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Encyclopaedia Britannica

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Great Books of the Western World

$1,149.00 (USD)
[These are the official Britannica prices].

Information... Knowledge... Understanding... Wisdom...

From the ancient classics to the masterpieces of the 20th century, the Great Books are all the introduction you¿ll ever need to the ideas, stories and discoveries that have shaped modern civilization. This collection of 517 classics in 60 beautifully bound volumes is color-coded into four subject categories: literature, history, philosophy, and science. And since this edition includes works from 20th century authors, it¿s the most up-to-date collection of the Great Books ever.

Product Details

LargeImageReading and understanding great works by history¿s outstanding minds has always been considered the substance of a liberal education. The Great Books of the Western World has been acclaimed as the greatest publishing venture of the 20th Century. The set now consists of 60 volumes, with 517 works by 130 authors spanning 30 centuries, on a total of 37,000 pages containing 29 million words. Among the Great Books¿ 130 authors, 47 are writers of imaginative literature; 29 are masters of mathematics and/or the natural sciences; 28 are historians or social scientists, and 28 or more are philosophers and/or theologians. (This totals 132 because William James and Alfred North Whitehead have made contributions in both of the latter two subject categories).

Volume Details

Volumes 1 and 2 of this collection is the Syntopicon, a unique two-volume guide (not sold separately) that enables you to investigate a particular idea and compare what different authors have to say about it. The Syntopicon comprises a new kind of reference work -- accomplishing for ideas what the dictionary accomplishes for words and the encyclopaedia accomplishes for facts. Also included is the Great Conversation, featuring fascinating background information, extensive timelines, photos, and quotes from the classic works and their authors.

Special colors on the Great Books¿ spines guide you quickly to the four subject areas -

GREEN: Novels, Short Stories, Plays, and Poetry

Volume 3 Homer
Volume 4 Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes, Aristophanes
Volume 12 Virgil
Volume 19 Dante, Chaucer
Volume 22 Rabelais
Volume 24 Shakespeare l
Volume 25 Shakespeare ll
Volume 27 Cervantes
Volume 29 Milton
Volume 31 Molière, Racine
Volume 34 Swift, Voltaire, Diderot
Volume 45 Goethe, Balzac
Volume 46 Austen, George Eliot
Volume 47 Dickens
Volume 48 Melville, Twain
Volume 51 Tolstoy
Volume 52 Dostoevsky, Ibsen
Volume 59 Henry James, Shaw, Conrad, Chekhov, Pirandello, Proust, Cather, Mann, Joyce
Volume 60 Woolf, Kafka, Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, O¿Neill, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Brecht, Hemingway, Orwell, Beckett

RED: Philosophy and Religion

Volume 6 Plato
Volume 7 Aristotle l
Volume 8 Aristotle ll
Volume 11 Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Plotinus
Volume 16 Augustine
Volume 17 Aquinas l
Volume 18 Aquinas ll
Volume 20 Calvin
Volume 28 Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza
Volume 30 Pascal
Volume 33 Locke, Berkeley, Hume
Volume 39 Kant
Volume 43 Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche
Volume 55 William James, Bergson, Dewey, Whitehead, Russell, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Barth

BLUE: History, Politics, Economics, and Ethics

Volume 5 Herodotus, Thucydides
Volume 13 Plutarch
Volume 14 Tacitus
Volume 21 Machiavelli, Hobbes
Volume 23 Erasmus, Montaigne
Volume 35 Montesquieu, Rousseau
Volume 36 Adam Smith
Volume 37 Gibbon l
Volume 38 Gibbon ll
Volume 40 J. S. Mill
Volume 41 Boswell
Volume 44 Tocqueville
Volume 50 Marx, Engels
Volume 57 Veblen, Tawney, Keynes
Volume 58 Frazer, Weber, Huizinga, Levi-Strauss

GREY: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Volume 9 Hippocrates, Galen
Volume 10 Euclid, Archimedes, Nicomachus
Volume 15 Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler
Volume 26 Gilbert, Galileo, Harvey
Volume 32 Newton, Huygens
Volume 42 Lavoisier, Faraday
Volume 49 Darwin
Volume 53 William James
Volume 54 Freud
Volume 56 Poincare, Planck, Whitehead, Einstein, Eddington, Bohr, Hardy, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Dobzhansky, Waddington

The following are samples of great thoughts through the ages:

5th Century B.C. - Euripides

"--our ancestors handled these matters well by banning their murderers from public sight, forbidding them to meet or speak to anyone. But the point is this: they purged their guilt by banishment, not death. And by so doing, they stopped that endless vicious cycle of murder and revenge."

--- Orestes

17th Century -- Locke

"Every man in the state of Nature has the power to kill a murderer, both to deter others from doing the like injury -- and also to secure men from the attempts of a criminal who -- hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind."

---Concerning Civil Government

20th Century -- Shaw

"--the human fact remains that the burning of Joan of Arc was a horror, and that a historian who would defend it would defend anything. The final criticism of its physical side is implied in refusal of the Marquesas islanders to be persuaded that the English did not eat Joan. Why, they ask, should anyone take the trouble to roast a human being except with that object? They cannot conceive its being a pleasure. As we have no answer for them that is not shameful to us, let us blush for our more complicated and pretentious savagery--"

---St. Joan (Preface)



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