The Great Discussion

Since ancient times, man has asked, "what is true about the world? What is good? What is evil? Does God exist? What are man's obligations to God? What are man's obligations to society?" These and other questions, and the answers that men have written constitute what has been called The Great Discussion. A formal study of these questions is part of a study of philosophy, but it is only in the last few decades that the study of philosophy has been restricted to "experts." In the past, knowledge of the Great Discussion was considered a vital part of every civilized person's basic education.

We think it is still a crucial part of education. Reading the classics will give us a perspective that is broader than the merely contemporary. Every age has its own outlook, talent at seeing certain truths—and proneness to certain mistakes. As C. S. Lewis wrote,

"...we all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of own period. And that means the old books...The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes."

His concluding advice?

"It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones."

Students should read the ideas of great authors and thinkers for themselves, rather than just textbooks which sift the ideas through another person's view. But they should do this in light of God's word, evaluating the words of human authors by the Word of truth. The books in this section often include more mature content, and are usually at a more difficult reading level. To stretch your level of reading and wrap your mind around new—or old!—ideas, this is the place to start!

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204 Items found Print
Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches
Dover Thrift Editions
by Abraham Lincoln & John Grafton, editor
from Dover Publications
Political Philosophy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$2.00
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Robert Fitzgerald
from Vintage Classics
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$16.00 $8.50 (1 in stock)
Aeneid
by Virgil, translated by Robert Fagles
from Penguin Putnam
for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$19.00
Aeschylus I: The Oresteia (old)
The Complete Greek Tragedies
by Aeschylus (translation by Richmond Lattimore)
from University of Chicago
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Clearance: Literature (Location: ZCLE-LIT)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Aeschylus II: The Oresteia
The Complete Greek Tragedies
by Aeschylus (translation by Richmond Lattimore)
3rd edition from University of Chicago
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$14.00
Aeschylus' Oresteia
Penguin Classics
by Aeschylus (translation by Robert Fagles)
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$16.00
Aeschylus' Oresteia
by Aeschylus, translated by Peter Meineck
from Hackett Publishing Company
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.50
Aeschylus' Oresteian Trilogy
Penguin Classics
by Aeschylus, translated by Phillip Vellacott
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Greek Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.00 $7.00 (1 in stock)
Annals
by Tacitus, translated with introduction & notes by A.J. Woodman
from Hackett Publishing Company
for Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Annals of Imperial Rome
Penguin Classics
by Tacitus
from Penguin Classics
Historical Non-Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$19.00
Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works
Oxford World's Classics
by Anselm, edited and introduction by Brian Davies and Gillian Evans
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$14.95 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
Signet Classics
by Patrick Henry & John DeWitt
from Signet Classics
American Political Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$7.95
Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
by Patrick Henry & John DeWitt
from Dover Publications
American Political Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$6.00
Antigone
Dover Thrift Editions
by Sophocles, translated by Sir George Young
from Dover Publications
Ancient Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$3.00 $2.00 (2 in stock)
Antigone
by Sophocles
from Hackett Publishing Company
Ancient Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$10.50
Antony and Cleopatra
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$4.00
As You Like It
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Comedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.00
As You Like It
Illustrated Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare, illustrated by Hugh Thomson
from Gramercy Books
Comedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
Bacchae and Other Plays
Penguin Classics
by Euripides (translation by John Davies)
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Tragedy for 11th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$12.00
Bacchae and Other Plays
Penguin Classics
by Euripides (translation by Phillip Vellacott)
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Tragedy for 11th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.00
Basic Writings of St. Anselm
by St. Anselm of Canterbury
2nd edition from Open Court Publishing
Medieval Theology for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings
Signet Classics
by Benjamin Franklin
Reprint from Signet Classics
Autobiography for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$5.95
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Frederick Rebsamen)
from HarperCollins
Medieval Poetic Epic for 8th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$9.99
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Seamus Heaney)
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Medieval Poetic Epic for 8th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$15.95
Beowulf
Dover Thrift Editions
by Anonymous, translated by R. K. Gordon
from Dover Publications
Medieval Epic for 8th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$3.00
Beowulf
by Anonymous, translated by Seamus Heaney
