Ethics

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.

Francis Bacon: 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.


Plutarch: Moralia

The Moralia (Greek: Ἠθικά Ethika) by Plutarch of Chaeronea is a collection of writings 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 impact 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. 

On Duties at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

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: Tusculan Disputations

The 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.

Tusculan Disputations at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

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.

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: Tusculan Disputations - public domain audiobook.

Tusculan Disputations - chapter summaries, by John Uebersax.

Wikipedia: Cicero - Tusculanae Disputationes

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

Cicero: Academica.

Cicero: De Finibus.

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


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.

On the Ends of Good and Evil at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

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.


Theophrastus: On Characters

The Characters (Ἠθικοὶ χαρακτῆρες), attributed to Theophrastus, is a collection of character sketches each illustrating some vice, often a vice of excess or deficiency, in line with Aristotle's doctrine of the mean, which suggests that virtue is a middle way between extremes. The work provides a valuable insight into the manners of late classical Athens. It has been suggested that the Characters was an influence on Theophrastus' pupil, the comic playwright Menander.

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

Free online texts

An Eudaemonist: The Characters of Theophrastus, translated by R.C Jebb (1870). HTML format.

Loebulus. L225N - Theophrastus -- Characters of Theophrastus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Μικρός Απόπλους: ΧΑΡΑΚΤΗΡΕΣ, Greek text. HTML format.

Perseus: Greek text, edited by H. Diels (Oxford, 1909).

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: The Next Generation: the Followers of Plato and Aristotle - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Simon Fraser University: Theophrastus Project.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Theophrastus, by Katerina Ierodiakonou

Wikipedia: Theophrastus

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

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics.

Aristotle (attributed): On Virtues and Vices.

Aristotle: The Poetics.

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


Aristotle (attributed): On Virtues and Vices

On Virtues and Vices (Greek: Περὶ Ἀρετῶν καὶ Κακιῶν; Latin: De Virtutibus et Vitiis Libellus) is a short ethical treatise once thought to be by Aristotle, but now more usually thought to be the work of a later follower.

On Virtues and Vices at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France 

Free online  texts

Internet Archive: The Works of Aristotle - Magna Moralia, Ethica Eudemia, De Virtutibus Et Vitiis. English translations, edited by W.D. Ross. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L285 - Aristotle -- Athenian Constitution. Eudemian Ethics. Virtues and Vices. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (ed. Bekker, 1831). English text, translated by H. Rackham. HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Περί Αρετών και Κακιών - Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: On Virtues and Vices.

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

Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics.

Aristotle: The Eudemian Ethics.

Aristotle (attributed): The Magna Moralia.

Theophrastus: The Characters.

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


Aristotle (attributed): The Magna Moralia

The Magna Moralia or Great Ethics is a treatise traditionally attributed to Aristotle, but now more often thought to be by a later writer in the Aristotelian tradition.

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

Free online texts

Internet Archive: The Works of Aristotle - Magna Moralia, Ethica Eudemia, De Virtutibus Et Vitiis. English translations, edited by W.D. Ross (1915). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Ηθικά Μεγάλα, Greek text.

Other Resources

Librivox: Magna Moralia, public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Magna Moralia.

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

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics.

Aristotle: Eudemian Ethics.

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