1600

Isaac Newton: Regulae Philosophandi or Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687

1700

Gottfried Leibniz: Monadology or Lehrsätze über die Monadologie, 1714

  • Author: Gottfried Leibniz

  • Published: 1714 (French), 1720 (German)

  • Reasons to read: the first (that we know of) and grandest attempt to conceive of the world as as a system, in particular as a system of "reflections" in which the state of every element recursively mirrors the state of the whole

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads, English: by Robert Latta, German: Gutenberg Projekt ┃ skb: yaml src

1800

Edwin A. Abbott: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, 1884

Gottlieb Frege: Grundgesetze der Arithmetik or Basic Laws of Arithmetic, 1893

  • Author: Gottlieb Frege

  • Reasons to read: the world limited by dimensions, also a social critic

  • Publisher: Seeley & Co. of London, 1893 (Volume I), 1903 (Volume II)

  • Links: Goodreads: en, Goodreads: de, PDF: de ┃ skb: yaml src

1910

Bertrant Russel: Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919

1920

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922

  • Author: Ludwig Wittgenstein

  • Published: 1921 (German, Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung), 1922 (English)

  • Reasons to read: picture theory, logical atomism, distinction between saying and showing, Wittgentstein’s ladder, proposition 7

  • Publisher: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & CO

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads, eBooks at Gutenberg Project, eBooks at UMass ┃ skb: yaml src

1930

Ludwig Fleck: Gensis and Development of a Scientific Fact, 1935

  • Author: Ludwig Fleck

  • Published: 1935 (German, Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache), 1979 (English)

  • Reasons to read: philosophy of science, social process of science

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

1950

W. Ross Ashby: An Introduction to Cybernetics, 1956

Theodor Seuss Geisel: The Sneetches and Other Stories, 1953

Joseph Needham: Science and Civilisation in China, 1954

  • Author: Joseph Needham

  • Reasons to read: the West was only one to make the leap from artisan to science

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

  • Links: Wikipedia ┃ skb: yaml src

Marie Neurath: How Machines Work, 1954

  • Author: Marie Neurath

  • Reasons to read: the most simple, yet expressive, introduction on machines :)

  • Publisher: Max Parrsih, London

  • Links: gallery with 3 pages, all pages ┃ skb: yaml src

Karl Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959

  • Author: Karl Popper

  • Published: 1934 (German, Logik der Forschung), 1959 (English)

  • Publisher: Hutchinson & Co

  • Reasons to read: "The first step is to state a hypothesis. To state a hypothesis, one must start with a theory to be invalidated", shows: you can never prove a theory correct; you can only invalidate it

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads, Online: English, PDF: English ┃ skb: yaml src

1960

Thomas Kuhn: Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962

  • Author: Thomas Kuhn

  • Reasons to read: philosophy of science

  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Norbert Wiener: Cybernetic OR Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, 1965

1970

Christopher Alexander: A Pattern Language, 1977

  • Author: Christopher Alexander

  • Reasons to read: (most) influential book on patterns, laid foundation for software patterns

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Christopher Alexander: The Timeless Way of Building, 1979

  • Author: Christopher Alexander

  • Reasons to read: "how to think about X", a new theory of architecture (and design in general) that relies on the understanding and configuration of design patterns

  • Is actually the introduction to A Pattern Language by the same author, though published later

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Samuel C. Florman: The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, 1976

  • Author: Samuel C. Florman

  • Reasons to read: to understand engineering, how engineers think and feel about their profession

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Imre Lakatos: Proofs and Refutations, 1976

  • Author: Imre Lakatos

  • Reasons to read: the way of thinking, “listen to the problem”

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Robert MacArthur: Geographical Ecology: Patterns in the Distribution of Species, 1972

  • Author: Robert MacArthur

  • Reasons to read: island of biogeography, "A field cannot consider itself a science until it can progress beyond natural history"

  • Publisher: Vintage

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

1980

Humberto R. Maturana et al.: The Tree of Knowledge, 1987

  • Authors: Humberto R. Maturana, Francisco J. Valera

  • Reasons to read: tbd

  • Publisher: Shambhala, Boston & London

  • Links: Goodreads, PDF ┃ skb: yaml src

1990

Gerald Edelman: Bright Air Brilliant Fire, 1992

  • Author: Gerald Edelman

  • Reasons to read: theory of Neural Darwinism feeds into Maturana quite nicely, the application of Edelman in Sacks’ Seeing Voices

  • Publisher: Basic Books

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Stuart Kaufmann: The Origins of Order, 1993

  • Author: Stuart Kaufmann * Reasons to read: works out the math and science in detail and shows that life is virtually inevitable, scientific version of "At home in the universe"

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Stuart Kaufmann: At Home in the Universe, 1996

  • Author: Stuart Kaufmann

  • Reasons to read: works out the math and science in detail and shows that life is virtually inevitable, Scientific American (popular science magazine) version of "The origins of order"

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Oliver Sacks: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, 1998

  • Author: Oliver Sacks

  • Reasons to read: aberrations of the human mind, contribute to Maturana’s view

  • Publisher: Touchstone

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

2000

John Day: Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals, 2007

  • Author: John Day

  • Reasons to read: fundamental patterns for network architecure, historic context, annectodal context

  • Publisher: Pearson Edition

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Stephen Jay Gould: The Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould, 2006

  • Author: Stephen Jay Gould

  • Reasons to read: wrote a monthly article for Natural History on evolution, the collections of his articles are a good primer in how stochastic processes work in the large

  • Publisher: Vintage

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Oliver Sacks: Seeing Voices, 2000

  • Author: Oliver Sacks

  • Reasons to read: aberrations of the human mind, contribute to Maturana’s view

  • Publisher: Vintage

  • Links: Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Lee Smolin: The Trouble with Physics, 2006

  • Author: Lee Smolin

  • Reasons to read: "groupthink" anti pattern, role of controversy and disagreement in the progress of science, professionalization has lead to selecting for “master craftsmen” to the almost complete exclusion of “seers.”

  • Publisher: Reed Business Information

  • Links: Wikipedia, online ┃ skb: yaml src

John C. Strassner: Policy-based Network Management: Solutions for the Next Generation, 2004

2010

David Deutsch: The Beginning of Infinity, 2011

  • Author: David Deutsch

  • Reasons to read: error is the normal state of our knowledge, good and bad philosophy

  • Publisher: Viking

  • Links: Wikipedia, Goodreads ┃ skb: yaml src

Andrew L. Russell: Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks, 2014

  • Author: Andrew L. Russell

  • Reasons to read: history of networks and network standards

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

  • Links: Goodread, Google Books ┃ skb: yaml src

Jason McC. Smith: Elemental Design Patterns, 2012