Explore the Core Texts and extended Bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Whenever an open source is available, the title will direct you to the online text. Please keep in mind that the online source may present an alternative version or a different translation of the featured text.


  • Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. 2nd ed. Trans. T. Irwin. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1999. 
  • Aurelius, Marcus. The Emperor’s Handbook. Trans. C. Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks. New York: Scribner, 2002.
  • The Bible: Authorized King James VersionNew York: Oxford UP, 2008. (Ecclesiastes)
  • Camus, Albert. “The Myth of Sisyphus.” In The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. Trans. Justin O’Brian. New York: Vintage, 1991.
  • Chekhov, Anton. Ward No.6In Stories. Trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. New York: Bantam Books, 2000.
  • Confucius. The Analects. Trans. Raymond Dawson. Oxford World Classics, Oxford University Press, 2008. 
  • Epictetus. The HandbookTrans. N. P. White. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983.
  • Epicurus. The Essential Epicurus: Letters, Principle Doctrines, Vatican Sayings and Fragments. Trans. E.M. O’Connor. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993.
  • Frankl, Viktor. Man’s Search for Meaning. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.
  • Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha. Trans. Hilda Rosner. New York: Bantam Books, 1971.
  • Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey. Trans. Stephen Mitchell. London, UK: Frances LincolnLtd, 2009.
  • Merton, Thomas. The Way of Chuang Tzu. New York: A New Directions Book, 2010.
  • Pico della Mirandolla, Giovanni. Oration on the Dignity of Man. In Renaissance Philosophy of Man. Edited by Ernst Cassirer, Paul Oskar Kristeller, and John H. Randall jr.
  • Rahula, Walpola. What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada.New York: Grove Press, 1974.
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul. The Wall. Trans. Lloyd Alexander. In The Wall and Other Stories. 3rd ed. New Directions, 1969.
  • Schopenhauer, Arthur. “On the sufferings of the world” and “On the vanity of existence.” In Studies in Pessimism, On Human Nature, And Religion: A Dialogue. Trans. T. Bailey Saunders. Stilwell, KS: Digireads.com Publishing, 2008.
  • Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilyich. In The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories. Trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. New York: Vintage, 2010.
  • ______. A Confession. In A Confession and Other Religious Writings. Trans. Jane Kentish. New York: Penguin Classics, 1988.
  • Yalom, Irvin. “Meaninglessness,” and “Meaninglessness and Psychotherapy.” In Existential Psychotherapy. New York: BasicBooks, 1980.


Alter, Robert. The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation with Commentary. Trans. Robert Alter. W.W. Norton & Company, 2011.

Barrett, William. Irrational Man. 2nd ed. New York: Anchor Books, 1990.

Bartholomew, Craig G. Ecclesiastes. Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms. Ed. Tremper Longman III. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing, 2009.

Benatar, David, ed. Life, Death, and Meaning; Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010.

Bodhidhama. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987.

Buddhist Scriptures. Trans. Conze, Edward. New York: Penguin Classics, 1959. 

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage, 1988.

Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. Trans. Justin O’Brian. New York: Vintage, 1991.

Carroll, David. “Rethinking the Absurd: Le Mythe de Sisyphe” in The Cambridge Companion to Camus. Edited by Edward J. Hughes. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007.

Cassirer, Ernst, Paul Oskar Kristeller, and John H. Randall jr., eds. Renaissance Philosophy of Man. Kessinger Publishing, 2010.

Chang, Chung-yuan. Creativity and Taoism. A Study of Chinese Philosophy, Art and Poetry. 2nd ed. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011.

Chekhov, Anton. Stories. Trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. New York: Bantam Books, 2000.

Christianson, Eric S., ed. Ecclesiastes Through the Centuries. Blackwell Bible Commentaries. Malden, MA:Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

Dalai Lama. How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life. Trans. and ed. Jeffrey Hopkins. New York:Simon & Schuster, 2002.

