Index Nominum: Pointings-to

Welcome to the list,

While still resisting imposing a stringent order for these blog posts – I ‘m a bit captive to the thought that each reader is in some sense experiencing a different book, especially as they can approach these points in various orders – having something with which to point to works cited or considered valuable (or mis-valuated) could be beneficial.  I ‘ll include the disclaimer that a list of works-read can become an exercise in hubris easily (you can’t see my face beam as you browse in awe the titles lining my bookshelf, but we ‘re both better off without such exercises).  Having said that, this may prove helpful for me when/should I seriously revisit these works.  Apologies for any confusing elements (when do I offer that?) – feel free to enlighten me as to how I could make these indices more helpful, or if there is some glaring hole in my bookshelf you ‘d recommend. 

I shall limit myself to those books which leave some sort of impression worth remembering or which I ‘d like to revisit in twenty years.  Links to relevant posts (I ‘ll risk the embarrassment) will be attached and updated.  So long as I read, or pretend to care about what I read, I shall have to be updating these stores (while concealing my waning memories from view).


–The Bible

–The Qur’an/Koran

 formative texts for major world religions which I ‘ll be revisiting often

Augustine (354-430)

Teacher, the (abr)

On Free Will (abr)

“But if you did not exist, it would be impossible for you to be deceived.”  ~Bk II. iii, 7.

“Don’t you see that you will have to be careful lest someone say to you that, if all things of which God has foreknowledge are done by necessity and not voluntarily, his own future acts will be done not voluntarily but by necessity?” ~Bk III. iii, 6


On the Trinity (abr)

Confessions, the

pious musings about God’s pursuit of his soul (and the nature of time) – this work has been formative for me

City of God, the (abr)


Boethius (ca. 480-524)

Consolation of Philosophy, the

the character of Wisdom/Sophia and Boethius’ pursuit of her despite the cost is an important image; the poetry (especially about Orpheus) is a nice bonus

How Substance Can be Good in Virtue of Their Existence Without Being Absolute Goods


John Scotus Eriugena (ca. 810-ca. 877)

On the Division of Nature


Abu Nasr al-Farabi/Alfarabi (ca. 870-950)

Letter Concerning the Intellect, the

Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle


Saadia ben Joseph (882-942)

Book of Doctrines and Beliefs


Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina/Avicenna (980-1037)

Healing, Metaphysics, the

Deliverance, Psychology, the


Solomon ibn Gabirol (ca. 1022-ca. 1051 or ca. 1070)

Fountain of Life, the


Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)



Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali/Ghazzali/Algazali/Algazel (1058-1111)

Deliverance from Error/Munqidh min al-Dalal

Similar to Augustine’s Confessions, Ghazali’s Deliverer is a spiritual autobiography.  As such, its true purpose is to lead others to submit to God.  Ghazali’s search for wisdom in various corners before finding it in mysticism (though reformatted for sake of polemic and to avoid charges of being trained in mysticism rather than finding it) may be somewhat exaggerated, but his search to be part of something truly lasting – to do what is most worthwhile – is an enduring image for this poor reader

Incoherence of the Philosophers, the/Tahafut al-falasifa

How can you not love this title?  Ghazali sets precedents for metaphysical and religious dialogue which ought to be weighed carefully.

 Niche of Lights, the


Peter Abailard (1079-1142)

Glosses of Peter Abailard on Porphyry, the

Ethics or Know Thyself

John of Salisbury (1120-1180)

Metalogicon, the


Abu al-Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd/Averroes (1126-1198)

Decisive Treatise Determining the Nature of the Connection Between Religion and Philosophy, the

Treatise Concerning the Substance of the Celestial Sphere, the

Long Commentary on ‘De Anima’


Moses Maimonides (1135-1204)

Guide of the Perplexed, the


Robert Grosseteste (ca. 1168-1253)

On Light


Roger Bacon (ca. 1214-ca. 1292)

Opus Majus, the


Bonaventure (1221-1274)

Conferences on the Hexaemeron

Retracing the Arts to Theology or Sacred Theology: the Mistress Among the Sciences


Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

On Being and Essence

Summa Theologica, the


Siger of Brabant (ca. 1240-ca. 1284)

Question on the Eternity of the World


John Duns Scotus (1265-1308)

Oxford Commentary on the Four Books of the Sentences, the


William of Ockham (ca. 1280-1349)

Summa Totius Logicae

Commentary on the Sentences


Marsilius of Padua (ca. 1275/1280-ca. 1342)

Defender of Peace, the


Levi ben Gerson (1288-1344)

Wars of the Lord, the


Nicholas of Autrecourt (ca. 1300-?)

