The New Word

The New Word

Allen Upward

The term Scientology was first coined in this book by Allen Upward although the philosophy which Upward expounds in The New Word has nothing to do with any of the ideas of the latter-day Scientologists. In fact, Upward uses it here as a disparaging term, to indicate a blind, unthinking acceptance of scientific doctrine…

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Metaphysics

Metaphysics

Aristotle

Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. It is considered to be one of the greatest philosophical works and its influence on the Greeks, the Muslim philosophers, the scholastic philosophers and even writers such as Dante, was immense. It is essentially a reconciliation of Plato’s theory of Forms that…

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Pensees

Pensees

Blaise Pascal

The Pensées (literally “thoughts”) is a collection of fragments on theology and philosophy written by 17th-century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. Pascal’s religious conversion led him into a life of asceticism and this was in many ways his life’s work.

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The Canon of Reason and Virtue

The Canon of Reason and Virtue

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus

From the Foreword: ‘This booklet, The Canon of Reason and Virtue, is an extract from the author’s larger work, Lao-Tze’s Tao Teh King, and has been published for the purpose of making our reading public more familiar with that grand and imposing figure Li Er, who was honored with the posthumous title Poh-Yang, i. e., Prince Positive (representing the male or strong principle); but whom his countrymen…

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The New Organon

The New Organon

Francis Bacon

The Novum Organum, full original title Novum Organum Scientiarum, is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon, written in Latin and published in 1620. The title is a reference to Aristotle’s work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old…

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The Birth of Tragedy

The Birth of Tragedy

Friedrich Nietzsche

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…

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The Wisdom of Life

The Wisdom of Life

Arthur Schopenhauer

A profound advocate for willpower and rational deliberation, Arthur Schopenhauer believed that complete happiness and satisfaction are unobtainable. This essay from his final work, Parerga und Paralipomena (1851), examines how to discover the highest possible degree of pleasure and success, and suggests guidelines for experiencing…

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Four Dimensional Vistas

Four Dimensional Vistas

Claude Bragdon

One of the most extraordinary figures of the popular intellectualism of the early 20th century, Claude Bragdon was an architect and designer who turned his mathematically fueled artistic bent toward the metaphysical and anticipated the new quantum physics with a philosophy of existence that bridged the rational and the transcendent…

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Five Stages of Greek Religion

Gilbert Murray

Beginning with Greece’s earliest rites, this volume traces the development of the classic religion of the Olympian gods and discusses the religion of the philosophic schools of the fourth century BC. It portrays the emergence of Christianity and concludes with an account of the efforts of Julian the Apostate to restore a new…

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History of Philosophy in Islam

History of Philosophy in Islam

T. J. De Boer

This is a well-written and authoritative review of the history of Islamic philosophy during the middle ages. Medieval Islamic civilization at its height was a center of learning, and its philosophers were no exception. Islamic philosophers grappled with issues such as free-will, causality and the nature of reality. Some of these figures are still well-known, such as Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Roshd (Averroes), the Sufi…

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Discourse on the Method

Discourse on the Method

Rene Descartes

The Discourse on the Method is a philosophical and autobiographical treatise published by René Descartes in 1637. Its full name is Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences. It is best known as the source of the famous quotation “Je pense, donc je suis” (“I think, therefore I am”, “I’m thinking…

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Meditations on First Philosophy

Meditations on First Philosophy

Rene Descartes

Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated) is a philosophical treatise made up of six meditations, in which Descartes first discards all belief in things that are not absolutely certain, and then tries to establish what can be known for sure. He wrote…

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