn the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; Generation of Animals
  17. GrotiusThe Law of War and Peace
  18. Thomas HobbesLeviathan; Elements of Philosophy (It’s on the Shelf)
  19. René Descartes –  Discourse on the Method; Meditations on First Philosophy
  20. Corneille – Tragedies (esp. The Cid, Cinna)
  21. John Milton – Works (esp. the minor poems; Areopagitica; Paradise Lost; Samson Agonistes) (In progress)
  22. Molière – Comedies (esp. The Miser; The School for Wives; The Misanthrope; The Doctor in Spite of Himself; Tartuffe; The Tradesman Turned Gentleman; The Imaginary Invalid; The Affected Ladies)
  23. Blaise Pascal –  Pensées;
  24. BoyleThe Sceptical Chymist
  25. Christiaan HuygensTreatise on Light
  26. Benedict de SpinozaPolitical Treatises; Ethics
  27. John LockeA Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Currently reading)
  28. Isaac NewtonMathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Opticks
  29. Gottfried Wilhelm LeibnizDiscourse on Metaphysics; New Essays on Human Understanding; Monadology
  30. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe;
  31. Jonathan SwiftThe Battle of the Books; A Tale of a Tub; A Journal to Stella; Gulliver’s Travels; A Modest Proposal
  32. William CongreveThe Way of the World
  33. George BerkeleyA New Theory of Vision; A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (On the shelf)
  34. Alexander PopeAn Essay on Criticism; The Rape of the Lock; An Essay on Man
  35. Charles de Secondat, baron de MontesquieuPersian Letters; The Spirit of the Laws
  36. Voltaire – Candide
  37. Henry FieldingJoseph Andrews; Tom Jones
  38. Samuel JohnsonThe Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; Lives of the Poets
  39. David HumeA Treatise of Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; History of England (Currently on the shelf)
  40. Jean-Jacques RousseauDiscourse on Inequality; On Political Economy; Emile; The Social Contract; Confessions
  41. Laurence SterneTristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
  42. Adam SmithThe Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations (Currently on the shelf)
  43. William BlackstoneCommentaries on the Laws of England
  44. Immanuel KantCritique of Pure Reason; Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals;Critique of Practical Reason; Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace
  45. Edward GibbonThe History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;(Currently reading)
  46. James BoswellJournal; The Life of Samuel Johnson
  47. Antoine Laurent LavoisierTraité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry)
  48. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James MadisonFederalist Papers (together with the Articles of Confederation; United States Constitution and United States Declaration of Independence)
  49. Jeremy BenthamComment on the Commentaries; Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions
  50. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust
  51. Thomas Robert MalthusAn Essay on the Principle of Population
  52. John DaltonA New System of Chemical Philosophy
  53. Jean Baptiste Joseph FourierAnalytical Theory of Heat
  54. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelThe Phenomenology of Spirit; Science of Logic;Elements of the Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History (I’ve read most of these)
  55. William Wordsworth – Poems (esp. Lyrical Ballads; Lucy poems; sonnets; The Prelude)
  56. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems (esp. Kubla Khan; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner );Biographia Literaria
  57. David RicardoOn the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation
  58. Jane AustenPride and Prejudice; Emma
  59. Carl von ClausewitzOn War
  60. Lord Byron – Don Juan
  61. Arthur SchopenhauerStudies in Pessimism
  62. Michael FaradayThe Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity
  63. Nikolai LobachevskyGeometrical Researches on the Theory of Parallels
  64. Charles LyellPrinciples of Geology
  65. Auguste ComteThe Positive Philosophy
  66. Honoré de Balzac – Works (esp. Le Père Goriot; Le Cousin Pons; Eugénie Grandet;Cousin Bette; César Birotteau)
  67. Ralph Waldo EmersonRepresentative Men; Essays; Journal
