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Philosophy 101

If you're wanting to examine the fundamental questions of life and listen to the great philosophers who've attempted to answer these questions, then Philosophy 101 provides a great introduction. Free audio books and podcasts are available on philosophy, as well as some of the greatest philosophy lecture courses you could imagine.

Authors on this Topic

Aristotle
Aristotle

One of the founders of Western philosophy, Aristotle wrote extensively about a wide array of subjects ranging from physics and biology to theater and poetry. He lived from 384 BC to 322 BC, but his influence is still significant in today's world.
Plato
Plato

The Classical Greek philosopher Plato was instrumental to the development of Western philosophy and science. Plato was born to an aristocratic family and was well-educated. He founded the Academy, one of the first institutions of higher learning, around 385 BC.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, Harvard graduate, philosopher, and lecturer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803, Emerson was the son of a Unitarian minister who tragically died before the author reached the age of eight. At 14, Emerson went to Harvard College, where he started a journal that would come to be known as "Wide World."
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (first name rhymes with "mine") is the author of many celebrated books that revolve around the philosophical theory known as Objectivism. Her classics include, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, both of which are available on audio.

Publishers on this Topic

Agora Publications, Inc.

The historical Socrates sought to bring philosophy down from the heavens to thrive in the streets of the agora — the market-place.
Modern Scholar

Recorded Books publishes and sells the Modern Scholar Series which are recorded lecture audio courses taught by university professors.
PhilosophersNotes

Wouldn't it be cool if, over the next year, you could get through the Big Ideas of 50 of the best self-development books in less than half an hour of reading/listening a week? I thought so, too. Enter: PhilosophersNotes.
The Great Courses

The Great Courses, formerly known as The Teaching Company, produces 350 lecture courses taught by professors at the nation's leading universities, which they sell on CD, DVD, Audio Download, Online Video, and Video Download.

Titles on this Topic

Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success
 
Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success
by Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments.
Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?
Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?
by Immanuel Kant

Written in 1784, "Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?" is one of philosopher Immanuel Kant's most influential and famous essays.
The Apology of Socrates
 
The Apology of Socrates
by Plato

The Apology of Socrates is one of the earliest existing documents of Greek philosophy - everything earlier was lost and is known only through quoted fragments in later works, like those of Plato himself.
Aristotle: An Introduction
Aristotle: An Introduction
by Hugh Griffith

Aristotle was the third key figure among the philosophers of Ancient Greece, after Socrates and Plato. Here, extensive sections of the main works for which he is still respected are given, following accessible introductions setting the scene.
Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil
by Friedrich Nietzsche

Continuing where Thus Spoke Zarathustra left off, Nietzsches controversial work Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most influential philosophical texts of the nineteenth century and one of the most controversial works of ideology ever written.
Classics of Western Philosophy: Volume 1
Classics of Western Philosophy: Volume 1
by Plato

Classics of Western Philosophy is a collection of major philosophical works of the Western World. This chronological anthology features key excerpts from ancient, medieval, & modern philosophers.
The Confessions of St. Augustine
 
The Confessions of St. Augustine
by Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine’s contributions to Christian theology are second to no other post-apostolic author in the whole sweep of church history.
Confucius, Lao Tzu, and the Chinese Philosophy
Confucius, Lao Tzu, and the Chinese Philosophy
by Crispin Sartwell

China’s two greatest philosophers, Confucius and Lao Tzu, were intensely interested in how we should live and how a good society is governed.
The Critique of Pure Reason
The Critique of Pure Reason
by Immanuel Kant

The Critique of Pure Reason, first published in 1781 with a second edition in 1787, has been called the most influential and important philosophical text of the modern age.
Discourse on the Method
Discourse on the Method
by Rene Descartes

The Discourse on Method is best known as the source of the famous quotation "cogito ergo sum", "I think, therefore I am."
Discovering the Philosopher in You
Discovering the Philosopher in You
by Colin McGinn

Everyone has their own inner philosopher—a voice within that asks, oh so insistently, philosophical questions.
The Enchiridion
The Enchiridion
by Epictetus

The Enchiridion (or "Handbook") is a classic philosophical text that collects Epictetus' core ethical teachings.
The Enlightenment: Reason, Tolerance, and Humanity
The Enlightenment: Reason, Tolerance, and Humanity
by James Schmidt

