To facilitate student learning, GEF puts together a set of anthologies of the required readings, resulting in two textbooks: In Dialogue with Humanity and In Dialogue with Nature. The readings are accompanied by carefully written introductions tailored for GEF students. The latest editions of these textbooks are the fourth edition released in January 2016 for In Dialogue with Humanity and the revised second edition released in August 2016 for In Dialogue with Nature. GEF would like to thank the authors and publishers who allowed our reproduction of these materials. 

Read samples of the course books:

Volume 1
cover humanity1 s

Volume 2
cover humanity2 s

cover nature s


    In Dialogue with Humanity

Table of Contents

  • Copyright Acknowledgements pdf logo

  • Foreword: The Ideal Education and the General Education Foundation Programme

  • Introduction pdf logo

Volume 1

  • Symposium / Plato

  • from 《論語》 (The Analects)

  • from 《莊子》(Zhuangzi) / 莊子 (Zhuangzi)

  • 〈般若之心〉(The Heart of Understanding) / 一行禪師 (Thich Nhat Hanh)

  • from 《聖經》(The Bible)

Volume 2

  • from The Qur'an

  • from 《明夷待訪錄》 (Waiting for the Dawn) / 黃宗羲 (Huang Zongxi)

  • from The Social Contract / Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • from On Liberty / John Stuart Mill

  • from The Wealth of Nations / Adam Smith

  • from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 / Karl Marx


    In Dialogue with Nature

Table of Contents

  • Copyright Acknowledgementspdf logo

  • Illustration Credits

  • Letter to Students

  • Notes on editing

  • Introduction to "In Dialogue with Nature" pdf logo

Part I: Human Exploration of the Physical Universe

  • Introduction

  • from Republic / Plato

  • from The Beginnings of Western Science/ David C. Lindberg

  • from The Birth of a New Physics / I. Bernard Cohen

  • from The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy / Isaac Newton 

Part II: Human Exploration of the World of Life

  • Introduction

  • from On The Origin of Species / Charles Darwin

  • from DNA: The Secret of Life / James D. Watson

  • from Silent Spring / Rachel Carson

Part III: Our Understanding of Human Understanding

  • Introduction

  • from Science and Method / Henri Poincaré

  • from In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind / Eric R. Kandel
  • from The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China / Joseph Needham

  • from Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China — or Didn't It? / Nathan Sivin

  • from 《新校正夢溪筆談》(Brush Talks from Dream Brook) / 沈括 (Shen Kua)

  • from The Mathematical Universe / William Dunham

  • from Elements / Euclid