Davidson, Harriet. “Improper desire: reading The Waste Land.”In Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot. Ed. A. David Moody. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2000.

Deutsch, Eliot and Ron Bontekoe, eds. A Companion to World Philosophies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.

Eliot, T. S. The Waste Land and Other Poems. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt, 1962.

________. The Waste Land. Norton Critical Edition. Ed. Michael North. W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.

Harvey, Peter. “The Life of the Buddha.” In An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990.

Hesse, Hermann. Pilgrim of Crisis: A Biography. Fromm International, 1997.

Feynman, Richard P. The Meaning of It All. Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist. Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1998.

Hadot, Pierre. Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault. Trans. Michael Chase.Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1995.

________. What Is Ancient Philosophy? Trans. Michael Chase. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004.

Harvey, Peter. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1990.

Hesse, Hermann. My Belief: Essays on Life and Art. Gordonsville, VA: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1982.

Inwood, Brad, Lloyd P. Gerson, eds. & transl. The Stoic Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2008.

Irvine, William B. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

Ivanhoe, P.J. “Human Beings and Nature in Traditional Chinese Thought.” In A Companion to World Philosophies. Edited by Deutsch, E., and R. Bonteke. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.

Jaffé, Aniela. The Myth of Meaning in the Work of C. G. Jung. Trans. R.F.C. Hull. Einsiedeln Switzerland: Daimon Verlag, 1986.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Edited by Aniela Jaffé. Trans. Richard and Clara Winston. New York: Vintage Books, 1963.

Kahneman, Daniel, Ed Diener, and Norbert Schwarz, eds. Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1999.

Kalupahana, David J. A History of Buddhist Philosophy: Continuities and Discontinuities, Honolulu, Hawaii: The University Press of Hawaii, 1992.

May, Rollo, Ernest Angel, and Henri F. Ellenberger, eds. Existence. Jason Aronson Inc, 1994.

________. The Discovery of Being: Writings in Existential Psychology. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 1983.

________. A Man’s Search for Himself. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.

O’Keefe, Tim. Epicureanism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Plato. The Trial and Death of Socrates. 3rd ed. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2001.

Rahula, Walpola. What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada.New York: Grove Press, 1974. 

Redsand, Anna. Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living. New York: Clarion Books, 2006.

Ryken, Philip G. Ecclesiastes: Why Everything Matters. Preaching the Word Series. Ed. R. Kent Hughes.Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. No Exit and Three Other Plays. Trans. S. Gilbert. New York: Vintage, 1989.

________. Existentialism is a Humanism. Trans. Carol Macomber. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2007.

________. Being and Nothingness. Trans. Hazel E. Barnes. Washington Square Press, 1993.

Schopenhauer, Arthur. Studies in Pessimism, On Human Nature, And Religion: A Dialogue. Trans. T. Bailey Saunders. Stilwell, KS: Digireads.com Publishing, 2008.

Sellars, John. Stoicism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.

Shusterman, Richard. “Eliot as philosopher.” In Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot. Ed. A. David Moody.Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2000.

Solomon, Robert. The Passions: Emotions and the Meaning of Life. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1993.

Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be. 2nd ed. New Haven & London: Yale UP, 2000.

Unamuno, Miguel de. The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations. Trans. Anthony Kerrigan. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1972.

Watts, Alan. What is Tao? Novato, California: New World Library, 2000.

Waley, Arthur, ed. and trans. The Way and Its Power: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought. New York: Grove Press, 1958.

Willis, Ben. The Tao of Art: The Inner Meaning of Chinese Art and Philosophy. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2000. (originally published by Random House, 1987).

Yalom, IrvinExistential Psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books, 1980.

Young-Eisendrath, Polly. “Jung and Buddhism: Refining the Dialogue.” In The Cambridge Companion to Jung. Edited by Polly Young-Eisendrath and Terence Dawson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008.