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MORALIA VOLUME 1 26 Ethical Essays

MORALIA VOLUME 1

By Plutarch
Read by Matthew Lloyd Davies
15 hours 01 minutes

Though best known now for his collection of lively and vivid Parallel Lives from ancient Greece and Rome, Plutarch (c46 C.D – 120 C.E)  was, for centuries, more respected for his Moralia, a remarkable and wide-ranging collection of essays and speeches. Continue Reading →

THE LAY OF THE NIBELUNGS

THE LAY OF THE NIBELUNGS

Verse Translation by Alice Horton
Read by David Rintoul
11 hours 07 minutes

One of the finest German medieval epic poems, The Lay of the Nibelungs is perhaps best known now as one of the principal sources for Wagner’s four-part music drama, The Ring of the Nibelung. It is easy to see how Wagner was enthralled by the story and the poetry for the power of the tale drives the narrative: intense love, loyalty, jealousy, murder, duty, honour and massacre are all interwoven in a page-turner of a classic. Continue Reading →

MENGZI

MENGZI

With Selections from Traditional Commentaries

Translated and Read by Bryan W. Van Norden
9 hours 23 minutes

 

The Mengzi is one of the very greatest works of world literature and philosophy, and it is perhaps the single most influential Confucian text of all time.  Of all the Confucian classics, it is also the one most likely to speak to contemporary readers.  The Mengzi contains the dialogues, debates, and sayings of Mengzi, a Confucian sage of the fourth century BCE.  (He is also known by the Latinization of his name, “Mencius.”).  Continue Reading →

THE ANNALS

THE ANNALS

By Tacitus
Read by Martyn Swain
17 hours 1 minute

The Annals, written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (56c-120 CE) is regarded as one of the great literary works of history in the Roman world. Considered by many to be the greatest of Roman historians The Annals is Tacitus’s outstanding achievement. Originally comprising eighteen volumes, books seven to ten and parts of books five, six, eleven and sixteen have been lost but those that remain, read here by Martyn Swain, tell the fascinating tale of the Julio Claudian emperors and their times. Continue Reading →

DISCOURSE ON METAPHYSICS ON THE ULTIMATE ORIGIN OF THINGS

DISCOURSE ON METAPHYSICS ON THE ULTIMATE ORIGIN OF THINGS

By Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Read by Charles Armstrong
5 hours 15 minutes

This Leibniz collection contains some of the philosopher’s most important works and ideas, spans three decades and illuminates the fascinating intellectual journey undertaken by him in his quest for truth. A prodigious polymath, Leibniz was a mathematician, philosopher, physicist and statesman and engaged with a sweeping range of ideas and disciplines, striving throughout his life to be at the cutting edge of scientific thinking. These Principal Essays are arranged in chronological order. Continue Reading →

TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS TRUTH AND LIES IN THE NONMORAL SENSE

TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS

TRUTH AND LIES IN THE NONMORAL SENSE

By Friedrich Nietzsche
Read by Michael Lunts
4 hours 22 minutes

Though ‘Twilight of the Idols’ (written in a week in 1888 and subtitled ‘How to Philosophize with a Hammer’) came near the end of Nietzsche’s creative life he actually recommended it as a starting point for the study of his work. This was because from the beginning he viewed it as an introduction to his wide-ranging views. After an opening chapter of aphorisms – ‘Maxims and Arrows’ – he takes a challenging look at ‘The Problem of Socrates’, continues to buck the trend with ‘Morality as Anti-Nature’, and ‘The Four Great Errors’ (starting with ‘The Error of Confusing Cause and Effect’). He makes a scathing attack on conventional morality in ‘The Improvers of Mankind’, and finishes with a critical look at his own nation in ‘What Germans Lack’. Continue Reading →

THE GOOD SOLDIER ŠVEJK

THE GOOD SOLDIER ŠVEJK

By Jaroslav Hašek
Read by David Horovitch
28 hours 44 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

The Good Soldier Švejk, written shortly after the First World War, is one of the great anti-war satires – and one of the funniest books of the 20th (or any) century. In creating his eponymous hero, Jaroslav Hašek produced an unforgettable character who charms and infuriates and bamboozles his way through the conflagration that tore through the heart of Europe, upending empires and changing social history. It is the closing period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Continue Reading →

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAWS

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAWS

By Baron de Montesquieu
Read by Martyn Swain
23 hours 36 minutes

From the moment of its publication in 1748, ‘The Spirit of the Laws’ proved to be a controversial work provoking widespread interest. Within three years it had been translated into various European languages – and was swiftly added to the List of Prohibited Books by the Roman Catholic Church. It is a remarkable book, a pot-pourri of observations and comments ranging far and wide over the social activities of mankind and it exerted a great influence on political leaders in the following decades. Continue Reading →

CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS TOTEM AND TABOO

CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS

TOTEM AND TABOO

By Sigmund Freud
Read by Martyn Swain
9 hours 19 minutes

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is remembered as The Father of Psychoanalysis. Civilization and Its Discontents (1930), is one of his key works, written three decades after his seminal book – The Interpretation of Dreams. In it he considers the conflict between the needs of the individual acting both egotistically and altruistically in the pursuit of happiness contrasted with the myriad demands of civilized society and the ensuing tensions this clash of needs and demands generates. Continue Reading →

THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE

THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE

By The Venerable Bede
Read by Peter Wickham
12 hours 57 minutes

The Ecclesiastical History of the English People was written in Latin by the Venerable Bede (673-735), a Benedictine monk living in Northumbria, an important Christian centre in the 8th century. It is a remarkable document, tracing, in general, early Anglo-Saxon history, and in particular, as the title proclaims, the growth and establishment of Christianity against the backdrop of the political life. Continue Reading →

THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR

THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR

By Thucydides
Read by Mike Rogers
22 hours 36 minutes

The rivalry between two of the dominant city states of Ancient Greece, Athens and Sparta, erupted into a war lasting nearly 30 years and was to have a dramatic effect on the balance of power in the area. Between 431 and 404 BCE, the two cities battled it out on land and sea, aided by their alliances with neighbouring states: Athens’ Delian League vigorously opposed Sparta’s Peloponnesian League in a conflict which effectively involved the whole region. Continue Reading →

FIELDS, FACTORIES, AND WORKSHOPS

FIELDS, FACTORIES, AND WORKSHOPS

By Pyotr Kropotkin
Read by Peter Kenny
7 hours 51 minutes

Pyotr Kropotkin (1842-1921) was one of the most interesting figures to emerge from the Russian Communist movement, developing the path of Communist Anarchism: he was not associated, either in theory or practice with the violence associated with that time of great change. Born into a Russian aristocratic land-owning family, he was affected by the injustice he saw as a young man on his father’s estate and committed himself early to social change; but his study and interest in science, geography, anthropology and philosophy enriched and broadened his political views. Fields, Factories, and Workshops (1898) was one of his three most important texts (along with The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid – also available on Ukemi Audiobooks). Continue Reading →

OFFENCES AGAINST ONESELF

OFFENCES AGAINST ONESELF

By Jeremy Bentham, Károly Mária Kertbeny
Read by Andrew Cullum
4 hours 1 minutes

The criminalisation of homosexuality over centuries has been one of the shocking injustices of European history – it existed from the middle ages and before, and well into the 20th century. The death penalty (hanging or burning) was a commonplace feature in legal systems. These two remarkable texts – one from England in the 18th century, and one from Germany in the 19th century  – show how there was a growing awareness of the prejudice and the cruelty of its effect. Continue Reading →

THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

By Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Read by Derek Le Page
4 hours 7 minutes

It could be argued that few documents have had such a considerable effect on the course of world social and political history as the Manifesto of the Communist Party written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and published in 1848. The social structures of the 19th century were undergoing considerable change yet even so it was over half a century before Communism claimed its first scalp with the 1917 Russian Revolution. Continue Reading →

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALS AND LEGISLATION

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALS AND LEGISLATION

By Jeremy Bentham
Read by Andrew Cullum
17 hours 4 minutes

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), the English philosopher, writer on law and political radical, was an extraordinary individual. His preserved body can still be seen seated in a case in the South Cloisters of University College, London – what he called an auto-icon. His most important legacy however is the ‘principle of utility’ – the greatest happiness of the greatest number: an ultimate measure of right and wrong. Continue Reading →

NIETZSCHE AND BUDDHISM

NIETZSCHE AND BUDDHISM

By Robert G Morrison
Read by Michael Lunts
10 hours 36 minutes

Morrison offers an illuminating study of two linked traditions that have figured prominently in twentieth-century thought: Buddhism and the philosophy of Nietzsche. Nietzsche admired Buddhism, but saw it as a dangerously nihilistic religion; he forged his own affirmative philosophy in reaction against the nihilism that he feared would overwhelm Europe. Continue Reading →

THE WILL TO POWER

THE WILL TO POWER

By Friedrich Nietzsche
Read by Michael Lunts
23 hours 23 minutes

Nietzsche never recovered from his breakdown in 1889 and therefore was unable to further any plans he had for the ‘magnum opus’ he had once intended, bringing together in a coherent whole his mature philosophy. Continue Reading →

POLITICS

POLITICS

By Aristotle
Read by Andrew Cullum
10 hours 04 minutes

The title Politics literally means ‘the things concerning the city’. Here, Aristotle considers the important role that politics plays in the life of the community, and its contribution to harmonious and virtuous existence. Continue Reading →

SELECTIONS from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA VOLUME 2

SELECTIONS from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA VOLUME 2

By Arthur Schopenhauer
Read by Leighton Pugh
15 hours 58 minutes

Volume 2 of Parerga and Paralipomena has a very different character from Volume 1. There are, in total, 31 Essays, 24 of which are presented here. The range of topics is very varied, opening with On Philosophy and Its Method and including On Pantheism, On Ethics, On Jurisprudence, On Men of Learning, On Thinking for Oneself, On Religion and The Vanity of Existence. Continue Reading →

SELECTIONS from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA VOLUME 1

SELECTIONS from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA VOLUME 1

By Arthur Schopenhauer
Read by Leighton Pugh and David Rintoul
15 hours 58 minutes

 

The two sizeable volumes of Parerga and Paralipomena hold a special place in the output of Arthur Schopenhauer. Parerga means ‘supplementary to a main work, and Paralipomena suggests a further supplement but these two books were anything BUT a casual addition to his major opus, The World as Will and Idea. For a start, it was the publication of Parerga and Paralipomena in 1851 which brought Schopenhauer to the attention of the general public, decades after The World as Will and Idea first appeared. Continue Reading →