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Medieval Poetic Epic for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$24.95
Bondage of the Will
by Martin Luther
from Revell Publishing
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.50 (1 in stock)
Bondage of the Will
by Martin Luther, translated by J. I. Packer and O. R. Robinson
from Baker Academics
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$24.99
Bondage of the Will
by Martin Luther, translated by Henry Cole
from Canon Press
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$12.95
Bondage of the Will
by Martin Luther, translated by Henry Cole
from Feather Trail Press
for Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Bondage of the Will
by Martin Luther, translated by Henry Cole
from Baker Books
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Canterbury Tales
Penguin Classics
by Geoffrey Chaucer (edited by Nevill Coghill)
from Penguin Classics
Medieval Poetry for 8th-12th grade
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$11.00
Canterbury Tales
by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated by David Wright
from Oxford University
for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$8.95
City of God
Penguin Classics
by Augustine of Hippo (translated by Henry Bettenson)
from Penguin Classics
Ancient/Medieval Theology for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$18.00
Common Sense
Dover Thrift Editions
by Thomas Paine
from Dover Publications
Political Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$4.00
Communist Manifesto
Penguin Classics
by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
from Penguin Classics
Political Philosophy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00
Communist Manifesto
Penguin Classics
by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
from Penguin Classics
Political Philosophy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Complete English Poems of John Donne
Penguin Classics
by John Donne
from Penguin Classics
Lyrical Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Poetry (Location: POET-GEN)
$21.00
Confessions of Saint Augustine
Penguin Classics
by Augustine of Hippo (introduction & translation by R.S. Pine-Coffin)
from Penguin Classics
Autobiography/Devotional Material for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$10.00
Confessions of Saint Augustine
Penguin Classics
by Augustine of Hippo (translation by John K. Ryan)
from Image
Autobiography/Devotional Material for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$17.00
Confessions of Saint Augustine
Penguin Classics
by Augustine of Hippo (translation by Maria Boulding)
from Vintage Classics
Autobiography/Devotional Material for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$14.95
Confessions of Saint Augustine
Penguin Classics
by Augustine of Hippo (translation by Garry Wills)
from Penguin Classics
Autobiography/Devotional Material for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$16.00
Confessions of Saint Augustine
by Augustine of Hippo (translation by Sarah Ruden)
from Modern Library
Autobiography/Devotional Material for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$16.00
Confessions of Saint Augustine
by Augustine of Hippo (translation by Thomas Williams)
from Hackett Publishing Company
Autobiography/Devotional Material for 11th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Constitution of the United States of America
by Founding Fathers
from Applewood Books
Primary Source Documents for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$9.95
Constitution of the United States of America with the Declaration of Independence
by Founding Fathers
from Fall River Press
Primary Source Documents for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History
Dover Thrift Editions
by John Grafton, editor
from Dover Publications
Primary Source Documents for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$4.00
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
by Edward Gibbon
from Modern Library
Historical Non-Fiction for 11th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
Democracy in America
Penguin Classics
by Alexis De Tocqueville
from Penguin Classics
American Government for 11th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$15.00
Democracy in America
by Alexis De Tocqueville
from Harper Perennial
American Government for 11th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$22.99
Democracy in America
Penguin Classics
by Alexis De Tocqueville
from Bantam Books
American Government for 11th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Divine Comedy - Dorothy Sayers trilogy
Penguin Classics
by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers and Barbara Reynolds
from Penguin Putnam
Medieval Allegory/Poetic Epic for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$39.95
Divine Comedy I
Penguin Classics
by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers
from Penguin Classics
Medieval Allegory/Poetic Epic for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$16.00
Divine Comedy II
Penguin Classics
by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers
from Penguin Classics
Medieval Allegory/Poetic Epic for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$15.00
Divine Comedy III
Penguin Classics
by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers & Barbara Reynolds
from Penguin Classics
Medieval Allegory/Poetic Epic for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$16.00
Early History of Rome
by Livy
from Penguin Classics
Historical Non-Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$16.00
Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Penguin Classics
by Bede (translation by Leo Sherley-Price)
from Penguin Classics
Church History for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$15.00
Ecclesiastical History of the English People
by Bede (edited by Judith McClure & Roger Collins)
from Oxford University
Church History for 10th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$13.95
Essay Concerning Human Understanding
by John Locke
from Penguin Classics
