Philosophy

Montaigne: Essays

Montaigne-DumonstierThe Essays (French: Essais) by Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) inaugurated a literary form on their first publication in 1580. His  Essais or 'attempts' at various subjects were part of a larger project of-self reflection. His focus on the individual personality, in contrast to the ancient writers on whom he dew copiously, had a profound influence on later writers.

He knew Greek authors mainly though Latin and French, but his broad classical learning informed an eclectic philosophical world view which drew on Cicero, stoicism and skepticism. The latter was influence was strengthened by Montaigne's experiences as a nobleman during the French Wars of Religion. His belief in tolerance forms an important part of his legacy.

Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: Essays, Bks 1-11, translated by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format. Modern English translation with some editorial alterations.
Gutenberg: Essays of Michel de Montaigne — Complete, translated by Charles Cotton. Multiple formats. 
Internet Archive: The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, Vol I | Vol II. Translated by Charles Cotton and revised by William Carew Hazlitt. Multiple formats.
The Montaigne Project: Les Essais de Montaigne. Full Searchable HTML text in French.
Online Library of Liberty: Essays of Montaigne in 10 Volumes, translated by Charles Cotton. Multiple formats.
University of Adelaide: The Essays of Montaigne, translated by Charles Cotton. Multiple formats.
University of Oregon: Montaigne's Essays, translated by John Florio, 1603. PDF format.
Wikisource: Multiple French editions | English translation by John Florio, 1603 | English translation by Charles Cotton 1686, revised by William Carew Hazlitt in 1877.

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Seneca: Moral Letters to Lucilius

The Death of Seneca, by Manuel Domínguez Sánchez. Via Wikisource.

The Moral Letters to Lucilius (Latin: Ad Lucilium epistulae morales) were composed by the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca ('The Younger'), during his retirement from the Imperial court in 62-65 AD, a period which ended with his suicide on the orders of the emperor Nero.

The 120 letters, collected in 20 books , were addressed to Seneca's friend Lucilius Junior, then the procurator of Sicily. They amount to informal moral essays, covering subjects such as the nature of the good, happiness and the right attitude to death. It is among the most popular of Seneca's works and as such an important source on Roman stoicism. It's adoption by early Christians contributed to its influence in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive: Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales. Vol. I | Vol. IIVol. III. Public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English. PDF and other formats.

Latin Library: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium -  HTML format. 

Loebulus. L075 - Seneca -- Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales I: Letters 1-65. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Loebulus. L076 - Seneca -- Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales II: Letters 66-92. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Perseus: Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales. HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Latin - Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium. English - Moral Letters to Lucilius. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC In Our Time: Seneca the Younger - Radio discussion with Melvyn Bragg, Mary Beard, Catherine Edwards and Alessandro Schiesaro.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Anger Management - Seneca, podcast by Peter Adamson.

How to be a Stoic: Seneca to Lucilius - Philosophy as a Guide to Life.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

Librivox: Moral Letters - public domain audiobook.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Seneca.

Stoics.com: Why Seneca's Moral Essays and Moral Epistles?

Wikipedia: Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Cicero: On Duties.

Marcus Aurelius: The Meditations.

Montaigne: Essays.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Aquinas: Summa Theologica

St Thomas Aquinas by Carlo Crivelli (1476). Wikimedia CommonsThe Summa Theologica or Summa Theologiae by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is one of the best known philosophical works of the Middle Ages. Intended as a comprehensive guide to theology for beginning students, the first part of the work deals with God, nature and man, the second part with law and morality, while the third, unfinished part deals with Christ and the sacraments, seen as the route of humanity's return to God, thus giving the whole a cyclical structure.

Summa Theologica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Summa Theologica, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1947). Multiple formats.

Corpus Thomisticum: Summa Theologiae - Latin text. HTML format.

Google Play: STh lt - App containing the text of the Summa from the Corpus Thomisticum Project.

Gutenberg: Summa Theologica - Part I-I | Part I-II | Part II-II | Part III. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Summa Theologica, Latin text (1894). Multiple formats.

Intratext: Summa Theologica, English translation. HTML format.

New Advent: The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1920). HTML format.

Sacred Texts: Summa Theologica, translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1947). HTML format.

SummaTheologica.info: Summa Theologica, English translation with onsite Google search. HTML and PDF formats.

University of Notre Dame: Summa Theologica, ongoing translation by Alfred J. Freddoso. PDF format.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation, by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: St Thomas Aquinas. Melvyn Bragg with Martin Palmer, John Haldane and Annabel Brett.

History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: 243 The Ox Heard Round the World - Thomas Aquinas | 244 Everybody Needs Some Body: Aquinas on Soul and Knowledge | 248 - Scott MacDonald on Aquinas, podcast by Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia  of Philosophy: Thomas Aquinas.

Librivox: Summa Theologica, public domain audiobook.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Wikipedia: Summa Theologica.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Plato

Aristotle, referred to by Aquinas as 'The Philosopher': Metaphysics, Ethics.

