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The Routledge Guides to the Great Books


About the Series

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books provide ideal introductions to the texts which have shaped Western Civilization. The Guidebooks explore the arguments and ideas contained in the most influential works from some of the most brilliant thinkers who have ever lived, from Aristotle to Marx and Newton to Wollstonecraft. Each Guidebook opens with a short introduction to the author of the great book and the context within which they were working and concludes with an examination of the lasting significance of the book. The Routledge Guides to the Great Books will therefore provide students everywhere with complete introductions to the most significant books of all time.

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The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity

The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity

1st Edition

By James Trefil
February 24, 2015

Albert Einstein, one of the most prolific scientists of the twentieth century, developed the theory of relativity which was crucial for the advancement of modern physics. Young Einstein identified a paradox between Newtonian Mechanics and Maxwell’s equations which pointed to a flawed understanding ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Gramsci's Prison Notebooks

The Routledge Guidebook to Gramsci's Prison Notebooks

1st Edition

By John Schwarzmantel
January 15, 2015

Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks are one of the most important and original sources of modern political philosophy but the Prison Notebooks present great difficulties to the reader. Not originally intended for publication, their fragmentary character and their often cryptic language can mystify readers, ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

The Routledge Guidebook to Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

1st Edition

By Bob Pepperman Taylor
December 17, 2014

Since its publication in 1849, Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience has influenced protestors, activists and political thinkers all over the world. Including the full text of Thoreau’s essay, The Routledge Guidebook to Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience explores the context of his writing, analyses ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes' Meditations

The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes' Meditations

1st Edition

By Gary Hatfield
July 18, 2014

Descartes is widely regarded to be the father of modern philosophy and his Meditations is among the most important philosophical texts ever written. The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes’ Meditations introduces the major themes in Descartes’ great book and acts as a companion for reading this key ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Hobbes' Leviathan

The Routledge Guidebook to Hobbes' Leviathan

1st Edition

By Glen Newey
April 15, 2014

Hobbes is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ideas and political thought, and his seminal text Leviathan is widely recognised as one of the greatest works of political philosophy ever written. The Routledge Guidebook to Hobbes’ Leviathan introduces the major ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Galileo's Dialogue

The Routledge Guidebook to Galileo's Dialogue

1st Edition

By Maurice A. Finocchiaro
July 23, 2013

 The publication in 1632 of Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican marked a crucial moment in the ‘scientific revolution’ and helped Galileo become the ‘father of modern science’. The Dialogue contains Galileo’s mature synthesis of astronomy, physics, and ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

The Routledge Guidebook to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

1st Edition

By Gerard J Hughes
January 31, 2013

Written by one of the most important founding figures of Western philosophy, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics represents a critical point in the study of ethics which has influenced the direction of modern philosophy. The Routledge Guidebook to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics introduces the major ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

The Routledge Guidebook to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

1st Edition

By Robert Stern
January 31, 2013

The Phenomenology of Spirit is arguably Hegel’s most influential and important work, and is considered to be essential in understanding Hegel’s philosophical system and his contribution to western philosophy. The Routledge Guidebook to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit introduces the major themes in ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Heidegger's Being and Time

The Routledge Guidebook to Heidegger's Being and Time

1st Edition

By Stephen Mulhall
January 31, 2013

The Routledge Guidebook to Heidegger’s Being and Time examines the work of one of the most controversial thinkers of the twentieth century. Heidegger’s writings are notoriously difficult, requiring careful reading. This book analyses his first major publication, Being and Time, which to this day ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding

The Routledge Guidebook to Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding

1st Edition

By E. J. Lowe
February 01, 2013

John Locke is widely acknowledged as the most important figure in the history of English philosophy and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is his greatest intellectual work, emphasising the importance of experience for the formation of knowledge. The Routledge Guidebook to Locke’s Essay ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Plato's Republic

The Routledge Guidebook to Plato's Republic

1st Edition

By Nickolas Pappas
January 31, 2013

Plato, often cited as a founding father of Western philosophy, set out ideas in the Republic regarding the nature of justice, order, and the character of the just individual, that endure into the modern day. The Routledge Guidebook to Plato’s Republic introduces the major themes in Plato’s great ...

The Routledge Guidebook to Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations

The Routledge Guidebook to Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations

1st Edition

By Marie McGinn
January 31, 2013

Wittgenstein is one of the most important and influential twentieth-century philosophers in the western tradition. In his Philosophical Investigations he undertakes a radical critique of analytical philosophy's approach to both the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. The Routledge ...

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