Political Philosophy for 11th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$17.00
Eusebius: The Church History
by Eusebius & Paul L. Maier (translator)
from Kregel Publications
Church History for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Eusebius: The Church History
by Eusebius & Paul L. Maier (translator)
from Kregel Publications
Church History for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$19.99
Eusebius: The Church History
by Eusebius & Paul L. Maier (translator)
from Kregel Publications
Church History for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$32.99
Faerie Queene
Penguin Classics
by Edmund Spenser
from Penguin Classics
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$22.00
Faerie Queene Book 1
by Edmund Spenser, edited with an introduction by Carol V. Kaske
from Hackett Publishing Company
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$15.00
Faerie Queene Book 2
by Edmund Spenser
from Hackett Publishing Company
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$14.00
Faerie Queene Book 3 & 4
by Edmund Spenser
from Hackett Publishing Company
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$16.00
Faerie Queene Book 5
by Edmund Spenser
from Hackett Publishing Company
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$14.00
Faerie Queene Book 6
by Edmund Spenser
from Hackett Publishing Company
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$14.00
Faerie Queene Books 1-6
by Edmund Spenser
from Hackett Publishing Company
Allegory/Epic Poetry for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$68.40
Fear and Trembling
by Soren Kierkegaard
Reprint from Penguin Putnam
for 11th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Federalist Papers
Signet Classics
by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay
from Signet Classics
American Political Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$7.95
Federalist Papers
Dover Thrift series
by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay
from Dover Publications
American Political Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$7.00
Five Dialogues of Plato
by Plato, translated by G.M.A. Grube, revised by John M. Cooper
2nd edition from Hackett Publishing Company
Ancient Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Five Great Dialogues of Plato
by Plato
2nd edition from Walter J. Black, Inc.
Ancient Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in Walter J. Black Classics Club (Location: VIN-LITWJB)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Gorgias
Penguin Classics
by Plato
from Penguin Classics
Ancient Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$10.00
Gorgias
Oxford World's Classics
by Plato
from Oxford University
Ancient Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$8.95 $6.00 (2 in stock)
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
by John Bunyan
from Hendrickson Publishers
Autobiography for 10th-Adult
in Hendrickson Christian Classics (Location: XCL-DEV)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Great Dialogues of Plato
Signet Classics
by Plato
from Signet Classics
Ancient Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$6.95
Greek Lives
by Plutarch, translated by Robin Waterfield
1st Reissue from Oxford University
Biography for 11th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.95
Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift
from Oxford University
Satire/Social Commentary for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$7.95
Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift, illustrated by Warren Chappell
from Oxford University
Satire/Social Commentary for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$9.00 (2 in stock)
Gulliver's Travels
Puffin Classics
by Jonathan Swift
from Puffin Books
Satire/Social Commentary for 9th-Adult
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$7.99
Gulliver's Travels
Penguin Classics
by Jonathan Swift
from Penguin Classics
Satire/Social Commentary for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
Hamlet
The Pelican Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare
from Penguin Putnam
Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Henry V
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$4.00
Henry V
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$9.99
Henry VI Part 1
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$9.99
Henry VI Part 2
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$9.99
Henry VI Part 3
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$9.99
Henry VIII
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$9.99
Histories
Penguin Classics
by Herodotus (translation by Aubrey De Sélincourt)
from Penguin Classics
Historical Non-Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$13.00
Histories
Everyman's Library
by Herodotus (translation by George Rawlinson)
from Everyman's Library
Historical Non-Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Histories
Penguin Classics
by Herodotus (translation by Robin Waterfield)
from Oxford University
Historical Non-Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$10.95 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Histories
Penguin Classics
by Herodotus (translation by David Grene)
from University of Chicago
Historical Non-Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$16.00
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Penguin Classics
by Edward Gibbon
from Penguin Putnam
Historical Non-Fiction for 11th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
Iliad
Everyman's Library
by Homer (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$23.00
Iliad
by Homer (translation by Robert Fagles)
from Penguin Putnam
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$20.00
Iliad
by Homer (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Ancient Literature for 11th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$17.00
Iliad
by Homer (translation by Robert Fagles)
from Penguin Putnam
for 11th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$18.00
Iliad
by Homer (translation by Robert Fitzgerald)
from Franklin Library
Ancient Literature/Epic Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
123