Great Books of the Western World

(2nd ed., 1990)

  1. The Syntopicon: An Index to the Great Ideas
    Angel to Love

  2. The Syntopicon (continued)
    Man to World

  3. Homer

  4. Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes
    Aeschylus. Plays
    Sophocles. Plays
    Euripides. Plays
    Aristophanes. Plays

  5. Herodotus, Thucydides
    Herodotus. History
    Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War

  6. Plato
    Seventh Letter

  7. Aristotle (I)

  8. Aristotle (II)
    Works (continued)

  9. Hippocrates, Galen
    Hippocrates. Hippocratic Writings
    Galen. On the Natural Faculties

  10. Euclid, Archimedes, Nicomachus
    Euclid. Elements
    Archimedes. Works (including The Method)
    Nicomachus. Introduction to Arithmetic

  11. Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Plotinus
    Lucretius The Way Things Are
    Epictetus. Discourses
    Marcus Aurelius. The Meditations
    Plotinus. The Six Enneads

  12. Virgil

  13. Plutarch
    Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

  14. Tacitus

  15. Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler
    Ptolemy. Almagest
    Copernicus. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
    Kepler. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy
    Kepler. The Harmonies of the World

  16. Augustine
    The Confessions
    The City of God
    On Christian Doctrine

  17. Thomas Aquinas (I)
    Summa Theologica

  18. Thomas Aquinas (II)
    Summa Theologica (continued)

  19. Dante, Chaucer
    Dante. Divine Comedy
    Chaucer. Troilus and Criseyde
    Chaucer. Canterbury Tales

  20. Calvin
    Institutes of the Christian Religion

  21. Machiavelli, Hobbbes
    Machiavelli. The Prince
      Hobbes. Leviathan, or, Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil

  22. Rabelais
    Gargantua and Pantagruel

  23. Erasmus, Montaigne
    Erasmus. Praise of Folly
    Montaigne. Essays

  24. Shakespeare (I)
    The Plays and Sonnets

  25. Shakespeare (II)
    The Plays and Sonnets (continued)

  26. Gilbert, Galileo, Harvey
    Gilbert. On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
    Galileo. Concerning the Two New Sciences
    Harvey. On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
    Harvey. On the Circulation of the Blood
    Harvey. On the Generation of Animals

  27. Cervantes
    The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

  28. Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza
    Bacon. Advancement of Learning
    Bacon. Novum Organum
    Bacon. New Atlantis
    Descartes. Rules for the Direction of the Mind
    Descartes. Discourse on the Method
    Descartes. Meditations on First Philosophy
    Descartes. Objections Against the Meditations and Replies
    Descartes. The Geometry
    Spinoza. Ethics

  29. Milton
    English minor poems
    Paradise Lost
    Samson Agonistes

  30. Pascal
    The Provincial Letters
    Scientific Treatises

  31. Moliere, Racine
    Moliere. The School for Wives
    Moliere. The Critique of the School for Wives
    Moliere. Tartuffe
    Moliere. Don Juan
    Moliere. The Miser
    Moliere. The Would-Be Gentleman
    Moliere. The Would-Be Invalid
    Racine. Berenice

  32. Newton, Huygens
    Newton. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
    Newton. Optics
    Huygens. Treatise on Light

  33. Locke, Berkeley
    Locke. A Letter Concerning Toleration
    Locke. Concerning Civil Government, Second Essay
    Locke. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    Berkeley. The Principles of Human Knowledge
    Hume. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

  34. Swift, Voltaire, Diderot
    Swift. Gulliver's Travels
    Voltaire. Candide
    Diderot. Rameau's Nephew

  35. Montesquieu, Rousseau
    Montesquieu. The Spirit of Laws
    Rousseau. On the Origin of Inequality
    Rousseau. On Political Economy
    Rousseau. The Social Contract

  36. Smith
    An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

  37. Gibbon (I)
    History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  38. Gibbon (II)
    History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (continued)

