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  1. The Anti-Christ

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    The reference to the Antichrist is not intended to refer to the biblical Antichrist but is rather an attack on the "slave morality" and apathy of Western Christianity. Nietzsche's basic claim is that Christianity is a poisoner of western culture and perversion of the words of and practice of Jesus. Throughout the text, Nietzsche is very critical of institutionalized religion and its priest class, from which he himself was descended. The majority of the book is a systematic attack upon the interpretations of Christ's words by St. Paul and those who followed him. Nietzsche claimed in the Foreword to have … (Goodreads)

  2. On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    The Genealogy of Morals consists of three essays exploring morality and its origins where Nietzsche makes ample use of his training as a philologist. These works contain Nietzsche's most thorough and clear expression of his psychological philosophy. This edition includes Ecce Homo, Nietzsche's review of his life and works, with the exception of The Antichrist. These two books are compiled, translated and annotated by renowned Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann. … (Goodreads)

  3. Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    This volume presents Nietzsche's remarkable collection of almost 1400 aphorisms in R. J. Hollingdale's distinguished translation, together with a new historical introduction by Richard Schacht. Subtitled "A Book for Free Spirits," Human, All Too Human marked for Nietzsche a new "positivism" and skepticism with which he challenged his previous metaphysical and psychological assumptions. Nearly all the themes of his later work are displayed here with characteristic perceptiveness and honesty--not to say suspicion and irony--in language of great brio. It remains one of the fundamental works for an understanding of his thought. … (Goodreads)

  4. The Birth of Tragedy

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    A compelling argument for the necessity for art in life, Nietzsche's first book is fuelled by his enthusiasms for Greek tragedy, for the philosophy of Schopenhauer and for the music of Wagner, to whom this work was dedicated. Nietzsche outlined a distinction between its two central forces: the Apolline, representing beauty and order, and the Dionysiac, a primal or ecstatic reaction to the sublime. He believed the combination of these states produced the highest forms of music and tragic drama, which not only reveal the truth about suffering in life, but also provide a consolation for it. Impassioned and exhilarating … (Goodreads)

  5. On the Genealogy of Morals

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) is a book about the history of ethics and about interpretation. Nietzsche rewrites the former as a history of cruelty, exposing the central values of the Judaeo-Christian and liberal traditions - compassion, equality, justice - as the product of a brutal process of conditioning designed to domesticate the animal vitality of earlier cultures. The result is a book which raises profoundly disquieting issues about the violence of both ethics and interpretation. Nietzsche questions moral certainties by showing that religion and science have no claim to absolute truth, before turning on his own arguments in … (Goodreads)

  6. Ecce Homo

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and Ecce Homo remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written. In this extraordinary work Nietzsche traces his life, work and development as a philosopher, examines the heroes he has identified with, struggled against and then overcome - Schopenhauer, Wagner, Socrates, Christ - and predicts the cataclysmic impact of his 'forthcoming revelation of all values'. Both self-celebrating and self-mocking, penetrating and strange, Ecce Homo gives the final, definitive expression to Nietzsche's main beliefs and is … (Goodreads)

  7. Tao Te Ching

    by Lao Tzu
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    A lucid translation of the well-known Taoist classic by a leading scholar-now in a Shambhala Pocket Library edition. Written more than two thousand years ago, the Tao Teh Ching , or -The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue, - is one of the true classics of the world of spiritual literature. Traditionally attributed to the legendary -Old Master, - Lao Tzu, the Tao Teh Ching teaches that the qualities of the enlightened sage or ideal ruler are identical with those of the perfected individual. Today, Lao Tzu's words are as useful in mastering the arts of leadership in business … (Goodreads)

  8. The Myth of Sisyphus

    by Albert Camus
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. Inspired by the myth of a man condemned to ceaselessly push a rock up a mountain and watch it roll back to the valley below, The Myth of Sisyphus transformed twentieth-century philosophy with its impassioned argument … (Goodreads)

  9. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

    by Albert Camus
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    One of the most influential works of this century, this is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought. Influenced by works such as Don Juan, and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide: the question of living or not living in an absurd universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Camus posits a way out of despair, reaffirming the value of personal existence, and the possibility of life lived with dignity and authenticity. … (Goodreads)

  10. Meditations

    by Marcus Aurelius
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    Written in Greek by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. While the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, Marcus Aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers throughout the centuries. … (Goodreads)