  68. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
  69. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America (Halfway through reading)
  70. John Stuart Mill – A System of Logic; Principles of Political Economy; On Liberty;Considerations on Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women;Autobiography
  71. Charles Darwin – On the Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography (Currently reading)
  72. William Makepeace Thackeray – Works (esp. Vanity Fair; The History of Henry Esmond;The Virginians; Pendennis) (On the shelf)
  73. Charles Dickens – Works (esp. Pickwick Papers; Our Mutual Friend; David Copperfield;Dombey and Son; Oliver Twist; A Tale of Two Cities; Hard Times)
  74. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine
  75. George Boole – The Laws of Thought
  76. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience; Walden
  77. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – Das Kapital (Capital); The Communist Manifesto
  78. George Eliot – Silas Marner
  79. Herman Melville – Typee; Moby-Dick; Billy Budd
  80. Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov
  81. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; Three Stories
  82. Henry Thomas Buckle – A History of Civilization in England
  83. Francis Galton – Inquiries into Human Faculties and Its Development
  84. Bernhard Riemann – The Hypotheses of Geometry
  85. Henrik Ibsen – Plays (esp. Peer Gynt; Brand; Hedda Gabler; Emperor and Galilean; A Doll’s House; The Wild Duck; The Master Builder) Currently reading
  86. Leo TolstoyWar and Peace; Anna Karenina; “What Is Art?“; Twenty-Three Tales (Currently reading)
  87. Mark Twain – The Innocents Abroad; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; The Mysterious Stranger
  88. Henry AdamsHistory of the United States; Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres; The Education of Henry Adams; Degradation of Democratic Dogma
  89. Oliver Wendell HolmesThe Common Law; Collected Legal Papers
  90. William James –  The Varieties of Religious Experience; (Currently reading)
  91. Henry JamesThe American; The Ambassadors
  92. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; On the Genealogy of Morality; The Will to Power; Twilight of the Idols; The Antichrist
  93. Georg CantorTransfinite Numbers
  94. Jules Henri PoincaréScience and Hypothesis; Science and Method; The Foundations of Science
  95. Sigmund FreudThe Interpretation of Dreams; Three Essays to the Theory of Sex;Introduction to Psychoanalysis; Beyond the Pleasure Principle; Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego; The Ego and the Id; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
  96. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces (Have on shelf)
  97. Max PlanckOrigin and Development of the Quantum Theory; Where Is Science Going?; Scientific Autobiography
  98. Henri BergsonTime and Free Will; Matter and Memory; Creative Evolution; The Two Sources of Morality and Religion
  99. John DeweyHow We Think; Democracy and Education; Experience and Nature; The Quest for Certainty; Logic – The Theory of Inquiry
  100. Alfred North WhiteheadProcess and Reality; (I have on shelf)
  101. George SantayanaThe Life of Reason; Scepticism and Animal Faith; The Realms of Being (which discusses the Realms of Essence, Matter and Truth); Persons and Places
  102. Vladimir LeninImperialism; The State and Revolution
  103. Bertrand RussellPrinciples of Mathematics; The Problems of Philosophy; Principia Mathematica; The Analysis of Mind; An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth; Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits; History of Western Philosophy
  104. Albert EinsteinThe Theory of Relativity; Sidelights on Relativity; The Meaning of Relativity; On the Method of Theoretical Physics; The Evolution of Physics
  105. James Joyce“The Dead” in Dubliners; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man;Ulysses (Have on shelf)
  106. Jacques MaritainArt and Scholasticism; The Degrees of Knowledge; Freedom and the Modern World; A Preface to Metaphysics; The Rights of Man and Natural Law; True Humanism
  107. Franz Kafka – Metamorphoses (Currently reading)
  108. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Gulag Archipelago, vol. 1-3.  Currently reading.
Advertisements