  39. Kant
    The Critique of Pure Reason
    The Critique of Practical Reason, and Other Ethical Treatises
    The Critique of Judgment

  40. American State Papers, The Federalist, Mill
    Declaration of Independence
    Articles of Confederation
    The Constitution
    Hamilton, Madison, Jay. The Federalist
    Mill. On Liberty
    Mill. Representative Government
    Mill. Utilitarianism

  41. Boswell
    Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D.

  42. Lavoisier, Faraday
    Lavoisier. Elements of Chemistry
    Faraday. Experimental Researches in Electricity

  43. Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche
    Hegel. The Philosophy of Right
    Hegel. The Philosophy of History
    Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling
    Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil

  44. Tocqueville
    Democracy in America

  45. Goethe, Balzac
    Goethe. Faust: Parts One and Two
    Balzac. Cousin Bette

  46. Austen, Eliot
    Austen. Emma
    Eliot. Middlemarch

  47. Dickens
    Little Dorrit

  48. Melville, Twain
    Melville. Moby Dick, or, The Whale
    Twain. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  49. Darwin
    The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
    The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

  50. Marx, Engels
    Marx (edited by Engels). Capital
    Marx and Engels. Manifesto of the Communist Party

  51. Tolstoy
    War and Peace

  52. Dostoyevsky, Ibsen
    Dostoyevsky. The Brothers Karamazov
    Ibsen. A Doll's House
    Ibsen. The Wild Duck
    Ibsen. Hedda Gabler
    Ibsen. The Master Builder

  53. James
    The Principles of Psychology

  54. Freud
    The Major Works of Sigmund Freud

  55. 20th Century Philosophy and Religion
    James. Pragmatism
    Bergson. An Introduction to Metaphysics
    Dewey. Experience and Education
    Whitehead. Science and the Modern World
    Russell. The Problems of Philosophy
    Heidegger. What is Metaphysics?
    Wittgenstein. Philosophical Investigations
    Barth. The Word of God and the Word of Man

  56. 20th Century Natural Science
    Poincare. Science and Hypothesis
    Planck. Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers
    Whitehead. An Introduction to Mathematics
    Einstein. Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
    Eddington. The Expanding Universe
    Bohr. Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature (selections)
    Bohr. Discussion with Einstein on Epistemological Problemns in Atomic Physics
    Hardy. A Mathematician's Apology
    Heisenberg. Physics and Philosophy
    Schrodinger. What is Life?
    Dobzhansky. Genetics and the Origin of Species
    Waddington. The Nature of Life

  57. 20th Century Social Science (I)
    Veblen. The Theory of the Leisure Class
    Tawney. The Acquisitive Society
    Keynes. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

  58. 20th Century Social Science (II)
    Frazer. The Golden Bough (selections)
    Weber. Essays in Sociology (selections)
    Huizinga. The Waning of the Middle Ages
    Levi-Strauss. Structural Anthropology (selections)

  59. 20th Century Imaginative Literature (I)
    James. The Beast in the Jungle
    Shaw. Saint Joan
    Conrad. Heart of Darkness
    Chekhov. Uncle Vanya
    Pirandello. Six Characters in Search of an Author
    Proust. Remembrance of Things Past. "Swann in Love"
    Cather. A Lost Lady
    Mann. Death in Venice
    Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  60. 20th Century Imaginative Literature (II)
    Woolf. To the Lighthouse
    Kafka. Metamorphosis
    Lawrence. The Prussian Officer
    Eliot. The Waste Land
    O'Neill. Mourning Becomes Electra
    Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby
    Faulkner. A Rose for Emily
    Brecht. Mother Courage and Her Children
    Hemingway. The Short Happy Life of Macomber
    Orwell. Animal Farm
    Beckett. Waiting for Godot

Source: Great Books of the Western World. Ed. by Mortimer J. Adler, Clifton Fadiman, Philip W. Goetz. 2nd ed. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990. © 1990

Note: I have not been able to examine the second edition of Great Books; I have compiled this list from library catalogs.

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This page last updated March 24, 1998