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By: Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (1862-1932)

The Greek View of Life by Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson The Greek View of Life

“With the Greek civilisation beauty perished from the world. Never again has it been possible for man to believe that harmony is in fact the truth of all existence.”This elegantly-written work provides a splendid introduction to the Greeks of the classic period: how they thought, wrote, and organised their lives and loves. Although it dates from the 1890s, there is very little about it that has dated. To its author’s credit, the subject of “Greek love” is dealt with in a sane and factual context - despite the judicial assassination of Oscar Wilde going on in the background...

By: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716)

The Monadology by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz The Monadology

The Monadology (La Monadologie, 1714) is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads. What he proposed can be seen as a modification of occasionalism developed by latter-day Cartesians. Leibniz surmised that there are indefinitely many substances individually ‘programmed’ to act in a predetermined way, each program being coordinated with all the others. This is the pre-established harmony which solved the mind body problem at the cost of declaring any interaction between substances a mere appearance, something which Leibniz accepted...

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

Anticipations by H. G. Wells Anticipations

Wells considered this book one of his most important, a natural follow-up to such works as his Man of the Year Million and The Time Machine. His goal was to get people to think and act in new ways. The book starts with a look at how humans get along socially and how they carry out their business ventures. It then discusses how these elements influence others, such as politics, the world of work, and education. H. G. tried to make clear how the current social order was disintegrating without preparing another to take its place. He then traced the roots of democracy, which in its present state he saw as unworkable. Instead, he proposed a new republic. He also critiqued modern warfare.

By: Helen Ekin Starrett (1840-1920)

Book cover Letters to a Daughter and A Little Sermon to School Girls

Helen Ekin Starrett, journalist, mother of two daughters, grandmother of seven granddaughters and teacher to many young girls at the Starrett School for Girls offers lessons in life and religion to girls about to "pass out from the guardianship of home into life with its duties and trials".

By: Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

An Introduction to Metaphysics by Henri Bergson An Introduction to Metaphysics

An Introduction to Metaphysics (Introduction a la Metaphysique) is a 1903 essay by Henri Bergson that explores the concept of reality. For Bergson, reality occurs not in a series of discrete states but as a process similar to that described by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Reality is fluid and cannot be completely understood through reductionistic analysis, which he said “implies that we go around an object”, gaining knowledge from various perspectives which are relative. Instead, reality can be grasped absolutely only through intuition, which Bergson expressed as “entering into” the object.

By: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Walden by Henry David Thoreau Walden

Two years, two months and two days! This is what forms the time line of one man's quest for the simple life and a unique social experiment in complete self reliance and independence. Henry David Thoreau published Walden in 1884. Originally drafted as a series of essays describing a most significant episode in his life, it was finally released in book form with each essay taking on the form of a separate chapter. Thoreau's parents were in financial straights, but rich intellectually and culturally...

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.

By: Henry Drummond

Book cover The Greatest Thing in the World and Other Addresses

The spiritual classic The Greatest Thing In the World is a trenchant and tender analysis of Christian love as set forth in the thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians. The other addresses speak to other aspects of Christian life and thought.

By: Henry L. Mencken (1880-1956)

In Defense of Women by Henry L. Mencken In Defense of Women

In Defense of Women is H. L. Mencken’s 1918 book on women and the relationship between the sexes. Some laud the book as progressive while others brand it as reactionary. While Mencken didn’t champion women’s rights, he described women as wiser in many novel and observable ways, while demeaning average men. According to Mencken’s biographer, Fred Hobson: Depending on the position of the reader, he was either a great defender of women’s rights or, as a critic labelled him in 1916, ‘the greatest misogynist since Schopenhauer’,'the country’s high-priest of woman-haters.’

By: Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

The Philosophy of Style by Herbert Spencer The Philosophy of Style

“The Philosophy of Style,” explored a growing trend of formalist approaches to writing. Highly focused on the proper placement and ordering of the parts of an English sentence, [Spencer] created a guide for effective composition. Spencer’s aim was to free prose writing from as much “friction and inertia” as possible, so that the reader would not be slowed by strenuous deliberations concerning the proper context and meaning of a sentence.

