Philosophy & Religion
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.
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The Bible, King James Version, Complete Contents
The King James Version , commonly known as the Authorized Version or King James Bible , is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. First printed by the King's Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first was the Great Bible commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second was the Bishops' Bible of 1568. In January 1604, King James I convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England.
Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The book, Hesse's ninth novel , was written in German, in a simple, lyrical style. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s. Hesse dedicated Siddhartha to his wife Ninon and supposedly afterwards to Romain Rolland and Wilhelm Gundert.
The Tao Teh King, or the Tao and its Characteristics
The Tao Te Ching, Daodejing or Dao De Jing , also simply referred to as the Laozi, is a Chinese classic text. According to tradition, it was written around 6th century BC by the sage Laozi , a record-keeper at the Zhou dynasty court, by whose name the text is known in China. The text's true authorship and date of composition or compilation are still debated, although the oldest excavated text dates back to the late 4th century BC.
The Koran (Al-Qur'an)
J. M. Rodwell
The Koran is the name of a translation of the Qur'an written by John Medows Rodwell. It uses a chronological method of sorting verses in the Koran. Rodwell's translation has not aged well with time and many find it inferior to other, more modern translations.
Thus Spake Zarathustra
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch, which were first introduced in The Gay Science.
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton . It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, changed into twelve books with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. It is considered by critics to be Milton's "major work", and the work helped to solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as Irish policy in general.
The Writings of Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination".
Eve's Diary, Complete
Eve's Diary is a comic short story by Mark Twain. It was first published in the 1905 Christmas issue of the magazine Harper's Bazaar, and in book format in June 1906 by Harper and Brothers publishing house. It is written in the style of a diary kept by the first woman in the Judeo-Christian creation story, Eve, and is claimed to be "translated from the original MS." The "plot" of this novel is the first-person account of Eve from her creation up to her burial by, her mate, Adam, including meeting and getting to know Adam, and exploring the world around her, Eden. The story then jumps 40 years into the future after the Fall and expulsion from Eden. It is one of a series of books Twain wrote concerning the story of Adam and Eve, including 'Extracts from Adam's Diary,' 'That Day In Eden,' 'Eve Speaks,' 'Adam's Soliloquy,' and the 'Autobiography of Eve.' Eve's Diary has a lighter tone than the others in the series, as Eve has a strong appreciation for beauty and love. The book may have been written as a posthumous love-letter to Mark Twain's wife Olivia Langdon Clemens, or Livy, who died in June 1904, just before the story was written. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "Eve's Diary is finished — I've been waiting for her to speak, but she doesn't say anything more." The story ends with Adam's speaking at Eve's grave, "Wherever she was, there was Eden."
The Critique of Pure Reason
The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant, first published in 1781, second edition 1787, is one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy. Also referred to as Kant's "first critique," it was followed in 1788 by the Critique of Practical Reason and in 1790 by the Critique of Judgment. In the preface to the first edition Kant explains what he means by a critique of pure reason: "I do not mean by this a critique of books and systems, but of the faculty of reason in general, in respect of all knowledge after which it may strive independently of all experience."
Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature
The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1901 and 1902.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published anonymously in 1836. It is in this essay that the foundation of transcendentalism is put forth, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. Transcendentalism suggests that divinity suffuses all nature, and speaks to the notion that we can only understand reality through studying nature. A visit to the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris inspired a set of lectures delivered in Boston and subsequently the ideas leading to the publication of Nature.
Intended to convert religiously indifferent readers to Christianity, PensÃ©es were published posthumously, to wide and ongoing acclaim. This selection of highlights focuses on their secular aspects. Written in support of the Jansenist movement, Provincial Letters captivated a large audience with their satirical wit, righteous indignation, and effervescent style. This is the only dual-language edition available.
The Golden Bough: A Study of Magic and Religion
James George Frazer
The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion, written by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer . It was first published in two volumes in 1890; in three volumes in 1900; the third edition, published 1906–15, comprised twelve volumes. The work was aimed at a wide literate audience raised on tales as told in such publications as Thomas Bulfinch's The Age of Fable, or Stories of Gods and Heroes .
Plato's Phaedo is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's fourth and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days, following Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito.
On the Nature of Things
Titus Lucretius Carus
De rerum natura is a 1st-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in some 7,400 dactylic hexameters, is divided into six untitled books, and explores Epicurean physics through richly poetic language and metaphors. Lucretius presents the principles of atomism; the nature of the mind and soul; explanations of sensation and thought; the development of the world and its phenomena; and explains a variety of celestial and terrestrial phenomena. The universe described in the poem operates according to these physical principles, guided by fortuna, "chance", and not the divine intervention of the traditional Roman deities.