The Enlightenment stands at the threshold of the modern age. It elevated the natural sciences to the preeminent position they enjoy in modern culture. It inaugurated a skepticism toward tradition and authority that decisively shaped modern attitudes in religion, morality, and politics.
Ethics Bites Podcast
 
Ethics Bites Podcast
by David Edmonds

Ethics Bites is a fascinating and absorbing series of interviews covering topics such as animal rights, euthanasia, censorship and fertility treatment.
Ethics For The New Millennium
Ethics For The New Millennium
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Only during a time when we have so little faith in one another, so little confidence in the willingness of others to do what is right, can a strong voice emerge to dispel disillusionment and show us hope.
Ethics: A History of Moral Thought
Ethics: A History of Moral Thought
by Peter Kreeft

This course addresses some of the eternal questions that man has grappled with since the beginning of time. What is good? What is bad? Why is justice important? Why is it better to be good and just than it is to be bad and unjust?
Existentialism in Literature and Film
 
Existentialism in Literature and Film
by Hubert L. Dreyfus

The course will be organized around various attempts to reinterpret the Judeo/Christian God, and to determine in what sense, if at all, such a God is still a living God.
For The New Intellectual
For The New Intellectual
by Ayn Rand

This is Ayn Rand's challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time and the "atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair, of boredom, and of all-pervasive evasion" that they create.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
by John E. Smith

Friedrich Hegel developed a profound and influential synthesis of all prior knowledge.
Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition
Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition
by Jeremy Adams

Who or what is God? What is the purpose of life and how does one live happily? What is truth? What is justice? beauty? When is it legitimate for one person to have power over another? Can any of these questions have a final answer?
Heidegger
 
Heidegger
by Hubert L. Dreyfus

One of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century, Being and Time is both a systematization of the existential insights of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and a radicalization of Husserl's phenomenological account of intentionality.
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
 
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
by John M. Frame

A critical, historical survey of the development of the main schools of philosophy and the principal developments in Christian doctrine and thought.
Introducing Postmodernism
Introducing Postmodernism
by Richard Appignanesi

What on earth is postmodernism? Here, at last, is the perfect audio guide to the maddeningly enigmatic concept that has been used to describe our cultural condition of the late-20th and early-21st centuries.
Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?
 
Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?
by Michael Sandel

Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history. Nearly one thousand students pack Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre to hear Professor Sandel talk about justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship.
Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes
Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes
by Paul Strathern

Kierkegaard wasn't really a philosopher in the academic sense....
Living Biographies Of Great Philosophers
Living Biographies Of Great Philosophers
by Henry Thomas

The twenty-one philosophical personalities who represent an adventure in thinking are: Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Epicurus, Marcus Aurelius…
Marx in 90 Minutes
Marx in 90 Minutes
by Paul Strathern

Karl Marx's devastating critique of capitalism, and his proposal of communism as the answer to the failings of the capitalist system, bore their greatest fruits in the twentieth century…
The Moral Landscape
The Moral Landscape
by Sam Harris

In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge.
The Nicomachean Ethics
The Nicomachean Ethics
by Aristotle

In the Nichomachean Ethics— so called after their first editor, Aristotle’s son Nicomachus—Aristotle sets out to discover the good life for man, the life of happiness.
Nietzsche v. Jesus Christ
 
Nietzsche v. Jesus Christ
by Dallas Willard

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," Jesus said. "God is dead," claimed Nietzsche, thousands of years later. How can we make sense of these two prominent figures in intellectual history?
Peikoff.com Q&A on Ayn Rand Podcast
Peikoff.com Q&A on Ayn Rand Podcast
by Leonard Peikoff

A 15-minute discussion of Ayn Rand's philosophy, posted every other Monday on www.Peikoff.com. Leonard Peikoff is a PhD in philosophy and a longtime teacher and writer; he was designated by Ayn Rand as her legal and intellectual heir. In the show, Peikoff reads a batch of philosophical questions emailed to him and methodically answers them.
The Philosopher's Zone Podcast
The Philosopher's Zone Podcast
by Alan Saunders

The Philosopher's Zone with Alan Saunders looks at the world of philosophy and at the world through philosophy. The program addresses the big philosophical questions and arguments.
The Philosophies of India
The Philosophies of India
by Douglas Allen

