The readings for this class are often difficult, and most students will do better if they have a hard copy of each text so that they can underline important passages and add their own marginal notes.  However, there are online versions of most of the primary source texts, and if you are used to reading online materials, these may be sufficient for you.


 Discourse on Method
 Discourse on Method (2)

If you enjoy Descartes, you might also want to look this excellent online edition of his  Meditations on First Philosophy.


Return to I'm Ancient  History


 Pensees (2)

The online editions are organized very differently from the Penguin edition used in class. Don't worry about that. Reading the first few sections will give you a pretty good feel for Pascal's style, and that's all I'm really looking for.

 Candide (2) --This site also gives you the French edition!

While Candide is the Voltaire work everyone reads, his Philosophical Dictionary is probably a better guide to his thinking on all sorts of different subjects.  Also interesting is Micromegas, Voltaire's attempt at science fiction! Want to know what Voltaire is criticizing?  See Leibnitz'  Monadology.

 The Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels)

Most of my students find Marx and Engels difficult reading, and, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, Marxism might seem an antiquated and no longer relevant philosophy. Marxism, however, is alive and well in the academic world, and Marxist assumptions still influence many governments around the world. It's worth glancing at this online collection of Marx and Engels' writings.  In particular, you might note what Marx says in On the Jewish Question.

 Dream of a Ridiculous Man
 Dream of a Ridiculous Man (2)
 Notes from Underground

The Constance Garnett translation of the "Dream" adds a line not in our Signet version. I'm not sure why--and it does make a difference.  I like the Garnett ending, but I'm not sure if it's what Dostoyevsky wrote. There's apparently a one-man-show version of Dream of a Ridiculous Man.  Sounds like fascinating theater!