87 critical theory books

87 Texts Every Critical Theorist Needs to Read

The following was posted to Reddit by user Adartesirhc. We have linked to the free public domain work where applicable. All other links are to Amazon.

Kant, Idealism, and Nietzsche:

# 1 Kant – Critique of Pure Reason

kant critique of pure reasonDownload the free ebook from Project Gutenberg.

#2 Kant – Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

groundwork moral kant

Read it for free here.

#3 Fichte – An Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation

fichte critique pure revelation

Buy it here.

#4 Hegel – The Phenomenology of Spirit

Phenomenology hegelBuy it here.

#5 Hegel – Philosophy of History

hegel history of philosophyBuy it here.

#6 Schopenhauer – The World as Will and Representation

schopenhauer will representation

Read it for free here.

#7 Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil

beyond good and evil nietzscheRead it for free here.

#8 Nietzsche – On the Genealogy of Morals

nietzsche geneology of moralsRead it for free here.

#9 Nietzsche – Twilight of the Idols

twilight of the idols nietzscheBuy it here.

  • TrevorSG
  • bernardza

    Interesting list. I would add:
    Du Bois. Souls of Black Folk
    Fanon, F. Black Skin, White Masks (arguably a richer text of critical theory than Wretched of the Earth, without denying the latter’s importance)
    Mbembe, A. On the Postcolony.
    Postone, M. Time, Labor and Social Domination.

    • Critical Theory

      The first two are on my reading list as well. Haven’t heard of the second two.

  • Epicurus

    No Arendt? A huge shortcoming.

  • Damos

    I noticed all these have incredibly artsy, eye catching covers.

  • David Michael Mullins

    No Derrida, Arendt, or Paul De Man, and yet all the deconstructive postcolonial and feminist people? And Agamben, whose entire project is enabled by deconstruction? For shame!

  • Abbas

    Why there is no sign of Arendt’s “Human Condition”, “Eichmann in Jerusalem” and “The Life of Mind”?

  • RW

    Third for adding Arendt, The Human Condition at least.

  • Razvan Repciuc

    Riiiiiight; I’m supposed to assume that these texts have been adequately read and studied by the fine folk that recommend and discuss this list.