A non-Platonic Platonism

I have been a savage critic of Platonism, and I stand by those criticisms.  Still, I fear a rejection of Platonism–which the Resurrection demands at some level–may lead to a reaction against it.  By non-platonic platonism I mean the following in favor of what Plato was trying to get at:

  • The reality of universals.
  • The Mind-Body problem.   In short, the mind isn’t the body.  Notice I didn’t call this the body-soul problem (which is similar).  I believe in the soul, but by phrasing it around “mind-body” I am forcing the discussion at a different angle.

However, here is the non part of the definition:

  • Universals on Plato’s scheme simply can’t work and for largely the same reason as his Being-Becoming dichotomy.  How can the realm of being interact with the realm of becoming?  On Plato’s scheme it’s hard to see.
  • An affirmation of mind-body problem does not mean that the body is a prison.  I am aware of some of Plato’s exegetes’ trying to get around that, but I find their readings unconvincing (as has most of intellectual history, whether Christian or heathen).

Logic as a spiritual discipline

This is from Dallas Willard’s The Great Omission.  I don’t really recommend the book, but one chapter was pure gold.

It requires the will to be logical (182).

  • freedom from distraction
  • willingness to follow truth wherever it takes

Committed to logic as a “fundamental value” (183).

Jesus uses enthymemes.

And if anyone says, “Logic kills spiritual experience,” or “that is a Western thing,” all I can respond is you are not being faithful to the example of Jesus.  Take it up with him.

 

ePistemologian’s Progress

Courtesy to Bunyan,

This list was taken from Craig and Moreland (2003): 627-639.  It’s a specialized list of technical works in philosophy and theology.  The theology section was kind of soft, so I didn’t spend too much time transmitting those titles.  I only listed works that a) are in LC’s library or b) I otherwise must have, assuming they weren’t in LC’s library.

I hope to have this finished by 2020.

This list doesn’t include a lot of previously read philosophy (Coplestone, Gilson, Bahnsen, Van Til et al)

Books that have an (*) by them are books I’ve added to Moreland’s list.

Chapter 1: General Philosophy; History of Philosophy; basic issues

*Coplestone, Fr. History of Philosophy (about four volumes). (read)

*Russell, Bertrand.  A History of Western Philosophy (read).

Chapter 4: The Problem of Skepticism

Slote, Michael.  Reason and Scepticism (1970).

Chapter 5: The Structure of Justification

Audi, Robert.  Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction (1998).

Chapter 6: Theories of truth and postmodernism

Groothuis, Douglas.  Truth Decay.  (Have read); mostly fantastic, but DG has since rejected the presuppositional outlook in this book.

Willard, Dallas.  “How Concepts Relate the Mind to its Objects: The God’s Eye View Vindicated?” Philosophia Christi, 2nd ser., vol 1, no.2 (1999): 5-20.

*Stackhouse, John.  Humble Apologetics.

Chapter 7: Religious Epistemology

Alston, William.  Perceiving God (1991).

Plantinga, Alvin.  “The Foundations of Theism: A Reply.”  Faith and Philosophy 3 (1986): 298-313.

——————.  Warrant: The Current Debate.

——————.  Warrant and Proper Function (currently reading).

——————.  Warranted Christian Belief (have read).

Plantinga, Alvin, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.  Faith and rationality (have read).

*Wolterstorff, Nicholas.  Reason within the Limits of Religion. (read)

Chapter 8: What is Metaphysics?

Chisholm, Roderick.  On Metaphysics (1989).

*Hasker, William.  Metaphysics (1983) (read)

Plantinga, Alvin.  The Nature of Necessity (1974).

van Inwagen, Peter.  Metaphysics (1993).

Chapter 9: General Ontology: Existence, Identity and Reductionism

Craig, William Lane, and J. P. Moreland, eds. Naturalism: A Critical Analysis (2000).

Suarez, Francis. On the various kinds of distinctions.

Chapter 10: General Ontology: Two categories–property and substance

Chapters 11 and 12: The Mind-Body Problem

Kim, Jaegwon.  Mind in a Physical World (1998).

Moreland, J. P.  and Scott Rae.  Body and Soul: Human Nature and the crisis in ethics.

Chapter 13: Free Will and Determinism

Fischer, John.  The Metaphysics of Free Will. (1994).

Kane, Robert.  A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (2005).

Rowe, William.  Thomas Reid on Freedom and Morality (1991).

Chapter 14: Personal Identity and Life After Death

Hick, John.  Death and Eternal Life (1976).

Chapter 15: Scientific Methodology

Moreland, J. P.  Christianity and the Nature of Science (1989).

Chapter 16: The Realism-Antirealism Debate

Chapter 17: Philosophy and the Integration of Science

Chapter 18: Philosophy of Time and Space

Craig, William Lane.  God, Time, and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II.

———————–.  Time and Eternity: Exploring God’s Relationship to Time.

