History of Existentialism Philosophy Reading List

Old Testament

  • Genesis 22
  • The Book of Job. 6th c. bc

Plato 429-347 bc

  • Meno
  • Republic, Allegory of the Cave (514a–520a)
  • Euthyphro
  • Phaedo

Aristotle 384-322 bc

  • Nicomachean Ethics
  • On Generation and Corruption

Cicero 106-43 bc

  • Tusculan Disputations 45 bc

Lucretius 1st c. bc

  • On the Nature of Things

Ovid 43 bc - 17 ce

  • Metamorphosis 8 ce

Aurelius, Marcus 121-180 ce

  • The Meditations 167 ce

Dionysius the Areopagite 5th c. ce

  • The Divine Names c. 5th c. ce

Augustine 354-430 ce

  • Confessions 400 ce

Aquinas, Thomas 1225-1274 ce

  • On Being and Essence 1252-1256
  • Summa contra Gentiles 1259-1265
  • Disputed Questions on Evil 1269-1272
  • Commentary on Aristotle’s On Generation and Corruption 1273

Descartes, René 1596-1650 ce

  • Meditations on First Philosophy 1641

Pascal, Blaise 1623-1662 ce

  • Pensees 1670

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm 1646-1716 ce

  • Freedom and Possibility 1680

Kant, Immanuel 1724-1804 ce

  • Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals 1785

Holderlin (Hölderlin), Friedrich 1770-1843 ce

  • Hyperion 1797,1799

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 1770-1830 ce

  • Phenomenology. Preface on Being, Antigone 1807
  • Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. Antigone 1835
  • Science of Logic 1812

Schopenhauer, Arthur 1788-1860 ce poland/Germany

  • On Man’s Need for Metaphysics
  • On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason 1813
  • On the Will in Nature 1836
  • Prize Essay on the Freedom of the Will 1839
  • The World as Will and Representation vol. 1 1818,1819, vol. 2 1844
  • Parerga and Paralipomena vols. I-II 1851

Stirner, Max 1806-1856 ce Germany

  • The Ego and Its Own 1844

Kierkegaard, Søren 1813-1855 ce denmark

  • Criticism of Aestheticism “Early Journal Entries” (pp. 7-12)
  • “Diapsalmata” (pp. 38-46)
  • “Rotation of Crops” (pp. 50-62)
  • “The Seducer’s Diary” (pp. 62-65)
  • That Individual
  • Dread and Freedom
  • Authority
  • Truth is Subjectivity
  • Repetition
  • Either/Or
  • Concluding Unscientific Postscript
  • Fear and Trembling
  • The Sickness Unto Death
  • The Concept of Angst
  • Two Ages: The Age of Revolution and the Present Age, A Literary Review (March 30, 1846)

Melville, Herman 1819-1891 ce

  • Bartleby the Scrivener 1853

Turgenev, Ivan 1818-1883 ce

  • Fathers and Sons 1862

Marx, Karl 1818-1883 ce

  • Theses on Feuerbach 1888

Dostoevsky, Fyodor 1821-1881 ce russia

  • Notes From Underground 1864
  • Demons 1872
  • The Grand Inquisitor 1879

Tolstoy, Leo 1828-1910 ce

  • A Confession 1882
  • My Religion 1884
  • What Men Live By 1885
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich 1886
  • Resurrection 1899
  • On Life 1911

Nietzsche, Friedrich 1844-1900 ce Germany

  • Unfasionable Observations 1874 - “On the Utility and Liability of History for Life”
  • Human, All Too Human 1878
  • Daybreak 1881
  • The Gay Science 1882
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra 1883 - “Prologue”
  • Beyond Good and Evil. 1886. trans. Walter Kaufmann, Random House, Vintage Books
  • On the Genealogy of Morality 1887 - “Preface”, “First Essay”
  • Twilight of the Idols 1889 - “The Problem of Socrates”, “‘Reason’ in Philosophy”, “How the ‘Real World’ Finally Became a Fable”, “Morality as Anti-Nature”, “The Four Great Errors”
  • On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense 1896

Mallarmé, Stéphane 1842-1898 ce

  • A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance 1897,1914

James, William 1842-1910 ce America

  • The Principles of Psychology 1890
  • The Will to Believe 1896
  • The Varieties of Religious Experience 1902

