Dialogues

Berkeley: Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous

George_Berkeley._Line_engraving._Wellcome_V0000473Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous is a 1713 philosophical work by George Berkeley, written as a dialogue in which the characters discuss the metaphysical ideas which Berkeley had previously propounded to some criticism in A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge.

The two characters are given Greek names which reflect their respective commitments. Hylas is named after the Greek word for matter and takes a materialist position. Philonous, 'lover of mind', defends an idealist stance which is largely Berkeley's own.

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Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Gutenberg: Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1901). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. HTML and other formats.

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Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

DavidHumeDialogues Concerning Natural Religion, by David Hume (1711-1776), was first published  in 1779. The choice of the dialogue form, modelled on Cicero, as well as its posthumous appearance, reflected the work's far reaching implications for contemporary religious authority.

The three central characters are Cleanthes, an 'experimental theist', typical of eighteenth century progressive theologians, Demea, a traditionalist mystic, and Philo, a radical sceptic, whose views are often taken to be closest to Hume's own. While there is some debate over whether Hume's position entailed strict athiesm, or allowed for some philsopophical conceptions of God such as deism, he is generally seen as hostile to organised religion.

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Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Gutenberg: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, edited by Henry D. Aitken (Hafner Library of Classics, 1948). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. HTML and other formats.

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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 surviving 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.


Cicero: On Divination

On Divination (Latin: De Divinatione) is a dialogue by Cicero published in 44 BC, shortly after the death of Caesar. Following on from the theological issues considered in On the Nature of the Gods, it examines whether it is possible to predict the future. Cicero's brother Quintus deploys stoic arguments to defend belief in some kinds of divination. Cicero ridicules the practice but recommends the maintenance of traditional forms for political reasons.

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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.

LacusCurtius: De Divinatione, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML format.

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

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

Perseus: De Divinatione. Latin text, edited by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML formats. 

Perseus: De Divinatione, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML formats. 

Wikisource: De Divinatione. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

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Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods

On the Nature of the Gods (Latin: De Natura Deorum) is a dialogue by Cicero which examines theology from the point of view of various philosophical schools. In book 1, Gaius Velleius gives the Epicurean argument for the existence of God, while Quintus Lucilius puts the Stoic case in book 2. Gaius Cotta criticises both viewpoints in book 3 from the viewpoint of Cicero's own academic skepticism.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth, translated by C.D. Yonge. Multiple formats.

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, Libri Tres, Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, edited by J.B Mayor (Cambridge, 1888). Latin text, Multiple formats.

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

Latin Library: De Natura Deorum. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L268 - Cicero -- De Natura Deorum. Academica. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Online Library of Liberty: De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), trans. Francis Brooks (London: Methuen, 1896). Multiple formats.

Perseus: De Natura Deorum. Latin text, HTML and XML format.

Wikisource: De Natura Deorum. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

Academia.edu: Cicero Handout -  Arguments For And Against God's Existence in On the Nature of the Gods, by Gregory Sadler.

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.

Librivox: On the Nature of the Gods - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Cicero - De Natura Deorum.

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

Plato: Euthyphro - a classic examination of divine command theory.

Cicero: Tusculan Disputations - defends Stoic views on happiness.

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

Cicero: Academica - dialogues on the theory of knowledge.

Cicero: On Divination.

Cicero: On Fate.

David Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

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

Bloom's Western Canon: On the Nature of the Gods is listed.


Cicero: Tusculan Disputations

Cicero_at_His_Villa_at_TusculumThe Tusculan Disputations (Latin: Tusculanae Disputationes or Tusculanae Quaestiones), written in 44BC, is a philosophical treatise in which Cicero defends Stoic views on happiness. The opening dedication to Brutus defends the aspiration for a Latin philosophical literature that could surpass the Greeks. The following five books portray a series of Socratic debates said to have taken place at Cicero's villa in Tusculum. Book 1 deals with the nature of death, book 2 with physical suffering, books 3 and 4 with mental suffering, while book 5 propounds the Stoic view that virtue is always sufficient for happiness.

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Gutenberg: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Academic Questions, Treatise De Finibus, and Tusculan Disputations. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations : also treatises On the Nature of the Gods, and On the Commonwealth, translated by C.D. Yonge (1877). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, translated by A.P. Peabody (1886). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Tusculanae Disputationes. Latin text, HTML format.

Perseus: Tusculanae Disputationes (Teubner, 1918). Latin text, HTML and XML format.

University of Adelaide: The Tusculan Disputations, translated by Charles Duke Yonge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Tusculanae Disputationes. Latin text, multiple formats.

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Cicero: On the Ends of Good and Evil

On the Ends of Good and Evil or On Moral Ends (Latin: De finibus bonorum et malorum), composed by Cicero in 45 BC, presents the ethical teachings of the major philosophical schools of the time in the form of dialogues recounted by Cicero to his friend Brutus. Lucius Torquatus serves as spokesman for epicureanism in the first two books, while Cato represents stoicism in books three and four. Book five presents Cicero's own academic skepticism.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Academic Questions, Treatise De Finibus, and Tusculan Disputations. Multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: de Finibus, translated by H. Harris Rackham. HTML format.

Latin Library: De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L040 - Cicero -- De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin with English translation by H. Rackham. Also at the Internet Archive.

Perseus: De finibus bonorum et malorum (Teubner, 1915). Latin text, HTML and XML format.

University of Adelaide: Treatise de Finibus, translated by Charles Duke Yonge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: De finibus bonorum et malorum. 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.

Librivox: On the Ends of Good and Evil - public domain audiobook.

The Obstinate Classicist: On Moral Ends, summary by Bill Prueter.

Wikipedia: CiceroDe finibus bonorum et malorum.

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

Cicero: Academica - dialogue on stoic and academic views of the theory of knowledge.

Cicero: Tusculan Disputations.

Plato: Phaedrus - cited by Cicero in Book Two.

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


Cicero: On the Laws

Richard_Wilson_-_Cicero_with_his_friend_Atticus_and_brother_Quintus _at_his_villa_at_Arpinum_-_Google_Art_ProjectOn the Laws (Latin: De Legibus) is a dialogue by Cicero written about 51 BC, which survives only in fragmentary form. In contrast to his other major political dialogue, the De Re Publica, Cicero gave On the Laws a contemporary setting, portraying a conversation between himself, his brother Quintus, and his friend Atticus, about the appropriate constitution for an ideal Roman state. The system which emerges reflects Cicero's pragmatic conservatism. It is defended in terms of an early and influential conception of natural law.

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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.

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

Online Library of Liberty: The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol. 2 (Treatise on the Laws), translated by Francis Barham (1841). Multiple formats.

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

Wikisource: De Legibus. 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.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Ancient Political Philosophy.

Librivox: On the Laws - public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: CiceroDe Legibus

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

Cicero: De Re Publica.

Plato: The Republic.

Plato: The Laws.

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