Classic Articles & Books

We have collected titles for about 2000 publications before 1995 that have been influential in the development of AI, for example, by introducing new concepts or methods or demonstrating a proof-of-concept.  As part of our virtual archive, we are adding URLs for onlne versions when we can find them.  Some publications have been digitized and put online here if they are not otherwise available.

Click on the title to see the digitized full text when it is available. Reorder the list by date, title, or author by clicking on one of the column headers in the classics table.

Information about the sources we used and the process for selecting entries may be found on the page Information about the Virtual Archive.

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Authors Title Yearsort descending Topics
Bacon, Francis The New Organon or True Directions concerning the interpretation of Nature 1620 Philosophy
Descartes, R. Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences 1637 Philosophy
Descartes, R. Meditations on first philosophy 1637 Philosophy, Consciousness
Hobbes, Thomas The Leviathan 1651 Philosophy
Arnauld, A. La logique, ou l'€™art de penser 1662 History, Philosophy, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Cardano, G. Liber de ludo aleae 1663 History, Uncertainty
Morland, Samuel The description and use of two arithmetick instruments 1673 History
Raphson, J. Analysis aequationum universalis 1690
Locke, John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1690 Nature of Intelligence, Philosophy
Arbuthnot, J. Of the Laws of Chance 1692 Uncertainty
Bernoulli, D. Specimen theoriae novae de mensura sortis 1738 Logic & Formal Reasoning
La Mettrie, J. O. L'Homme Machine 1748 Philosophy
Bayes, T. An essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances 1763 Bayesian Inference, Uncertainty
Legendre, A. M. Nouvelles méthodes pour la détermination des orbites des comètes 1805 History
Gauss, C. F. Theoria Motus Corporum Coelestium in Sectionibus Conicis Solem Ambientium 1809 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Laplace, P. Essai philosophique sur les probabilités 1816 History, Uncertainty
Hoffmann, E.T.A. The Sandman 1817 Science Fiction, SciFi Books & Authors, Science Fiction
Shelley, Mary Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus 1818 History, SciFi Books & Authors, Science Fiction
Fourier, J. Analyse des travaux de l’Académie Royale des Sciences, pendant l’année 1824; partie mathématique 1827 History
Poe, Edgar Allen MAELZEL’S CHESS-PLAYER 1836 Chess, History
Cournot, A. (Ed.) Recherches sur les principes mathématiques de la théorie des richesses 1838 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Lovelace, [Countess] A. A. Translator's notes to an article on Babbage's Analytical Engine 1842 History, People, Programs, Institutions
Mill, J. S. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and Methods of Scientific Investigation 1843 Philosophy, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Boole, George On a general method in analysis 1844 Philosophy, Representation & Reasoning, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Boole, G. The Mathematical Analysis of Logic: Being an Essay towards a Calculus of Deductive Reasoning 1847 Philosophy, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Boole, G. An Investigation of the Laws of Thought on Which are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities 1854 Philosophy, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Grassmann, H. Lehrbuch der Arithmetik 1861 History, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Mill, J. S. Utilitarianism 1863 Ethics & Social Issues, Philosophy
De Morgan, A. On the syllogism, No IV, and on the logic of relations 1864 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Butler, S. Erewhon 1865 The Future, Science Fiction, SciFi Books & Authors
Peirce, C. S. Description of a notation for the logic of relatives, resulting from an amplification of the conceptions of Boole's calculus of logic 1870 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Jevons, W. S. The Principles of Science 1874 History, Philosophy, Representation & Reasoning
Gauss, C. F. Beiträge zur theorie der algebraischen gleichungen 1876 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Schröder, E. Der Operationskreis des Logikkalküls 1877 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Johnson, W. W. and Story, W. E. Notes on the "15" puzzle 1879 15 Puzzle
Frege, G. Begriffsschrift, eine der arithmetischen nachgebildete Formelsprache des reinen Denkens 1879 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Tait, P. G. Note on the theory of the 15 puzzle 1880 15 Puzzle
Peirce, C. S. A theory of probable inference 1883 Logic & Formal Reasoning, Uncertainty
Peirce, C. S. Logical machines 1887 Philosophy, Representation & Reasoning, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Peano, G. Arithmetices principia, nova methodo exposita 1889 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Wells, H. G. The War of the Worlds 1898 AI Overview, Goals & Visions, The Future, SciFi Books & Authors, Science Fiction
Peirce, C. S. Logic as semiotic: The theory of signs 1902 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Couturat, Louis. Trans. by Donald Rutherford and R. Timothy Monroe The Logic of Leibniz (ca. 1679-1715) 1903 History, Philosophy
Jennings, H. S. Behavior of the Lower Organisms 1906 Neuroscience
Whitehead, A. N. and Russell, B. Principia Mathematica 1910 Philosophy, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Tattersall, C. A Thousand End-Games: A Collection of Chess Positions That Can be Won or Drawn by the Best Play 1911 Chess
Whitehead, A. N. An Introduction to Mathematics 1911 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Markov, A. A. An example of statistical investigation in the text of "Eugene Onegin" illustrating coupling of "tests" in chains 1913 Logic & Formal Reasoning
Zermelo, E. An application of set theory to the theory of chess-playing 1913 Chess, Logic & Formal Reasoning
Löwenheim, L. Über möglichkeiten im Relativ kalkül 1915 Logic & Formal Reasoning