August 30, 2018 Jameela 0Comment

I started listening to a sweet podcast called “The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps” because I wanted to learn more about the roots of Western civilization. I thought I could start with Locke, Hobbes Descartes, Voltaire (the usual suspects), but I quickly realized that in order to understand their thoughts I had to go back further in time. All the way back to Homer!

That is how I found the podcast “The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps”. I liked this podcast because it has an extensive non-western section and is quite through.

Okay, so what does this have to do with the Great Reading list?

I met this guy at Work Nicer (our temporary co-working space) and he pointed me in the direction of a podcast called “The Art of Manliness”. The specific episode he sent to me was about the “great conversation” that is around these classic texts by classic thinkers and writers.

This was perfect timing! I was on a journey to become more knowledgeable about philosophy and this guy just happened to recommend a podcast with the best books, by the best thinkers in recorded history. Was it serendipity? Coincidence? Happenstance? Am I just using synonyms of “fate” to make the point that is was meant to be?!

The simple answer is ‘Yes!’


I am starting a book club based on the books below and it is going to be AWESOME!

Great Conversation Reading Group

Source: Ten Year Reading Plan – Great Conversation Reading Group


If you want to join this exclusive club of the soon-to-be-enlightened, drop a comment below or DM me on instagram. This club will be a mix of online and in-person! A link will be updated soon with the online portion of the club.


The List:


1. PLATO: Apology, Crito

2. ARISTOPHANES: Clouds, Lysistrata

3. PLATO: Republic [Book I-II]

4. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book I]

5. ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book I]

6. PLUTARCH: The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans [Lycurgus, Numa
Pompilius, Lycurgus and Numa Compared, Alexander, Caesar]

7. NEW TESTAMENT: [The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, The Acts of the

8. ST. AUGUSTINE: Confessions [Book I-VIII]

9. MACHIAVELLI: The Prince

10. RABELAIS: Gargantua and Pantagruel [Book I-II]

11. MONTAIGNE: Essays [Of Custom, and That We Should Not Easily Change a
Law Received; Of Pedantry; Of the Education of Children; That It Is Folly to Measure
Truth and Error by Our Own Capacity; Of Cannibals; That the Relish of Good and
Evil Depends in a Great Measure upon the Opinion We Have of Them; Upon Some
Verses of Virgil]


13. LOCKE: Concerning Civil Government [Second Essay]

14. ROUSSEAU: The Social Contract [Book I-II]

15. GIBBON: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [Ch. 15-16]

16. The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The
Federalist [Numbers 1-10, 15, 31, 47, 51, 68-71]

17. SMITH: The Wealth of Nations [Introduction—Book I, Ch. 9]

18. MARX—ENGELS: Manifesto of the Communist Party

19** TOCQUEVILLE – Democracy in America [Vol 1, part II ch 6-8]

20** IBSEN – The Master Builder

21** SCHRODINGER – What is Life?


1. HOMER: The Iliad

2. AESCHYLUS: Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides

3. SOPHOCLES: Oedipus the King, Antigone

4. HERODOTUS: The History [Book I-II]

5. PLATO: Meno

6. ARISTOTLE: Poetics

7. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book II; Book III, Ch. 5-12; Book VI, Ch. 8-13]

8. NICOMACHUS: Introduction to Arithmetic

9. LUCRETIUS: On the Nature of Things [Book I-IV]

10. MARCUS AURELIUS: Meditations

11. HOBBES: Leviathan [Part I]

12. MILTON: Areopagitica

13. PASCAL: Pensées [Numbers 72, 82-83, 100, 128, 131, 139, 142-143, 171, 194-
195, 219, 229, 233-234, 242, 273, 277, 282, 289, 298, 303, 320, 323, 325, 330-331,
374, 385, 392, 395-397, 409, 412-413, 416, 418, 425, 430, 434-435, 463, 491, 525-
531, 538, 543, 547, 553, 556, 564, 571, 586, 598, 607-610, 613, 619-620, 631, 640,
644, 673, 675, 684, 692-693, 737, 760, 768, 792-793]

14. PASCAL: Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle

15. SWIFT: Gulliver’s Travels

16. ROUSSEAU: A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

17. KANT: Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

18. MILL: On Liberty

19** VOLTAIRE – Candide

20** NIETZSCHE – Beyond Good and Evil

21** WHITEHEAD – Science and the Modern World [Ch I – VI]


1. AESCHYLUS: Prometheus Bound

2. HERODOTUS: The History [Book VII-IX]

3. THUCYDIDES: The History of the Peloponnesian War [Book I-II, V]

4. PLATO: Statesman

5. ARISTOTLE: On Interpretation [Ch. 1-10]

6. ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book III-V]

7. EUCLID: Elements [Book I]

8. TACITUS: The Annals

9. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I-II, QQ 90-97]