By: Hereward Carrington (1880-1958)

Book cover Your Psychic Powers and How to Develop Them

Instructions in how to develop your psychic powers including telepathy, clairvoyance, self-projection, reincarnation, and other topics. Seriously. "It must be distinctly understood … that I believe the vast bulk of the material presented in this book to be sound and helpful; the practical instructions are good, and the reader cannot go far wrong in following them. May he develop his own psychic powers, and gain light and understanding thereby!" (From Author’s Preface)

By: Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant The Critique of Pure Reason

The Critique of Pure Reason, first published in 1781 with a second edition in 1787, has been called the most influential and important philosophical text of the modern age. Kant saw the Critique of Pure Reason as an attempt to bridge the gap between rationalism (there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience) and empiricism (sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge) and, in particular, to counter the radical empiricism of David Hume (our beliefs are purely the result of accumulated habits, developed in response to accumulated sense experiences)...

The Critique of Practical Reason by Immanuel Kant The Critique of Practical Reason

The Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft) is the second of Immanuel Kant’s three critiques, first published in 1788. It follows on from his Critique of Pure Reason and deals with his moral philosophy. The second Critique exercised a decisive influence over the subsequent development of the field of ethics and moral philosophy, becoming the principle reference point for ethical systems that focus on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions...

Perpetual Peace: A Philosophic Essay by Immanuel Kant Perpetual Peace: A Philosophic Essay

This essay, written in 1795, puts forth a plan for a lasting peace between nations and peoples. Kant puts forth necessary means to any peace, and argues that nations can be brought into federation with one another without loss of sovereignty. In one translation, telling of the historical impact of this essay, this federation is called a “league of nations.” The supplements and appendices are of considerable interest on their own. The supplements contain an argument regarding the use which nature makes of war, and the way in which nature, in the end, impels us towards peace...

On the Popular Judgment: That may be Right in Theory, but does not Hold Good in the Praxis by Immanuel Kant On the Popular Judgment: That may be Right in Theory, but does not Hold Good in the Praxis

This tripartite essay, published variously as On the Popular Judgment (J. Richardson trans.), On the Old Saw (E.B. Ashton trans.), or On the Common Saying (both M.J. Gregor and H.B. Nisbet), Kant takes up the issue of the relation of theory to practice in three distinct ways. In the first, he replies to Christian Garve’s criticism of his moral theory, in the second, he distances himself from Thomas Hobbes, and in the third, Moses Mendelssohn. The three taken together are representative of the breadth of Kant’s moral and political thought; the first section being concerned with the individual, the second with the state, and the third with the species...

Of the Injustice of Counterfeiting Books by Immanuel Kant Of the Injustice of Counterfeiting Books

This essay of Kant’s on copyright argues that the unlicensed copying of books cannot possibly be permissible, due to the fact that it assumes a consent on the part of the author which it is logically impossible for the author to give. The argument is dependent upon an assumption that the writings be commodified, for the reason why the author is unable to possibly give consent to multiple publishers is due to the author’s will – to communicate with the public – necessitating the profitability of the publisher, for, it is assumed, there is no way to communicate with the public at large without a great expense which can only be borne by a publishing firm...

Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, also known as The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals or Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals or Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals, is Immanuel Kant's first contribution to moral philosophy. It argues for an a priori basis for morality. Where the Critique of Pure Reason laid out Kant's metaphysical and epistemological ideas, this relatively short, primarily meta-ethical, work was intended to outline and define the concepts and arguments shaping his future work The Metaphysics of Morals. However, the latter work is much less readable than the Fundamental Principles.

By: Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933)

Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe Bushido: The Soul of Japan

Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe was one of the first books on samurai ethics that was originally written in English for a Western audience, and has been subsequently translated into many other languages (also Japanese). Nitobe found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control, and he uses his deep knowledge of Western culture to draw comparisons with Medieval Chivalry, Philosophy, and Christianity.

By: J Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

Book cover Union and Communion - or Thoughts on the Song of Solomon

This little book, whose design is to lead the devout Bible student into the Green Pastures of the Good Shepherd, thence to the Banqueting House of the King, and thence to the service of the Vineyard, is one of the abiding legacies of Mr. Hudson Taylor to the Church. In the power of an evident unction from the Holy One, he has been enabled herein to unfold in simplest language the deep truth of the believer's personal union with the Lord, which under symbol and imagery is the subject of The Song of Songs. (From the Foreword by J Stuart Holden).

By: James Allen (1864-1912)

Above Life's Turmoil by James Allen Above Life's Turmoil

Combining elements of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism with concepts dealing with self discipline, motivation and the power of positive thinking, James Allen's 1910 inspirational book Above Life's Turmoil is a pioneering work in self-help literature. One of the factors that makes the book appealing is that it doesn't purport to be a magic formula that will help you to get whatever you want. Instead, it aims to give the reader self knowledge and self conquest which will ultimately lead to inner peace in a turbulent world...