Cicero

St Paul 'the Apostle'

Dionysius the Areopagite

Augustine 'the Theologian'

Boethius

Ulpian 'the Jurist'

Eriugena

Avicenna

Averroes 'the Commentator'

Al-Ghazali

Anselm 

Abelard

Hugo of St Victor

Peter the Lombard: The Sentences.

Dante: The Divine Comedy - has been described as 'the Summa in verse'.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Aristotle (spurious): on Colors

On Colors or On Colours (Greek Περὶ χρωμάτων, Latin De Coloribus) is a treatise traditionally attributed to Aristotle, but now sometimes thought to be by Theophrastus or Strato, who succeeded him in turn as heads of his philosophical school, the Lyceum. The book's argument, that all colors are derived from the mixture of black and white, was an important influence on subsequent color theories until the time of Newton.

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Free online and downloadable texts

LacusCurtius: On Colors - Greek text and English translation. HTML format.

Loebulus. L307 - Aristotle - Minor Works. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also available at the Internet Archive.

Wikisource: Περί χρωμάτων - Greek text. HTML format.

Other Resources

New Republic: Does Color Even Exist? by Malcolm Harris 22 May 2015.

Open Book - Rare Books Department of Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah -Book of the Week — De coloribus libellus, 5 December 2016.

Princeton University Press: Why the Sky is Blue: Discovering the Color of Life, by Götz Hoeppe. Chapter Two - Of Philosophers and the Color Blue.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Controversies Surrounding Aristotle's Theory of Perception, by Christopher Shields.

Wikipedia: On Colors

University of Massachussets - Amherst: Greek Color Theory and the Four Elements (2000). Chapter Two - Greek Color Theory by J.L. Benson.

Youtube: On Colours, by Aristotle. audiobook read by Geoffrey Edwards

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Plato: Meno - mentions Empedocles' theory of color.

Plato: Timaeus

Aristotle: Meteorology - discusses the rainbow.

Aristotle: Sense and Sensibilia

Aristotle: De Anima

Theophrastus

 Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Burnet: Early Greek Philosophy

Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise by Fyodor BronnikovEarly Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, first published in 1892, is a survey of Presocratic Greek thinkers. Individuals and schools covered include Thales and the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides and the Eleatics, the Pythagoreans, Anaxagoras, Empedocles and Leucippus.

Burnet was a distinguished scholar of Plato, and many of his editions remain authoritative today. He saw Socratic philosophy as a development from the problems of the earlier cosmologists, despite the protestations of disinterest in natural philosophy recorded in Plato's Apology, believing that Socrates had been a disciple of Archelaus in his youth.

Early Greek Philosophy at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Evansville.edu: John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy. HTML format.

Hathi Trust: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet. PDF format. 

Internet Archive: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1892 edition). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1908 edition). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Early Greek Philosophy,by John Burnet (1920 edition). Multiple formats.

Peithô's Web: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1920 edition). HTML format.

Plato.spbu.ru: Early Greek Philosophy, by John Burnet (1920 edition). PDF format.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: John Burnet (classicist).

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Plutarch: Moralia

The Moralia (Greek: Ἠθικά Ethika) by Plutarch of Chaeronea is a collection of writings by Plutarch, loosely bound by the subject of morals in the sense of mores or customs, and encompassing all of Plutarch's extant works apart from the Parallel Lives. It was a major influence on the development of the essay as a literary form, particularly through its influence on renaissance writers such as Montaigne.

The Moralia at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Complete Works of Plutarch — Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies. English text, multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Plutarch's Morals, translated by E.R. Shilleto. English texts, multiple formats.

Lacus Curtius: Plutarch - includes English translations of about half of the Moralia in HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: Plutarch’s Morals, 5 vols, translated by William W. Goodwin, with an introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1878). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Complete Works of Plutarch — Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies. English text, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Plutarch's Moralia: Twenty Essays, selections translated by Philemon Holland (1603), 1911 edition. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Ηθικά, Greek text, multiple formats.

Loeb Editions

Internet Archive. Moralia, in fifteen volumes, with an English translation by Frank Cole Babbitt. Vol I, Vol II, Vol IIIVol IV, Vol V, Vol VI, Vol VII, Vol VIII, Vol IX, Vol X, Vol XI, Vol XII, Vol XIII(a), Vol XIII(b), Vol XIV, Vol XVIndex. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L222 - Plutarch -- Moralia II: How to Profit by One's Enemies. On Having Many Friends. Chance. Virtue and Vice. Letter of Condolence to Apollonius. Advice About Keeping Well. Advice to Bride and Groom. The Dinner of the Seven Wise Men. Superstition. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L245 - Plutarch -- Moralia III: Sayings of Kings and Commanders. Sayings of Romans. Sayings of Spartans. The Ancient Customs of the Spartans. Sayings of Spartan Women. Bravery of Women. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L305 - Plutarch -- Moralia IV: Roman Questions. Greek Questions. Greek and Roman Parallel Stories. On the Fortune of the Romans. On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander. Were the Athenians More Famous in War or in Wisdom? PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L306 - Plutarch -- Moralia V: Isis and Osiris. The E at Delphi. The Oracles at Delphi No Longer Given in Verse. The Obsolescence of Oracles. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L337 - Plutarch -- Moralia VI: Can Virtue Be Taught? On Moral Virtue. On the Control of Anger. On Tranquility of Mind. On Brotherly Love. On Affection for Offspring. Whether Vice Be Sufficient to Cause Unhappiness…. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L321 - Plutarch -- Moralia X: Love Stories. That a Philosopher Ought to Converse Especially With Men in Power. To an Uneducated Ruler. Whether an Old Man Should Engage in Public Affairs. Precepts of Statecraft. On Monarchy, Democracy, and Oligarchy. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.
Loebulus. L406 - Plutarch -- Moralia XII: Concerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon. On the Principle of Cold. Whether Fire or Water Is More Useful. Whether Land or Sea Animals Are Cleverer. Beasts Are Rational. On the Eating of Flesh. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

