The Kama Sutra, or Aphorisms on Love, has survived at least 1400 years as a dominant text on sexual relations between men and women. Vatsyayana claimed to have written the Kama Sutra while a religious student, “in contemplation of the Deity” - but references to older works, shrewd disputations by Vatsyayana of those authors' recommendations, and careful cataloging of practices in various of the Indian states indicate much more emphasis on kama, or sensual gratification.
Part of the book discusses the 64 arts of love employed by masters of coitus. Learning each of these and when and how to practice them, Vatsyayana affirms, not only leads to the best gratification, but makes the artist a person of great desirability.
Once the means of sexual congress are discussed, the many types of male-female relationships and their proper prosecution are covered. Some of these have small relevance to the modern world, such as how to sneak into the King's harem, but are interesting nonetheless. Others, such as how to get money from a lover, will probably remain useful as long as there are humans in the world.
The translator's concluding remarks call the book primitive; so might also modern women who are told that if their name ends in “l” or “r” they should not be married, because they are worthless. But in tackling the subject of human sexuality, Vatsyayana nevertheless will always attract readers (or, in this case, listeners!).
The Republic is a Socratic dialogue by Plato, written in approximately 380 BC. It is one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory, and arguably Plato's best known work. In it, Socrates and various other Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and whether the just man is happier than the unjust man by constructing an imaginary city ruled by philosopher-kings. The dialogue also discusses the nature of the philosopher, Plato's Theory of Forms, the conflict between philosophy and poetry, and the immortality of the soul.
More, Thomas, Sir
This book is all about the fictional country called Utopia. It is a country with an ‘ideal’ form of communism, in which everything really does belong to everybody, everyone does the work they want to, and everyone is alright with that. This country uses gold for chamber pots and prison chains, pearls and diamonds for children’s playthings, and requires that a man and a woman see each other exactly as they are, naked, before getting married. This book gave the word 'utopia' the meaning of a perfect society, while the Greek word actually means ‘no place’. Enjoy listening to this story about a country that really is too good to be true.
The Apology is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" . "Apology" here has its earlier meaning of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions. The general term apology, in context to literature, defends a world from attack (opposite of satire-which attacks the world). The text is written in the first person from Socrates' point of view, as though it were Socrates' actual speech at the trial. During the course of the speech, Socrates twice mentions Plato as being present. There is, however, no real way of knowing how closely Socrates' words in the Apology match those of Socrates at the actual trial, even if it was Plato's intention to be accurate in this respect
The Apology of Socrates is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he unsuccessfully defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" (24b). "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions.
The Discourse on Method is best known as the source of the famous quotation “cogito ergo sum”, “I think, therefore I am.” …. It is a method which gives a solid platform from which all modern natural sciences could evolve. With this work, the idea of skepticism was revived from the ancients such as Sextus Empiricus and modified to account for a truth that Descartes found to be incontrovertible. Descartes started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions.
The Symposium (Ancient Greek: S?µp?s???) is a philosophical book written by Plato sometime after 385 BCE. On one level the book deals with the genealogy, nature and purpose of love, on another level the book deals with the topic of knowledge, specifically how does one know what one knows. The topic of love is taken up in the form of a group of speeches, given by a group of men at a symposium or a wine drinking party at the house of the tragedian Agathon at Athens. Plato constructed the Symposium as a story within a story within a story. This architecture creates the space for Plato to build his philosophy of knowledge. The speech of Socrates points out that the highest purpose of Love is to become a Philosopher, or Lover of Wisdom.
Awaiting his trial on charges of impiety and heresy, Socrates encounters Euthyphro, a self-proclaimed authority on matters of piety and the will of the gods. Socrates, desiring instruction in these matters, converses with Euthyphro, but as usual, the man who professes to know nothing fares better than the man who claims to be an expert. One of Plato’s well-known Socratic Dialogues, Euthyphro probes the nature of piety, and notably poses the so-called Euthyphro Dilemma: Do the gods love a thing because it is holy, or is a thing holy because it is loved by the gods?
Meno is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. Written in the Socratic dialectic style, it attempts to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning in this case virtue in general, rather than particular virtues, such as justice or temperance. The goal is a common definition that applies equally to all particular virtues. Socrates moves the discussion past the philosophical confusion, or aporia, created by Meno's paradox (aka the learner's paradox) with the introduction of new Platonic ideas: the theory of knowledge as recollection, anamnesis, and in the final lines a movement towards Platonic idealism..
In Plato's ION, Socrates questions Ion, whether he should really claim laud and glory for his 'rhapsodic' recitals of Homer's poetry.