  11. Beyond Good and Evil

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil is translated from the German by R.J. Hollingdale with an introduction by Michael Tanner in Penguin Classics. Beyond Good and Evil confirmed Nietzsche's position as the towering European philosopher of his age. The work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a 'slave morality'. With wit and energy, he turns from this critique to a philosophy that celebrates the present and demands that the individual imposes their own 'will … (Goodreads)

  12. The Rebel

    by Albert Camus
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    Readership: Very niche

    By one of the most profoundly influential thinkers of our century, The Rebel is a classic essay on revolution. For Albert Camus, the urge to revolt is one of the "essential dimensions" of human nature, manifested in man's timeless Promethean struggle against the conditions of his existence, as well as the popular uprisings against established orders throughout history. And yet, with an eye toward the French Revolution and its regicides and deicides, he shows how inevitably the course of revolution leads to tyranny, as old regimes throughout the world collapse, The Rebel resonates as an ardent, eloquent, and supremely rational … (Goodreads)

  13. The Gay Science

    by Friedrich Nietzsche
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    "[This book] mirrors all of Nietzsche's thought and could be related in hundreds of ways to his other books, his notes, and his letters. And yet it is complete in itself. For it is a work of art." —Walter Kaufmann in the Introduction Nietzsche called The Gay Science "the most personal of all my books." It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God—to which a large part of the book is devoted—and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence. Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being … (Goodreads)

  14. Ethics

    by Baruch Spinoza
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    Published shortly after his death, the Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work - an elegant, fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles, providing a coherent picture of reality, and a guide to the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, the emotions, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding - moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, the nature of freedom and the path to attainable happiness. A powerful work of elegant simplicity, the Ethics … (Goodreads)

  15. The Social Contract

    by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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    Readership: Eclectic

    "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." These are the famous opening words of a treatise that has not ceased to stir vigorous debate since its first publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to wield authority over others, Rousseau argues instead for a pact, or ‘social contract’, that should exist between all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of sovereign power. From this fundamental premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and law, freedom and justice, arriving at a view of society that has … (Goodreads)

  16. The Prince

    by Niccolò Machiavelli
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Machiavelli needs to be looked at as he really was. Hence: Can Machiavelli, who makes the following observations, be Machiavellian as we understand the disparaging term? 1. So it is that to know the nature of a people, one need be a Prince; to know the nature of a Prince, one need to be of the people. 2. If a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal for his subjects to show their affection for him. 3. Opportunity made Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and others; their virtue domi-nated the opportunity, making their homelands noble … (Goodreads)

  17. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

    by David Hume
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    ,An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, is a book by the Scottish empiricist philosopher David Hume , published in English in 1748. ,, It was a revision of an earlier effort, Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature , published anonymously in London in 1739–40. Hume was disappointed with the reception of the Treatise , which "fell dead-born from the press," ,, as he put it, and so tried again to disseminate his more developed ideas to the public by writing a shorter and more polemical work. … (Wikipedia)

  18. The Communist Manifesto

    by Karl Marx
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    A rousing call to arms whose influence is still felt today Originally published on the eve of the 1848 European revolutions, The Communist Manifesto is a condensed and incisive account of the worldview Marx and Engels developed during their hectic intellectual and political collaboration. Formulating the principles of dialectical materialism, they believed that labor creates wealth, hence capitalism is exploitive and antithetical to freedom. This new edition includes an extensive introduction by Gareth Stedman Jones, Britain's leading expert on Marx and Marxism, providing a complete course for students of The Communist Manifesto, and demonstrating not only the historical importance of … (Goodreads)

  19. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1

    by Karl Marx
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    Capital , one of Marx's major and most influential works, was the product of thirty years close study of the capitalist mode of production in England, the most advanced industrial society of his day. This new translation of Volume One , the only volume to be completed and edited by Marx himself, avoids some of the mistakes that have marred earlier versions and seeks to do justice to the literary qualities of the work. The introduction is by Ernest Mandel, author of Late Capitalism , one of the only comprehensive attempts to develop the theoretical legacy of Capital. … (Goodreads)

  20. The Nicomachean Ethics

    by Aristotle
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    Readership: Eclectic

    ‘One swallow does not make a summer; neither does one day. Similarly neither can one day, or a brief space of time, make a man blessed and happy’ In the Nicomachean Ethics , Aristotle sets out to examine the nature of happiness. He argues that happiness consists in ‘activity of the soul in accordance with virtue’, for example with moral virtues, such as courage, generosity and justice, and intellectual virtues, such as knowledge, wisdom and insight. The Ethics also discusses the nature of practical reasoning, the value and the objects of pleasure, the different forms of friendship, and the relationship … (Goodreads)