 

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Cicero: On Duties

On Duties or On Obligations (Latin: De Officiis) is Cicero's last work on ethics, addressed to his son Marcus, who was studying philosophy in Athens at the time of its completion in 44 BCE. It draws heavily on the work of two Stoic philosophers; Panaetius, who had written his own lost work, and Posidonius, a student of Panaetius, who had himself taught Cicero. Despite these Stoic influences, Cicero strongly defended the value of political activity. 

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: De Officiis, multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: De Officiis, translated by Walter Miller (1913). HTML format.

Latin Library: De Officiis. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L030 - Cicero -- De Officiis. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Perseus: De Officiis. Latin text, HTML and XML format.

Perseus: De Officiis, translated by Walter Miller (1913). HTML and XML format.

Stoics.com: De Officiis, translated by Walter Miller (1913). HTML format.

Wikisource: De Officiis. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Rhetorical Questions: Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Librivox: On Duties - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: CiceroDe Officiis.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Cicero: Tusculan Disputations - defends Stoic views on happiness.

Cicero: On the Ends of Good and Evil - examines the ethical teachings of the major philosophical schools.

Latin resources: Learn to read Latin texts in the original.


Cicero: On Friendship

On Friendship (Latin: Laelius de Amicitia) is a dialogue by Cicero, which argues that true friendship is founded on virtue. It was completed in 44 BCE and set in 129 BC in the period following the death of Scipio Aemilianus around 129 BC. The speakers are Scipio's friend Laelius, and his two sons-in-law, Fannius and Scaevola, the latter of whom taught Cicero law.

On Friendship at Amazon: United States.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Treatises on Friendship and Old Age by Marcus Tullius Cicero, translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh. Multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: Cicero on Friendship, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML format.

Latin Library: Laelius de AmicitiaLatin text, HTML format.

Perseus: De Amicitia. Latin text, HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: Laelius on Friendship, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML format.

Wikisource: Laelius on Friendship. Latin text with facing English translation, multiple formats.

Wikisource: Laelius de Amicitia. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Rhetorical Questions: Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Cicero.

Wikipedia: Cicero - Laelius de Amicitia.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Latin resources: Learn to read Latin texts in the original.


Cicero: On Old Age

On Old Age (Latin De Senectute or Cato Maior de Senectute) is a dialogue by Cicero, written about 44 BC, and set a century earlier. The aged Cato the Censor is portrayed in discussion with the younger Scipio Aemilianus and Laelius, expounding his views on dealing with old age, and his belief in the immortality of the soul. The early part of the dialogue is influenced by Plato's portrayal of Cephalus in Book 1 of The Republic.

On Old Age at Amazon: United States.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Cato Maior de Senectute. Latin text, multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Treatises on Friendship and Old Age by Marcus Tullius Cicero, translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh. Multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: Cicero on Old Age, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML format.

Latin Library: Cato Maior de Senectute. Latin text, HTML format.

Perseus: De Senectute. Latin text, HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: Cato the Elder On Old Age, translated by W.A. Falconer. HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Cato Maior de Senectute. Latin text, multiple formats.

Wikisource: De Senectute, translated by Andrew P. Peabody (1884). Multiple formats.

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Cicero: On Fate

On Fate (Latin: De Fato) is a partly extant work by Cicero, written in 44 BC, in which he discusses fate and freedom of the will with his friend Aulus Hirtius. Although, ostensibly a dialogue, the extent portions contain long passages of exposition by Cicero. The work appears to be closely connected to On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive: The treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the nature of the gods; On divination; On fate; On the republic; On the laws; and On standing for the consulship. Literally translated chiefly by the editor, C.D. Yonge (1878). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: De natura deorum, De divinatione, De fato, edited by Reinholdus Klotz (1879). Latin text, multiple formats.

Latin Library: De Fato. Latin text, HTML format.

Perseus: De Fato. Latin text, edited by C.F.W. Muller (Teubner, 1915). HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: De Fato. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Rhetorical Questions: Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Cicero.

Wikipedia: Cicero - De Fato.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods.

Cicero: On Divination.

Latin resources: Learn to read Latin texts in the original.