Einstein, Albert.  Relativity: General and Special Theories.

Chapters 19-22: Issues in Ethics

Geisler, Norman.  Christian Ethics: Issues and Options.

*Feinberg, John and Paul. Ethics for a Brave New World (2010) (have read)

*Holmes, Arthur.  Ethics.

Pojman, Louis.  Ethics: Discovering Right from Wrong.

Chapters 23-24: The Existence of God

Barrow, John.  The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.

Beck, David.  “The Cosmological Argument: A Current Bibliographical Appraisal.”

Craig, William Lane.  The Kalaam Cosmological Argument.

Craig, WIlliam Lane and Quentin Smith.  Theism, Atheism, and Big-Bang Cosmology.

Denton, Michael. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.

Ganssle, Gregory.  “Necessary Moral Truths and the Need for an Explanation.”

Hackett, Stuart.  Resurrection of theism.

Hume, David.  Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Martin, Michael.  Atheism: A Philosophical Justification.

Plantinga, Alvin.  The Nature of Necessity.

—————–.  The Ontological Argument.

Rowe, William.  “Circular Explanations, Cosmological Arguments and Sufficient Reason.”

Vallicella, William. “On an Insufficient Argument Against Sufficient Reason.”

Chapters 25-26: The Coherence of Theism.

Adams, Robert.  “Divine Necessity”

Craig, William Lane.  God, Time, and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II.

Creel, Richard. Divine Impassibility.

Hasker, William. The Emergent Self.

Helm, Paul.  Divine Commands and Morality.

Leftow, Brian.  “God and Abstract Entities.”

Molina, Luis de. On Divine Foreknowledge

Nielsen, Kai.  Ethics without God.

Plantinga, Alvin.  Does God Have a Nature?  (read)

————–.  “How to be an Anti-Realist.”

—————.  The Nature of Necessity.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas.  “Divine Simplicity.”

* ——————–.  Divine Discourse (1993) (read)

Chapter 27: The Problem of Evil

Hick, John.  Evil and the God of Love

Plantinga, Alvin.  God, Freedom, and Evil.

—————–.  The Nature of Necessity.

Rowe, William.  “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.”

Chapter 28: Creation, Providence, and Miracle

Craig, William Lane.  “Creation and Conservation Once More.”

Freddoso, Alfred.  “The Necessity of Nature.”

Helm, Paul. The Providence of God.

Hume, David. “Of Miracles.”

Morris, Thomas.  Divine and Human Action.

*Strobel, Lee. ed. The Case for a Creator.

Suarez, Francisco.  On Creation, Conservation, and Concurrence.

Chapter 29: Christian Doctrines (I): The Trinity

(see other sources)

Chapter 30: Christian Doctrines (II): The Incarnation

Bayne, Tim. “The Inclusion Model of the Incarnation: Problems and Prospects.”

Freddoso, Alfred. “Human Nature, Potency and the Incarnation.”

Morris, Thomas.  The Logic of God Incarnate.

Chapter 31: Christian Doctrines (III): Christian Particularism

Internalism and Warrant

Some notes in Reformed Epistemology.   Helps to know these ahead of time before reading Plantinga. Parenthetical citations are from Plantinga’s Warrant and Proper Function.

Internalism in epistemology sees warrant as justification.

    • justification is necessary for warrant.
      • satisfaction of epistemic duty.
      • Descartes: epistemic deontologism.
        formation of belief; hence, internal
      • involves a view of cognitive accessibility (36).

Warrant: Objections and Refinements

  • Gettier:  knowledge cannot be just justified, true belief.  A fourth condition is necessary.  Internalist accounts of warrant are fundamentally wanting, thus the continuing epicycles added to the Gettier problem (32).
    • an externalist account of warrant would also take in the “epistemic credentials the proposition you believe has from the person whom you acquired it” (34).
    • credulity is valid when it operates under certain conditions:
  • Gettier’s problems show that even if internalism meets all of its conditions for knowledge, it can still fail to give knowledge.  If my internal cognitive faculties are working, and they arrive at a belief, there are still a number of counters- (ala Gettier) that show it can’t reach knowledge (36-37).  As Plantinga notes, “Justification is insufficient for warrant” (36).