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.
The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity
The Routledge Guidebook to Hobbes' Leviathan
The Routledge Guidebook to Galileo's Dialogue
By James Trefil
February 25, 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 ...
By John Schwarzmantel
January 22, 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, ...
By Bob Pepperman Taylor
December 19, 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 ...
By Gary Hatfield
August 26, 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 ...
By Glen Newey
April 23, 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 ...
By Maurice A. Finocchiaro
September 18, 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 ...
By Robert Stern
March 25, 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 ...
By Gerard J Hughes
March 21, 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 ...
By Stephen Mulhall
March 20, 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 ...
By E. J. Lowe
March 21, 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 ...
By Nickolas Pappas
March 21, 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 ...
By Marie McGinn
March 22, 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 ...