India has perhaps the oldest living philosophical tradition in the world. Though both Buddhism and Jainism began in India, its primary influence is the Vedic tradition.
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Mind
by Andrew Pessin

The nature of the mind lies at the heart of the eternal human quest for understanding. What does it mean to think?
Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas
Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas
by Peter Kreeft

An enthusiastic admirer of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, professor and philosopher Peter Kreeft details the rational thought and precise literary talent that established Aquinas as the foremost thinker of his time—and as the most important philosopher for the almost two thousand years between Aristotle and Descartes.
The Philosophy Podcast
The Philosophy Podcast
by Plato

With The Philosophy Podcast, LearnOutLoud.com will showcase audio renditions of classic philosophy from such greats as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Nietzsche and much more. For more audio and video material tailored to the lifelong learner, please feel free to visit www.learnoutloud.com
Philosophy Talk Podcast
Philosophy Talk Podcast

Listen to this philosophical radio show hosted by Stanford University philosophy professors as they chat with eminent contemporary philosophers about particular philosophical topics.
Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
by Edward Craig

This lively and engaging book is the ideal introduction for anyone who has ever been puzzled by what philosophy is or what it is for.
Philosophy: The Classics Podcast
Philosophy: The Classics Podcast
by Nigel Warburton

Author Nigel Warburton reads from his book Philosophy: The Classics which is an introduction to 27 key works in the history of Philosophy...
Plato - The Republic Podcast
Plato - The Republic Podcast
by Plato

The Republic is an influential work of philosophy and political theory by the Greek philosopher Plato, written in approximately 360 BC.
Plato and Aristotle
Plato and Aristotle
by Aryeh Kosman

This course is an introduction to the philosophical thought of the two most important philosophical figures of ancient Greece. By working through parts of their central texts and thoughts, we will gain an understanding of Plato and Aristotle's relevance in the past and today as well.
Plato's Ion and Meno
Plato's Ion and Meno
by Plato

Socrates questions Ion, an actor, about his ability to interpret the poetry of Homer. In the Meno, the topic is whether goodness can be taught. Both dialogues provide more questions than answers.
Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
by Grahame Lock

This audio course examines the major periods in the history of Western political thought and questions the political and social order.
A Primer on Postmodernism
 
A Primer on Postmodernism
by Stanley J. Grenz

From the academy to pop culture, our society is in the throes of change rivaling the birth of modernity out of the decay of the Middle Ages. We are now moving from the modern to the postmodern era.
The Problems of Philosophy
The Problems of Philosophy
by Bertrand Russell

The Problems of Philosophy is one of Bertrand Russell's attempts to create a brief and accessible guide to the problems of philosophy.
Reith Lectures Archive: 1948-1975 Podcast
Reith Lectures Archive: 1948-1975 Podcast

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields.
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
by Ladelle McWhorter

Simone de Beauvoir stands as a towering figure in the twentieth century’s flowering of thought among women.
Stoics and Epicureans
Stoics and Epicureans
by Daryl Hale

Stoics and Epicureans date from the Hellenistic period, but the debate between these two modes of thought continues today.
The Stranger
The Stranger
by Albert Camus

Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold....
Symposium
Symposium
by Plato

In Symposium, a group of Athenian aristocrats attend a party held by Agathon to celebrate his victory in the drama festival of the Dionysia.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
 
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
by Friedrich Nietzsche

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a 19th century literary masterpiece and key philosophical work by Nietzsche.
The Value of Philosophy
The Value of Philosophy
by Bertrand Russell

The Value of Philosophy is taken from the final chapter of Bertrand Russell's larger 1912 work "Problems of Philosophy".
Walden
Walden
by Henry David Thoreau

Walden by Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-known non-fiction books written by an American. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau’s life for two years, two months, and two days around the shores of Walden Pond.
What is Knowledge?
What is Knowledge?
by Colin McGinn

In this lecture, Professor Colin McGinn deciphers what we mean when we say we 'know' something to be true.
What Was the Enlightenment?
What Was the Enlightenment?
by James Schmidt

In this lecture Professor James Schmidt talks about what Immanuel Kant called "man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity". The Age of Enlightenment began the elevation of science and reason in Western civilization.

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