The Great Books

This 60 volume set of, arguably, the finest thinking in the Western tradition never fails to excite me.  

The high price of $995 represents one of the great bargains around.

In one set, you get English translations of the greatest books (History, Philosophy, Science, and Literature) in the Western canon, from Homer to Freud, with everyone from Plato and Aristotle to Locke, Hobbs, Rouseau, Hegel, and Marx in between.

I think of all those books as free after I spend some time in the first two volumes, the Syntopicon.  

Imagine, a compilation of all these volumes based on the 104 ideas that have shaped our world.  This allows us to look at concepts like Law, Libery, and Love across our entire written culture.  What did Plato think, Aristotle, Locke, Hobbs, or Freud think of these concepts.  How has Western thinking around these ideas evolved?  It’s all here, summarized, explained, and indexed down to the quarter page in the 57 other volumes.  A mind tingling and boggling intellectual acheivement and tool set.

Amazingly, these are often available used locally, check craigslist, for under $400.

Can I recommend the investment?   Do you think?

More about the Great Books of the Western World.

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