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Boston College’s MA Philosophy Reading List

Read here for an excellent classical education in the most influential works of philosophy through the ages. The list includes classic texts from ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy. The list links to Amazon.com as well as GoogleBooks, when available.

Ancient Philosophy

Medieval Philosophy

Modern Philosophy

Late 19th Century Philosophy

  • James: Pragmatism. The Will to Believe, Ch. I, II, III; Princ. of Psych. Ch. rx, x, xv
  • Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling, Philosophical Fragments
  • Marx: Pans Manuscripts, German Ideology I, Capital I Book I, Parts I-III
  • Mill: On Liberty; Utilitarianism
  • Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Use and Abuse of History
  • Pierce, selections based on Weiner and Buchler

Early 20th Century

  • Adorno and Horkheimer: Dialectic ofthe Enlightenment
  • Arendt: The Human Condition
  • Austin: How To Do Things with Words; Sense and Sensibilia
  • Blondel: Action
  • Dewey: Experience and Nature, Art and Experience
  • Frege: The Foundations of Arithmetic; “Function and Concept; “On Sense and Meaning”; “Concept and Object” in Collected Papers on Mathematics, Logic, and Philosophy
  • Gilson: Being and Some Philosophers, The Unity of Philosophical Experience
  • Heidegger: Being and Time (selections), Letter on Humanism
  • Husserl: Cartesian Meditations, Logical Investigations, 1, 11, Vl
  • Lonergan: Insight
  • Merleau-Ponty: Phenomenology of Perception
  • Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Ch. I-VIII, X; The Logic of Scientifc, Discovery, and “Science: Conjectures and Refutations”; The Open Society
  • Rahner: Spirit in the World
  • Russell: The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, The Problems of Philosophy
  • Ryle: Concept of Mind, Dilemmas
  • Sartre: Being and Nothingness, Existentialism is a Humanism
  • Whitehead: Process and Reality, selections
  • Wittgenstein: Philosophical Investigations

Contemporary Philosophy

  • Davidson: Truth and Interpretation
  • Derrida: Speech and Phenomena, Writing and Difference
  • Foucault: Discipline and Punish or History of Sexuality I & II
  • Gadamer: Truth and Method
  • Habermas: Discourse Ethic, Theory of Communicative Actions I
  • Hacking: Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science
  • Kuhn: The Structure of Scientifc Revolutions and Lakatos and Musgrave, Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge
  • MacIntyre: After Virtue, Three Rival Verions of Moral Enquiry
  • Quine: Word and Object, From a Logical Point of View
  • Ricoeur: Time and Narrative 1, Oneself as Another
  • Taylor: Sources of the Self