Chopin, Kate 1850-1904 ce

  • The Awakening 1899

Holland, Henry Scott 1847-1918 ce

  • Death Is Nothing at All 1909

Husserl, Edmund 1859-1938 ce

  • The Idea of Phenomenology 1906
  • General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology 1913 - “The thesis of the natural standpoint and its suspension”
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology 1931

Freud, Sigmund 1856-1939 ce

  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle 1920

Rilke, Rainer Maria 1875-1926 ce

  • The Ninth Elegy 1923

Buber, Martin 1878-1965 ce Germany/israel

  • I and Thou 1923

Kafka, Franz 1883-1924 ce

  • Complete Stories - “The Metamorphosis” 1915

Gasset, José Ortega y 1883-1955 ce Spain

  • Man Has No Nature 1961

Wittgenstein, Ludwig 1889-1951 ce Austria/UK

  • Notebooks 1914-1916,1960

Heidegger, Martin 1889-1976 Germany

  • History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena 1925
  • Being and Time 1927
  • Introduction to Metaphysics 1935

Tillich, Paul 1886-1965 ce

  • The Courage To Be 1952

Marcel, Gabriel 1889-1973 France

  • The Philosophy of Existence 1948
  • The Mystery of Being 1951
  • Man Against Mass Society 1962
  • The Existential Background of Human Dignity 1963
  • Presence and Immortality 1967
  • Thou Shall Not Die - 2009

Bataille, Georges 1897-1962 ce France

  • Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939
  • On Nietzsche 1944
  • The Accursed Share: An Essay On General Economy. Volume I: Consumption 1949

Lewis, C.S. 1898-1963 ce

  • The Problem of Pain 1940
  • Miracles 1947,1960
  • A Grief Observed 1961
  • God in the Dock 1970

Fromm, Erich 1900-1980 ce

  • Fear/Dread of Freedom 1941
  • Escape from Freedom 1941
  • Man for himself, an inquiry into the psychology of ethics 1947
  • Psychoanalyse & Ethik, 1946
  • Psychoanalysis and Religion 1950
  • Marx’s Concept of Man 1961
  • Socialist Humanism 1965
  • You Shall Be as Gods: a radical interpretation of the Old Testament and its tradition 1966
  • The Revolution of Hope, toward a humanized technology 1968
  • The Nature of Man 1968
  • The Crisis of Psychoanalysis 1970
  • On Disobedience and Other Essays 1981
  • On Being Human 1997

Sartre, Jean-Paul 1905-1980 ce France

  • Preface to Franz Fanon “Wretched of the Earth”
  • Intentionality: A fundamental idea of Husserl’s phenomenology
  • Portrait of the Antisemite
  • No exit
  • The Transcendence of the Ego 1937
  • Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions1939
  • The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination 1940
  • Imagination: A Psychological Critique
  • Being and Nothingness 1943
  • Existentialism is a Humanism 1946
  • Search for a Method 1957
  • Situations VI: Problems of Marxism, Part 1 1966
  • Situations VII: Problems of Marxism, Part 2 1967
  • Critique of Dialectical Reason 1960,1985
  • Truth and Existence 1989

Levinas, Emmanuel 1906-1995 ce

  • The Theory of Intuition in Husserl’s Phenomenology 1930
  • Existence and Existents 1947
  • Time and the Other 1948
  • Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority 1961
  • On Escape 1962
  • Otherwise than Being 1974
  • Transcendence and Intelligibility 1984

Blanchot, Maurice 1907-2003 ce France

  • The Work of Fire 1949
  • The Space of Literature 1955
  • The Book to Come 1959
  • The Infinite Conversation 1969
  • Friendship 1971
  • The Writing of the Disaster 1980
  • The Unavowable Community 1983
  • A Voice from Elsewhere 2002

Beckett, Samuel 1906-1989 ce

  • Malone Dies 1951
  • Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts 1952
  • The Unnamable 1953
  • Endgame 1957

Arendt, Hannah 1906-1975 ce Germany/america

  • What is Freedom? 1958
  • Eternity versus Immortality
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on The Banality of Evil, Epilogue & Postscript 1963

Wright, Richard 1908-1960 ce

  • Native Son 1940

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice 1908-1961 ce France

  • Phenomenology of Perception, 2nd ed. 1945
  • The Primacy of Perception: And Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History and Politics 1947-1961