Aphorisms from the Stoic Greek.
This is an incomplete dialogue from the late period of Plato's life. Plato most likely created it after Republic and it contains the famous story of Atlantis, that Plato tells with such skill that many have believed the story to be true. Critias, a friend of Socrates, and uncle of Plato was infamous as one of the bloody thirty tyrants.
This work may not be by Plato, or his entirely, but Jowett has offered his sublime translation, and seems to lean towards including it in the canon. Socrates tempted by irony to deflate the pretentious know-it-all Hippias, an arrogant polymath, appears to follow humour more than honour in this short dialogue.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are in themselves exceedingly brief, less than ten pages of large type in the original. Yet they contain the essence of practical wisdom, set forth in admirable order and detail. The theme, if the present interpreter be right, is the great regeneration, the birth of the spiritual from the psychical man: the same theme which Paul so wisely and eloquently set forth in writing to his disciples in Corinth, the theme of all mystics in all lands.
Titus Lucretius Carus
On the Nature of Things, written in the first century BCE by Titus Lucretius Carus, is one of the principle expositions on Epicurean philosophy and science to have survived from antiquity. Far from being a dry treatise on the many topics it covers, the original Latin version (entitled De Rerum Natura) was written in the form of an extended poem in hexameter, with a beauty of style that was admired and emulated by his successors, including Ovid and Cicero. The version read here is an English verse translation written by William Ellery Leonard. Although Leonard penned his version in the early twentieth century, he chose to adhere to both the vocabulary and meter (alternating between pentameter and hexameter) of Elizabethan-era poetry.
While the six untitled books that comprise On the Nature of Things delve into a broad range of subjects, including the physical nature of the universe, the workings of the human mind and body, and the natural history of the Earth, Lucretius repeatedly asserts throughout the work that his chief purpose is to provide the reader with a means to escape the "darkness of the mind" imposed by superstition and ignorance. To this end he offers us his enlightening verses, that through them might be revealed to us "nature's aspect, and her laws".
“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”
Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.
Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young acquaintance – who has allowed his lover’s oratorical skills to impress him overmuch – to re-examine the text of Lysias’s speech in the light of his own exalted (and Platonic) vision of Love.
Not long ago this early example of literary dismantling was itself deconstructed by a contemporary sage - Jacques Derrida.
The present reader tries to present Socrates as he conceivably was: the chortling, pot-bellied ex-soldier, a flirtatious yet charismatic talker with a serious passion for Truth.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
De Beneficiis (English: On Benefits) is one of the moral essays composed by Seneca, Roman author of the 1st century CE. It deals with Stoic ethics, mainly in regards to political leadership, concerning the award and reception of gifts and favours within society. While the title is traditionally translated as "On Benefits", other possible translations are "On gifts and services"; "On the Award and Reception of Favors" and "On kind deeds".
Selection of text from the four-volume work by Epictetus commonly referred to as the Discourses. The sections are mostly quite short but packed with wisdom and hard earned experience. Also included is the Encheiridion ("Manual"), a summary of theoretical and applied Stoicism.
Saint Thomas Aquinas
The Summa Theologica (or the Summa Theologiae or simply the Summa, written 1265–1274) is the most famous work of Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274) although it was never finished. It was intended as a manual for beginners and a compilation of all of the main theological teachings of that time. It summarizes the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West, which, before the Protestant Reformation, subsisted solely in the Roman Catholic Church. The Summa's topics follow a cycle: the existence of God, God's creation, Man, Man's purpose, Christ, the Sacraments, and back to God.
Jowett, in his always informative introduction, sees this dialogue as transitional between the early and middle dialogues. Socrates meets with Protagoras and other sophists and pursues his inquiry into virtue. The dialectic brings the thinkers to a surprising ending. Socrates narrates this dialogue.
St. George William Joseph Stock
This book is a primer on the philosophy of stoicism, resurrected from its origins in Greek and Roman philosophy. The original philosophy was based on a reasoning process which it was assumed would lead to a virtuous life. Zeno, the founder of stoicism, did not begin expounding on its teachings until he was in his forties. He believed that the purpose of life was "to live consistently." Cleanthes, his disciple, added "with nature," so that the purpose of life became "to live consistently with nature."
St. George William Joseph Stock
This short book is part of the Philosophies Ancient and Modern series, which attempts to make Western philosophy more accessible to the general public.
