Ethics

Hume: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

David_Hume_RamsayAn Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals is a 1751 work by David Hume, which developed the ethical philosophy first expounded in his Treatise on Human Nature. It is often known as as the Second Enquiry, to distinguish it from an Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

While the classification of Hume's ethical position remains controversial, it can be described as sentamentalist, in rejecting the view that moral judgements can be founded on reason alone.

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Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Gutenberg: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1912). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. HTML and other formats.

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Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature

David_Hume_EsqrA Treatise of Human Nature, published in three books in 1739-40, was the first major philosophical work by David Hume, who famously said that it 'fell dead-born from the press', leading him to recast his ideas in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.

Hume's mature philosophy was nevertheless substantively that of the Treatise, which sought to put philosophy on an experimental basis like that of the physical sciences, rejecting metaphysical speculation as futile. It includes Hume's first account of his famous problem of induction, arguing that our belief in cause and effect is based on habit rather than rational justification. It was this sceptical attack which Kant later said ' first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave my investigations in the field of speculative philosophy a completely different direction.'

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Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: A Treatise of Human Nature, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Gutenberg: A Treatise of Human Nature. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: A Treatise of Human Nature Vol I | Vol II. Everyman's Library edition. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: A Treatise of Human Nature. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Treatise of Human Nature. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: David Hume. Melvyn Bragg with Peter Millican, Helen Beebee and James Harris.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: David Hume (1711-1776) - Hume on Causation.

Librivox - A Treatise of Human Nature, Vol I | Vol II - public domain audiobook.

PhilPapers: Hume - A Treatise of Human Nature - bibliography with open access option.

Philosophy Bites: Paul Russell on David Hume's Philosophy of Irreligion. Podcast with Nigel Warburton.

Physics Today: Albert Einstein to Moritz Schlick - comments on the influence of the Treatise on the theory of relativity.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: David Hume - Kant and Hume on Causality.

Wikipedia: David Hume - A Treatise of Human Nature.

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

John Locke: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

Hume: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.

Kant: Critique of Pure Reason.

Kant: Prologomena to Any Future Metaphysics.


Leibniz: The Theodicy

Leibniz_HannoverThe Theodicy (French: Essais de Théodicée) is a 1710 work by Leibniz on the nature of God and the problem of evil. The title taken from the Greek theos (God) and dike (justice), coined what became a general term for attempts to reconcile the existence of evil with a benevolent God. Leibniz's conclusion, that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds, was famously satirised by Voltaire.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Theodicy, translated by E.M. Huggard. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil, translated by E.M. Huggard and Austin Farrer. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: French text (currently incomplete). HTML and other formats.

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Spinoza: The Ethics

SpinozaEthics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (Latin: Ethica, ordine geometrico demonstrata), is a Latin philosophical treatise by Baruch Spinoza, written in around 1664-5 and published shortly after Spinoza's death in 1677.

Spinoza presents his argument as a series of propositions, derived logically from a small number of axioms after the manner of Euclidean geometry. His system is monistic, in that posits reality as consisting of a single substance, and pantheistic in that identifies this substance with God.

Spinoza's conception of God is, however, sufficiently abstract that his thought has often been equated with atheism. This was for a long time a source of huge opprobrium, which meant that his influence on the radical enlightment of the seventeenth and eightenth centuries was largely subterranean. Since then, influence in his work has consistently grown. Among his twentieth century admirers was Albert Einstein who once said that he believed in Spinoza's God 'who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.'

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Free online texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: Ethica Ordine Geometrica Demonstrata. Latin text, HTML format.

Early Modern Texts: Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

EthicaDB: The Ethics. Translations in multiple European languages. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Ethics, translated by R.H.M. Elwes. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Improvement of the Understanding, Ethics and Correspondence, translated by R.H.M. Elwes. Multiple formats.

Middle Tennessee State University: Ethics, translated by RH.M. Elwes. HTML format.

SpinozaBase: Ethica. Latin text. HTML format.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by R.H.M. Elwes. HTML and other formats.

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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. 

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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: 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.

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.

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