Beauvoir, Simone de 1908-1986 ce France

  • Ethics of Ambiguity 1947
  • The Second Sex 1949
  • A Very Easy Death 1964

May, Rollo 1909-1994 ce

  • The Meaning of Anxiety 1950

Cioran, E.M. 1911-1995 ce

  • A Short History of Decay 1949

Camus, Albert 1913-1960 ce algeria/France

  • An Absurd Reasoning
  • Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism 1935
  • The Myth of Sisyphus (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) 1942
  • Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Newspaper “Combat”, 1944–1947. 1991
  • Camus at “Combat”: Writing 1944–1947. 2005
  • The Stranger
  • The Rebel (L’Homme révolté) 1951
  • Resistance, Rebellion, and Death. 1961 – essays, 1945 Lettres à un ami allemand (Letters to a German Friend) and A Defense of Intelligence, a 1945 speech given at a meeting organized by Amitié Française, Why Spain?, Reflections on the Guillotine, and Create Dangerously
  • Lyrical and Critical Essays 1970 – essays, L’envers et l’endroit, Noces, and L’Eté
  • Youthful Writings 1976

Brown, Norman O. 1913-2002

  • Life Against Death 1959
  • Love’s Body 1966

Hyppolite, Jean 1907-1968 ce

  • A spoken Commentary on Freud’s ‘Verneinung’. in J. Lacan. Ecrits. 1966 (transl. Bruce Fink, W.W. Norton & Company 2006). pp.746-754
  • Studies on Marx and Hegel. 1955,1969
  • Logic and Existence. 1952

Lacan, Jacques 1901-1981 ce

  • Response to Jean Hyppolite’s Commentary on Freud’s ‘Verneinung’, Ecrits. 1966 (transl. Bruce Fink, W.W. Norton & Company 2006). pp. 318-333

Fanon, Frantz 1925-1961

  • The Fact of Blackness 1952
  • Black Skin, White Mask 1952
  • Wretched of the Earth 1961

Laing, R.D. 1927-1989 ce

  • The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness. Penguin. 1960
  • The Self and Others. 1961

Todes, Samuel 1927-1994 ce america

  • Body and World 1963,1990

Deleuze, Gilles 1925-1995 ce and Félix Guattari 1930-1992 ce

  • Anti-Oedipus 1972,1977
  • Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature 1975,1986
  • A Thousand Plateaus 1976 - “Rhizome” 1976, “Nomadology: The War Machine” 1986

Becker, Ernest 1924-1974 ce

  • The Denial of Death 1973

Lyotard, Jean-François 1924-1998 ce

  • Libidinal Economy 1974
  • The Inhuman: Reflections on Time 1991
  • Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime: Kant’s Critique of Judgment 1991

Kaufmann, Walter 1921-1980 ce

  • Existentialism, Religion, and Death 1976

Nagel, Thomas 1937- ce

  • The absurd 1971
  • Death 1979
  • Mortal Questions 1979

Hillman, James 1926-2011 ce

  • The Dream and the Underworld 1979

Yalom, Irvin 1931- ce

  • Existential Psychotherapy 1980
  • When Nietzsche Wept 1992
  • Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death 2008

Silverstein, Harry S.

  • The Evil of Death 1980

Baudrillard, Jean 1929-2007 ce France

  • Simulacra and Simulation 1983
  • The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact 2004
  • Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? 2007

Deleuze, Gilles 1925-1995 ce France

  • Nietzsche and Philosophy 1983
  • Empiricism and Subjectivity 1991
  • Pure Immanence 2001

Derrida, Jacques 1930-2004 ce

  • The Gift of Death 1992
  • The Animal That Therefore I Am 2008
  • The Beast and the Sovereign 2009,2011

Nancy, Jean-Luc 1940- ce

  • The Experience of Freedom 1988
  • A Finite Thinking 1990
  • Corpus 1992
  • The Sense of the World 1993

Kristeva, Julia 1941- ce

  • Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. 1982
  • Black Sun 1989

Kagan, Shelly 1956- ce

  • Death 1997

Thich Nhat Hanh 1926- ce

  • No Death, No Fear 2002

Nussbaum, Martha 1947- ce

  • The Damage of Death: Incomplete Arguments and False Consolations 2013

Ligotti, Thomas 1953- ce

  • The Conspiracy Against the Human Race 2010

Hagglund (Hägglund), Martin 1976- ce

  • Chronophobia: Essays on Time and Finitude 2002
  • Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life 2008
  • Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov 2012
  • This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom 2019

Thacker, Eugene

  • After Life 2010
  • In the Dust of This Planet 2011
  • Starry Speculative Corpse 2015
  • Tentacles Longer Than Night 2015
  • Cosmic Pessimism 2015
  • Infinite Resignation 2018
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