In this volume, George Stock provides a concise primer on Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that maintained that the universe is governed entirely by fate, and that humans can achieve happiness only by cultivating a calm acceptance of the vicissitudes of life. Among the Stoics of the Greek and Roman world were its founder, Zeno, the former slave Epictetus, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. George Stock discusses not only the Stoic ethics, but also less well-known aspects of Stoicism, such as its division of the branches of philosophy, its account of logic, and its natural philosophy.
The Praise of Folly (Greek title: Morias Enkomion (????a? ????µ???), Latin: Stultitiae Laus, sometimes translated as In Praise of Folly, Dutch title: Lof der Zotheid) is a satirical essay written in 1509 by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466/69-1536). It is considered one of the most influential works of literature in Western civilization and one of the catalysts of the Protestant Reformation.
It starts off with a satirical learned encomium after the manner of the Greek satirist Lucian, a piece of virtuoso foolery; it then takes a darker tone in a series of orations, as Folly praises self-deception and madness and moves to a satirical examination of pious but superstitious abuses of Catholic doctrine and corrupt practices in parts of the Roman Catholic Church—to which Erasmus was ever faithful—and the folly of pedants (including Erasmus himself). Erasmus had recently returned, disappointed, from Rome, where he had turned down offers of advancement in the curia, and Folly increasingly takes on Erasmus' own chastising voice. The essay ends with a straightforward statement of Christian ideals.
The essay was hugely popular, to Erasmus' astonishment and sometimes his dismay. Before Erasmus' death it had already passed into numerous editions and had been translated into French and German. An English edition soon followed. It influenced teaching of rhetoric during the later sixteenth century. It was put on the Index of forbidden books by the Council in Trent in 1559.
The six Enneads (???????S) are the collected writings of the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus (??O????S) arranged by his student Porphyry (???F????S) into fifty-four books with each Ennead containing nine. The translator Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie arranged these books chronologically rather than according to Porphyry's numeration. This recording is organized according to Porphyry's numeration with Roman numerals indicating the Ennead and Hindu-Arabic numerals indicating the book e.g. VI.9 would be the ninth book of the sixth Ennead. A hyperlinked table of contents at Volume 1 Page 3 of the gutenberg.org text will enable you to jump to the specific Ennead if you wish to read along with the recording.
The Republic is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC concerning the definition of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. It is Plato's best-known work and has proven to be one of the most intellectually and historically influential works of philosophy and political theory. In it, Socrates along with various Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether or not the just man is happier than the unjust man by considering a series of different cities coming into existence "in speech", culminating in a city (Kallipolis) ruled by philosopher-kings; and by examining the nature of existing regimes. The participants also discuss the theory of forms, the immortality of the soul, and the roles of the philosopher and of poetry in society
The first of 14 volumes, this book discusses ancient civilization looking primarily at religion and philosophy
The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BC - 221 BC), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today. William Jennings was a rector of Grasmere, and late colonial chaplain. He served at St. John's Cathedral in Hong Kong.
Theophrastus ( c. 371 – c. 287 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic School. He wrote on many topics: biology, geology, physics, metaphysics, psychology, ethics, logic – and more. His book Characters… contains thirty brief, vigorous, and trenchant outlines of moral types, which form a most valuable picture of the life of his time, and in fact of human nature in general. They are the first recorded attempt at systematic character writing. “Apart from slight variations of local coloring and institutions, the descriptions of the old Greek philosopher might apply almost as well to the present inhabitants of London or Boston as to the Athenians of 300 B.C.” This edition contains an extensive and informative introduction to the man and his thought.
Thomas Alfred Spalding
Elizabethan Demonology: An Essay in Illustration of the Belief in the Existence of Devils, and the Powers Possessed By Them, as It Was Generally Held during the Period of the Reformation, and the Times Immediately Succeeding; with Special Reference to Shakespeare and His Works This Essay is an expansion, in accordance with a preconceived scheme, of two papers, one on "The Witches in Macbeth," and the other on "The Demonology of Shakespeare," which were read before the New Shakespeare Society in the years 1877 and 1878. The Shakespeare references in the text are made to the Globe Edition.
The conclusion of Pater's historico-philosophical novel about a young Roman nobleman's search for purpose and meaning. Set in the time of Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the book traces its title character's encounters with the stoicism of Aurelius, Eastern philosophical and religious movements, and Christianity as they reacted with Marius's own innate Epicureanism. In exploring these issues, Pater focuses on themes of adult development, as he notes the impact of Marius's childhood experiences as they inform his adult thinking; the value of the aesthetic life (a favorite idea of Pater's); and the appeal of religion.In addition, the work is stylistically distinct for its attempt to use classical historical and philosophical texts to support and enrich a fictional narrative.(DrPGould with help from Wikipedia)