10. CHAUCER: Troilus and Cressida

11. SHAKESPEARE: Macbeth

12. MILTON: Paradise Lost

13. LOCKE: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [Book III, Ch. 1-3, 9-11]

14. KANT: Science of Right

15. MILL: Representative Government [Ch. 1-6]

16. LAVOISIER: Elements of Chemistry [Part I]

17. DOSTOEVSKY: The Brothers Karamazov [Part I-II]

18. FREUD: The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis

19** TWAIN – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

20** LEVI-STRAUSS – Structural Anthropology [Selections]

21** POINCARÉ – Science and Hypothesis [Part I – II]


1. EURIPIDES: Medea, Hippolytus, Trojan Women, The Bacchantes

2. PLATO: Republic [Book VI-VII]

3. PLATO: Theaetetus

4. ARISTOTLE: Physics [Book IV, Ch. 1-5, 10-14]

5. ARISTOTLE: Metaphysics [Book I, Ch. 1-2; Book IV; Book VI, Ch. 1; Book XI, Ch.

6. ST. AUGUSTINE: Confessions [Book IX-XIII]

7. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 16-17, 84-88]

8. MONTAIGNE: Apology for Raymond de Sebonde

9. GALILEO: Two New Sciences [Third Day, through Scholium of Theorem II]

10. BACON: Novum Organum [Preface, Book I]

11. DESCARTES: Discourse on the Method

12. NEWTON: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy [Prefaces,
Definitions, Axioms, General Scholium]

13. LOCKE: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [Book II]

14. HUME: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

15. KANT: Critique of Pure Reason [Prefaces, Introduction, Transcendental

16. MELVILLE: Moby Dick

17. DOSTOEVSKY: The Brothers Karamazov [Part III-IV]

18. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. XV, XX]

19** CALVIN – Institutes of the Christian Religion [Book III]

20** FRAZER – The Golden Bough [Selections]

21** HEISENBERG – Physics and Philosophy [ch 1 – 6]


1. PLATO: Phaedo

2. ARISTOTLE: Categories

3. ARISTOTLE: On the Soul [Book II, Ch. 1-3; Book III]

4. HIPPOCRATES: The Oath; On Ancient Medicine; On Airs, Waters, and Places;
The Book of Prognostics; Of the Epidemics; The Law; On the Sacred Disease

5. GALEN: On the Natural Faculties

6. VIRGIL: The Aeneid

7. PTOLEMY: The Almagest [Book I, Ch. 1-8]

8. COPERNICUS: Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres [Introduction—Book I-
Ch. 11]

9. KEPLER: Epitome of Copernican Astronomy [Book IV, Part II, Ch. 1-2]

10. PLOTINUS: Sixth Ennead

11. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 75-76, 78-79]

12. DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Hell]

13. HARVEY: The Motion of the Heart and Blood

14. CERVANTES: Don Quixote [Part I]

15. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part II]

16. BERKELEY: The Principles of Human Knowledge

17. KANT: Critique of Pure Reason [Transcendental Analytic]

18. DARWIN: The Origin of Species [Introduction—Ch. 6, Ch. 15]

19. TOLSTOY: War and Peace [Book I-VIII]

20. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. XXVIII]

21** DEWEY – Experience and Education

22** WADDINGTON – The Nature of Life

23** ORWELL – Animal Farm


1. OLD TESTAMENT [Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy]

2. HOMER: The Odyssey

3. PLATO: Laws [Book X]

4. ARISTOTLE: Metaphysics [Book XII]

5. TACITUS: The Histories

6. PLOTINUS: Fifth Ennead

7. ST. AUGUSTINE: The City of God [Book XV-XVIII]

8. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 1-13]

9. DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Purgatory]

10. SHAKESPEARE: Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It,
Twelfth Night

11. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part I]

12. MILTON: Samson Agonistes

13. PASCAL: The Provincial Letters

14. LOCKE: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [Book IV]

15. GIBBON: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [Ch. 1-5, General
Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West]

16. KANT: Critique of Pure Reason [Transcendental Dialectic]

17. HEGEL: Philosophy of History [Introduction]

18. TOLSTOY: War and Peace [Book IX-XV, Epilogues]

19** KIERKEGAARD – Fear and Trembling

20** HUIZINGA – The Waning of the Middle Ages [I – X]

21** SHAW – Saint Joan


1. OLD TESTAMENT [Job, Isaiah, Amos]

2. PLATO: Symposium

3. PLATO: Philebus

4. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book VIII-X]

5. ARCHIMEDES: Measurement of a Circle, The Equilibrium of Planes [Book I],
The Sand-Reckoner, On Floating Bodies [Book I]

6. EPICTETUS: Discourses

7. PLOTINUS: First Ennead

8. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I-II, QQ 1-5]

9. DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Paradise]

10. RABELAIS: Gargantual and Pantagruel [Book III-IV]

11. SHAKESPEARE: Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus

12. GALILEO: Two New Sciences [First Day]

13. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part IV-V]