The Consolation of Philosophy
Consolation of Philosophy is a philosophical work by Boethius, written around the year 524. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, and is also the last great Western work of the Classical Period.
The Problems of Philosophy
The Problems of Philosophy is one of Bertrand Russell's attempts to create a brief and accessible guide to the problems of philosophy. Focusing on problems he believes will provoke positive and constructive discussion, Russell concentrates on knowledge rather than metaphysics: If it is uncertain that external objects exist, how can we then have knowledge of them but by probability. There is no reason to doubt the existence of external objects simply because of sense data.
Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals
Fundamental Principles for the Metaphysics of Morals, is the first of Immanuel Kant's mature works on moral philosophy and remains one of the most influential in the field. Kant conceives his investigation as a work of foundational ethics - one that clears the ground for future research by explaining the core concepts and principles of moral theory and showing that they are normative for rational agents. Kant aspires to nothing less than this: to lay bare the fundamental principle of morality and show that it applies to us.
"The Kingdom of God Is Within You"
The Kingdom of God Is Within You is the non-fiction magnum opus of Leo Tolstoy. The book was first published in Germany in 1894 after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's Christian anarchist thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation.
G. K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy is a book by G. K. Chesterton that has become a classic of Christian apologetics. Chesterton considered this book a companion to his other work, Heretics. In the book's preface Chesterton states the purpose is to "attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it." In it, Chesterton presents an original view of Christian religion. He sees it as the answer to natural human needs, the "answer to a riddle" in his own words, and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the boundaries of human experience.
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is a philosophical work by the Scottish philosopher David Hume. Through dialogue, three philosophers named Demea, Philo , and Cleanthes of Assos debate the nature of God's existence. While all three agree that a god exists, they differ sharply in opinion on God's nature or attributes and how, or if, humankind can come to knowledge of a deity.
Euthyphro is one of Plato's early dialogues, dated to after 399 BC. Taking place during the weeks leading up to Socrates' trial, the dialogue features Socrates and Euthyphro, a religious expert also mentioned at Cratylus 396a and 396d, attempting to define piety or holiness.
Bushido, the Soul of Japan
Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe is, along with the classic text Hagakure by Tsunetomo Yamamoto , a study of the way of the samurai. A best-seller in its day, it was read by many influential foreigners, among them President Theodore Roosevelt, President John F. Kennedy and Robert Baden-Powell. It may well have shaped Baden-Powell's ideas on the Boy Scout movement he founded.
Martin Luther's 95 Theses
The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences , commonly known as The Ninety-Five Theses, was written by Martin Luther in 1517 and is widely regarded as the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. The disputation protests against clerical abuses, especially the sale of indulgences.
Wieland: or, the Transformation, an American Tale
Charles Brockden Brown
Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale, usually simply called Wieland, is the first major work by Charles Brockden Brown. First published in 1798, it distinguishes the true beginning of his career as a writer. Wieland is the first – and most famous – American Gothic novel. It has often been linked to Caleb Williams by William Godwin. Godwin's influence is clear, but Brown's writing is unique in its style. Wieland is often categorized under several sub-genres other than Gothic fiction, including horror, psychological fiction and epistolary fiction, which are listed at Project Gutenberg.
Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic
Laughter is a collection of three essays by French philosopher Henri Bergson, first published in 1900. It was written in French, the original title is Le Rire. Essai sur la signification du comique .
Sartor Resartus: the life and opinions of Herr Teufelsdr
Sartor Resartus is an 1836 novel by Thomas Carlyle, first published as a serial in 1833-34 in Fraser's Magazine. The novel purports to be a commentary on the thought and early life of a German philosopher called Diogenes Teufelsdröckh , author of a tome entitled "Clothes: their Origin and Influence", but was actually a poioumenon. Teufelsdröckh's Transcendentalist musings are mulled over by a skeptical English Reviewer who also provides fragmentary biographical material on the philosopher. The work is, in part, a parody of Hegel, and of German Idealism more generally. However, Teufelsdröckh is also a literary device with which Carlyle can express difficult truths.
Benito Pérez Galdós
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Annie Besant was a prominent British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. The thoughtform is a concept in mysticism of a being or object which is created through sheer spiritual or mental discipline alone.