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen As a Man Thinketh

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts,” is one of the quotes from James Allen's classic self help books, As a Man Thinketh. Published in 1902, it provides many more such insightful concepts on the power of thought and its effect on a human being's personality and behavior. This volume is more of a literary essay than a complete book and its title is based on a Biblical proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Taking this piece of ancient wisdom further, James Allen explores the far-reaching effects of the inner workings of a person's mind and motivation...

The Path of Prosperity by James Allen The Path of Prosperity

Summary from The Path of Prosperity: I looked around upon the world, and saw that it was shadowed by sorrow and scorched by the fierce fires of suffering. And I looked for the cause. I looked around, but could not find it; I looked in books, but could not find it; I looked within, and found there both the cause and the self-made nature of that cause. I looked again, and deeper, and found the remedy. I found one Law, the Law of Love; one Life, the Life of adjustment to that Law; one Truth, the truth of a conquered mind and a quiet and obedient heart...

The Way of Peace by James Allen The Way of Peace

The Way of Peace is your guide to the power of meditation; self and truth; the acquirement of spiritual power; the realization of selfless love; entering into the infinite; saints, sages, and saviors; the law of service; and the realization of perfect peace.

The Divine Companion by James Allen The Divine Companion

James Allen was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement.In the introduction Lily Allen writes: "It cannot be said of this book that James Allen wrote it at any particular time or in any one year, for he was engaged in it over many years and those who have eyes to see and hearts to understand will find in its pages the spiritual history of his life. It was his own wish that The Divine Companion should be the last manuscript of his to be published. 'It is the story of my soul,' he said, 'and should be read last of all my books, so that the student may understand and find my message in its pages.'"

By: James Barr Walker (1805-1887)

Book cover Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation

The book is a series of independent demonstrations, the results of which accumulate to the final conclusion, that the Christian religion is necessarily the only religion possible to meet the spiritual wants of mankind. In arriving at this conclusion, the different arts and processes of revealed religion are examined, and their adaptedness to perform their several functions in elevating, purifying, and actuating the human soul to benevolent effort, is determined, and, finally, the practical operation of the system is shown, as a matter of undeniable experience, to produce the complete and necessary result required...

By: James Cardinal Gibbons (1834-1921)

Book cover The Faith of Our Fathers

The Faith of Our Fathers: A Plain Exposition and Vindication of the Church Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ is a book published in 1876 by archbishop James Gibbons, which became a best-selling conversion manual in the United States, and by 1980 was in its 111th printing.(From the preface) “The object of this little volume is to present in a plain and practical form an exposition and vindication of the principal tenets of the Catholic Church. It was thought sufficient to devote but a brief space to such Catholic doctrines and practices as are happily admitted by Protestants, while those that are controverted by them are more elaborately elucidated...

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind by Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.

Book cover The Social Contract

The Social Contract outlines Rousseau’s views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas)

By: Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty by Jeremy Bentham Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights who influenced the development of liberalism. The essay Offences Against One’s Self (c. 1785), argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexuality. The essay remained unpublished during Bentham’s lifetime for fear of offending public morality...

An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Jeremy Bentham's Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence, first published in 1789, focuses on the principle of utility and how this view of morality ties into legislative practices. Bentham's ambition in life was to create a complete Utilitarian code of law. The philosophy of utilitarianism argues that the right act or policy is that which would cause "the greatest good for the greatest number of people", also known as "the greatest happiness principle", or the principle of utility...

By: Jesse Lynch Williams (1871-1929)

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams Why Marry?

Why Marry? is a comedy, which "tells the truth about marriage". We find a family in the throes of proving the morality of marriage to a New Age Woman. Can the family defend marriage to this self-supporting girl? Will she be convinced that marriage is the ultimate sacredness of a relationship or will she hold to her perception that marriage is the basis of separating two lovers."Why Marry?" won the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

By: Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908)

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris Uncle Remus

Bearing a striking resemblance to Aesop of Aesop's Fables fame, American author Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus is also a former slave who loves to tell simple and pithy stories. Uncle Remus or to give it its original title, Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings was published in late 1880 and received instant acclaim. The book was reviewed in hundreds of journals and newspapers across the country, leading to its immense success, both critical and financial. “Remus” was originally a fictional character in a newspaper column...


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