14. NEWTON: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy [Book III, Rules],
Optics [Book I, Part I; Book III, Queries]

15. HUYGENS: Treatise on Light

16. KANT: Critique of Practical Reason

17. KANT: Critique of Judgment [Critique of Aesthetic Judgment]

18. MILL: Utilitarianism

19** WEBER – Essays in Sociology [Part III]

20** PROUST – Swann in Love

21** BRECHT – Mother Courage and Her Children


1. ARISTOPHANES: Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae, Plutus

2. PLATO: Gorgias

3. ARISTOTLE: Ethics [Book V]

4. ARISTOTLE: Rhetoric [Book I, Ch. 1—Book II, Ch. 1; Book II, Ch. 20—Book III,
Ch. 1; Book III, Ch. 13-19]

5. ST. AUGUSTINE: On Christian Doctrine

6. HOBBES: Leviathan [Part II]

7. SHAKESPEARE: Othello, King Lear

8. BACON: Advancement of Learning [Book I, Ch. 1—Book II, Ch. 11]

9. DESCARTES: Meditations on the First Philosophy

10. SPINOZA: Ethics [Part III]

11. LOCKE: A Letter Concerning Toleration

12. ROUSSEAU: A Discourse on Political Economy

13. ADAM SMITH: The Wealth of Nations [Book II]

14. BOSWELL: The Life of Samuel Johnson

15. MARX: Capital [Prefaces, Part I-II]

16. GOETHE: Faust [Part I]

17. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. VIII-X]

18 * STERNE: Tristam Shandy *

19** BARTH – The Word of God and the Word of Man [I – IV]

20** BERGSON – An Introduction to Metaphysics

21** HARDY – A Mathematicians Apology

22** KAFKA – The Metamorphosis


1. PLATO: The Sophist

2. THUCYDIDES: The History of the Peloponnesian War [Book VII-VIII]

3. ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book VII-VIII]

4. NEW TESTAMENT [The Gospel According to St. John, The Epistle of Paul the
Apostle to the Romans, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians]

5. ST. AUGUSTINE: The City of God [Book V, XIX]

6. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part II-II, QQ 1-7]

7. GILBERT: On the Loadstone

8. DESCARTES: Rules for the Direction of the Mind

9. DESCARTES: Geometry

10. PASCAL: The Great Experiment Concerning the Equilibrium of Fluids, On
Geometrical Demonstration

11. MONTESQUIEU: The Spirit of Laws [Book I-V, VIII, XI-XII]

12. FARADAY: Experimental Researches in Electricity [Series I-II], A Speculation
Touching Electric Conduction and the Nature of Matter

13. HEGEL: Philosophy of Right [Part III

14. MARX: Capital [Part III-IV]

15. FREUD: Civilization and Its Discontents

16 * APOLLONIUS: On Conic Sections [Book I, Prop. 1-15; Book III, Prop. 42-55]

17 * FIELDING: Tom Jones

18 * FOURIER: Analytical Theory of Heat [Preliminary Discourse, Ch. 1-2]

19** MOLIÈRE – Tartuffe

20** AUSTEN – Emma

21** PLANCK – Scientific Autobiography

22** VEBLEN – The Theory of the Leisure Class

23** JOYCE – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

24** HEMINGWAY – The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber


1. SOPHOCLES: Ajax, Electra

2. PLATO: Timaeus

3. ARISTOTLE: On the Parts of Animals [Book I, Ch. 1—Book II, Ch. 1], On the
Generation of Animals [Book I, Ch. 1, 17-18, 20-23]

4. LUCRETIUS: On the Nature of Things [Book V-VI]

5. VIRGIL: The Eclogues, The Georgics

6. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 65-74]

7. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 90-102]

8. CHAUCER: Canterbury Tales [Prologue, Knight’s Tale, Miller’s Prologue and
Tale, Reeve’s Prologue and Tale, Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, Friar’s
Prologue and Tale, Summoner’s Prologue and Tale, Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale]

9. SHAKESPEARE: The Tragedy of King Richard II, The First Part of King Henry
IV, The Second Part of King Henry IV, The Life of King Henry V

10. HARVEY: On the Generation of Animals [Introduction—Exercise 62]

11. CERVANTES: Don Quixote [Part II]

12. KANT: Critique of Judgement [Critique of Teleological Judgement]

13. GOETHE: Faust [Part II]

14. DARWIN: The Descent of Man [Part I; Part III, Ch. 21]

15. MARX: Capital [Part VII-VIII]

16. JAMES: Principles of Psychology [Ch. I, V-VII]

17. FREUD: A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis

18 * BOSWELL: The Life of Samuel Johnson

19** ERASMUS – In Praise of Folly

20** HUIZINGA – The Waning of the Middle Ages [XI – XXIII]

21** EDDINGTON – The Expanding Universe

22** T.S. ELIOT – The Waste Land