Saturday, May 22, 2004

A list for philosophers

There is a meme going around (for example Plain Layne) about some College Board's list of 101 books that people should read before college. I can't imagine anyone I know, including a few PhDs in English who have read half of them. The memers took the list and hilighted the books they read in bold. In the same vein, I am writing some lists: first is my Philosophy 101 list, which all people who have been through a philosophy major should have read, at least in part.

Here is my philosophy list. This list is idiosyncratic, and feel free to tell me that I am obviously illiterate and did not deserve my BA in Philosophy.

The philosophy list is not necessarily a complete historical account, or a complete anything account, but rather is lists those books which I feel would prepare anyone to have a good understanding of philosophy today. It is partially historical, and partially the background for the contemporary discussion in various fields. I have included stuff that would allow people to both see the background for today's analytic and continental philosophy.

The books I read are in bold. I know that we all tend to read selections. So here are my rules. (My meme, my rules, but don't feel obligated to follow them.) With the Philosophy texts, you can highlight if you have read most of the book.

I do not include esssays that are important, only books, though some of these are collections of an author's papers. The order here is fairly meaningless except that older ones tend to be on top and younger ones on bottom. Perhaps if I gave this more though the list could become better.

On second thought, consider this a draft. If I get any feedback I'll put up a revised list later on.

The Republic - Plato
Five works on the Trial and Death of Socrates - Plato
Nicomachean Ethics - Aristotle
On The Soul - Aristotle
The Analects - Confucious
Tao te-ching - Lao Tzu
The Manual - Epictetus
Confessions - Augusitne
City of God - Augustine
Against the Academics - Augustine

Prosologion - Anselm
Summa Theologia - Aquinas
Guide to the Perplexed - Maimonides
The Consolation of Philosophy - Boethius
New organon - Francis Bacon
Rules for the Direction of the Mind - Descartes
Meditations on First Philosophy - Descartes
Theological-Political Treatise - Spinoza
Ethics - Spinoza
Monodalogy - Leibniz

Discourse on Metaphysics - Leibniz
Correspondence between Leibniz and Clarke
Critique of Pure Reason - Kant
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals - Kant
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - Hume
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion - Hume
Second Treatise of Government - Locke
Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Locke
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man - Reid
Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous- Berkeley

Leviathan - Hobbes
The Prince - Machiavelli
Dialogues Concerning Two Chief World Systems - Galileo
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy - Newton
Voltaire - Candide
Utilitarianism - Mill
On Liberty - Mill
The Birth of Tragedy - Nietzsche
Geneology of Morals - Nietzsche
Emile - Rousseau

On The Social Contract - Rousseau
Phenomenology of Spirit - Hegel
The Communist Manifesto - Marx
Being and Nothingness - Sartre
The Myth of Sisyphys - Camus
Being and Time - Heiddegger
Fear and Trembling - Kierkergaard
Penses - Pascal
The World as Will and Idea - Shopenhauer
Pragmatism - James

The Laws of Thought - Boole
The Foundations of Arithmetic - Frege
The Problems of Philosophy - Russell
Philosophy of Logical Atomism - Russell
The Principles of Mathematics - Russell
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus - Wittgenstein
Philosophical Investigations - Wittgenstein
On Certainty - Wittgenstein
Language, Truth and Logic - Ayer
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Kuhn

Word and Object - Quine
From a Logical Point of View - Quine
Ontological Relativity - Quine
The Structure of Science - Nagel
Naming and Necessity - Kripke
Language of Thought - Fodor
Cartesian Linguistics - Chomsky
Minds, Brains and Science - Searle
Consciousness Explained - Dennett
Elbow Room - Dennett

Introduction to Mathematical Logic - Mendelson
Philosophy of Natural Science - Hempel
A Theory of Justice - Rawls
Anarchy, State, and Utopia - Nozick
Philosophical Explanations - Nozick
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast - Nelson Goodman
The Scientific Image - Bas Van Fraassen
The Logic of Scientific Discovery - Popper
Conventions - Lewis
On the Plurality of Worlds - Lewis

Natural Theology - Paley
Representation and Reality - Putnam
Reason, Truth, and History - Putnam
The Varieties of Reference - Evans
How to Do Things with Words - Austin
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind - Sellars
Essays on Actions and Events - Davidson
Essays on Truth and Interpretation - Davidson
Just and Unjust Wars - Walzer
Reasons and Persons - Parfit

Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action - Habermas
Writing and Difference - Derrida
Truth and Method - Gadamer
The View from Nowhere - Nagel
Cartesian Meditations - Husserl
The Phenomenology of Perception - Merleau-Ponty
How the Laws of Physics Lie - Cartwright
The Logical Syntax of Language - Carnap
Neurophilosophy - Churchland
The Transfiguration of the Commonplace - Danto

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature - Rorty


Ephraim said...

Good choices from Nietzsche. Genealogy of Morals is maybe his clearest book. Freud said he was strongly influenced by Nietzsche, and you can see it clearly in that book.
You didn't want to include Bloom?

k said...

No Bloom. Good book, but not a phil prereq.

Adam said...

Kripke? Hows he doing these days?
Better question is, no Strauss? Should be required. And then you can throw out all of the analytical mumbo-jumbo!