Letters to Bernard of Arezzo


John Buridan (ca. 1300-ca. 1358)

Questions on Aristotle’s Metaphysics

Questions on the Ten Books of the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle

Questions on the Eight Books of the Physics of Aristotle


Hasdai Crescas (d. ca. 1412)

Light of the Lord, the


Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Discourse on Method (abr) – Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for Truth in the Sciences

Descartes’ metaphysical doubt is expounded here (but how can one truly doubt with a purpose?) and will always be something of a philosophical intrigue

Meditations on First Philosophy (abr)


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Thoughts (abr)


Baruch/Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677)

Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (abr)

Theologico-Political Treatise (ch. XX)


Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716)

First Truths

Discourse on Metaphysics



George Berkeley (1685-1753)

Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713)

 A discourse on the non-existence of matter (as the philosophers describe it)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Social Contract, the (abr)


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Critique of Pure Reason (abr)


Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

Vocation of Man, the (bk III)


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Introduction to the Philosophy of History

Logic (p. 1 of the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, ch. 7, a)


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

World as Will and Idea, the (abr)


Isidore Auguste Marie Francois Comte (1798-1857)

General View of Positivism, a (chs. I and VI) (abr)

 I recommend no one use the word ‘positivism’ around me for awhile – Comte completely wore it out and failed to helpfully define it


George MacDonald (1824-1905)

Lilith: a Romance (1895)



Ernst Mach (1836-1916)

Analysis of Sensations and the Relation of the Physical to the Psychical, the (chs. I and XV)


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Birth of Tragedy, the Or: Hellenism and Pessimism (1872)

Seventy-Five Aphorisms from Five Volumes

Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

On the Genealogy of Morals (1887)

Case of Wagner, the (1888)

Ecce Homo (1908)


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Man and Superman (1903)

 Don Juan the pursued; we see the power of a woman on full display and wonder how it might be different should society truly manage to redefine her role – attached guide to social anarchism.  This was very insightful, or at least amusing, and my only complaint is that the characters were too well connected (esp. Mendoza, who I would have liked to have heard more of, but less about ‘Louisa’; perhaps the intention, but I did ne like it)

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

Ontology-the Hermeneutics of Facticity


Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963)

Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the (1950)

Prince Caspian (1951)

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the (1952)

Silver Chair, the (1953)

Horse and His Boy, the (1954)

Magician’s Nephew, the (1955)

Last Battle, the (1956)

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (1956)

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (1963)

Discarded Image, the: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1964)

Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1966)


George Orwell [Eric Blair] (1903-1950)

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Animal Farm


Albert Camus

Plague, the


Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996)

Severe Mercy, a (1977)


Michel Foucault

Archaeology of Knowledge, the & Discourse on Language, the


–Philosophy in the Middle Ages: The Christian, Islamic, and Jewish Traditions, 2nd ed. (1973) ed. by Arthur Hyman & James J. Walsh

–European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche, the (2002) ed. by Monroe Beardsley

Merold Westphal

Overcoming Onto-Theology

Christian, Post-modern, and Continental, Westphal instructed my Philosophical Hermeneutics class summer of ’11 and introduced me to Gadamer’s Truth and Method as well as a responsible appropriation of key thoughts about interpretation.  As I enjoy Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Westphal was a welcome voice; one which was n’t afraid to use decidedly anti-religious rhetoric for truly religious purposes. 

Important concepts/key terms:

  • Kantian anti-realism (i.e. holist w/o the whole)
  • hermeneutical circle (Descartes seeks to escape interp by way of rationality [Alpha -> beginning of interp], Hegel to escape by perfected dialectic [Omega -> interp reaches its end/telos]
  • onto-theology (Heidegger’s critique of using the god-concept [where God’s existence is the ground of reason – so it helps us make arguments, not serve Him] in service of human mastery of the real
  • hermeneutics of finitude/hermeneutics of suspicion (createdness/contingency & sin/human fallenness)

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