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By: Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919)

Book cover Riddle of the Universe

The Riddle of the Universe is the philosophical work of Ernst Haeckel, eminent biologist, in which he explores the meaning of life, the nature of reality, and the connection between physiology and thought.

By: Hereward Carrington (1880-1958)

Book cover Your Psychic Powers and How to Develop Them

Instructions in how to develop your psychic powers including telepathy, clairvoyance, self-projection, reincarnation, and other topics. Seriously. "It must be distinctly understood … that I believe the vast bulk of the material presented in this book to be sound and helpful; the practical instructions are good, and the reader cannot go far wrong in following them. May he develop his own psychic powers, and gain light and understanding thereby!" (From Author’s Preface)

By: William Blake (1757-1827)

Book cover Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The work was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. The title is an ironic reference to Emanuel Swedenborg's theological work Heaven and Hell published in Latin 33 years earlier. Swedenborg is directly cited and criticized by Blake several places in the Marriage. Though Blake was influenced by his grand and mystical cosmic conception, Swedenborg's conventional moral structures and his Manichean view of good...

Book cover Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The work was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. The title is an ironic reference to Emanuel Swedenborg's theological work Heaven and Hell published in Latin 33 years earlier. Swedenborg is directly cited and criticized by Blake several places in the Marriage. Though Blake was influenced by his grand and mystical cosmic conception, Swedenborg's conventional moral structures and his Manichean view of good...

By: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Book cover Physics

Physics (Greek: Φυσικὴ ἀκρόασις; Latin: Physica, or Physicae Auscultationes) discusses concepts including: substance, accident, the infinite, causation, motion, time and the Prime Mover.

By: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Book cover Character Building

Character Building is a compilation of speeches, given by Mr. Booker T. Washington, to the students and staff of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now known as Tuskegee University).Booker T. Washington was one of the most prominent leaders in advancing African-American civil rights. Born into slavery and freed as a young boy, he rose through the ranks of education to eventually earn his position as principal of Tuskegee. Under his guidance, the school was built, by students and for students, to give them a deeply meaningful education...

By: Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

Book cover Age of Reason (version 2)

The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a pamphlet, written by a British and American revolutionary Thomas Paine. The Age of Reason challenges institutionalized religion and challenges the legitimacy of the Bible, the central sacred text of Christianity. Published in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, it was a bestseller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Part 1 was written sometime in 1793, and attacks the concepts of divine revelation and inspiration...

By: Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Book cover Letters of a Post-Impressionist

“Being the Familiar Correspondence of Vincent Van Gogh ... [Van Gogh's] art was appreciated during his life only by a very few and it is but within recent years that it has found admirers who in many cases have been most ardently enthusiastic. Of the following letters, some were addressed to his brother and the remainder to his friend E. Bernard.

By: James Barr Walker (1805-1887)

Book cover Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation

The book is a series of independent demonstrations, the results of which accumulate to the final conclusion, that the Christian religion is necessarily the only religion possible to meet the spiritual wants of mankind. In arriving at this conclusion, the different arts and processes of revealed religion are examined, and their adaptedness to perform their several functions in elevating, purifying, and actuating the human soul to benevolent effort, is determined, and, finally, the practical operation of the system is shown, as a matter of undeniable experience, to produce the complete and necessary result required...

By: Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

Book cover Exotics and Retrospectives

Lafcadio Hearn, born 1850 in Greece, went to Japan when he was 40 years old and became a Japanese citizen only 6 years later. His writings about Japan from the beginning of the Meiji era, when the country was just opening to the West, remain among the most important explanations of Japanese culture. This book contains in the first part, "Exotics", his observations of and personal insights into Japan. For example, Fuji no Yama tells about him climbing the highest mountain in Japan; and A Question in the Zen Texts, Literature of the Dead, and Of Moon Desire try to explain Buddhist teachings...

By: John Churton Collins (1848-1908)

Book cover Posthumous Essays of John Churton Collins

John Churton Collins was a literary critic who lived from 1848-1908. In 1904 John Collins became professor of English literature at Birmingham University (United Kingdom). He writes about the lives of English and German authors beginning with William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and ending with Alfred, Lord Tennyson(1809-1892). He wrote the book in response to On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, by Thomas Carlyle (1840). His son, L.C. Collins, collected these essays from various sources after his father's death. Additional proof-listening by Larry Wilson.

By: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Book cover Magna Moralia

Magna Moralia (Ancient Greek: ΗΟΙΚΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΩΝ, English: Great Ethics) discusses topics including friendship, virtue, happiness and God. It is disputed whether Aristotle wrote Magna Moralia. This author concludes that it is absurd to suggest that God contemplates only God but does not propose an alternative activity for God.

By: William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932)

Book cover Mental Fascination

This book looks at the Followers of the New Thought movement of the early 20th century who believed in the concept of "mind over matter," It introduces us to the mental fascination among animals . the rationale of fascination . experimental fascination . the phenomena of induced imagination . the dangers of psychism . Oriental fascination . and much more. From 1901 to 1905 William Walker Atkinson was the editor of a magazine New Thought and editor of the journal Advanced Thought from 1916 to 1919. Certainly gives you food for thought.

By: William James (1842-1910)

Book cover Some Problems of Philosophy

For several years before his death Professor William James cherished the purpose of stating his views on certain problems of metaphysics in a book addressed particularly to readers of philosophy. He began the actual writing of this 'introductory text-book for students in metaphysics,' as he once called it, in March, 1909, and to complete it was at last his dearest ambition. But illness, and other demands on his diminished strength, continued to interfere, and what is now published is all that he had succeeded in writing when he died in August, 1910.

By: C. W. Leadbeater (1854-1934)

Book cover Astral Plane: Its Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena

As sceptics dismissed other-worldly phenomena as the stuff of legend, trickery or delusion, nineteenth-century 'occult science' set out to explain them scientifically. Here, C. W. Leadbeater maps out the scenery and inhabitants of the astral plane, accounting along the way for phenomena such as the journey of the soul after death, magic and sorcery, vampires and werewolves, pixies, gnomes and fairies, ghosts and shades, and communication with the departed in the seance room. A leading figure in the...

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)

Book cover Tusculan Disputations

Tusculan Disputations (Latin: TUSCULANARUM DISPUTATIONUM) is divided into five books which discuss death, pain, grief, perturbations and virtue. At issue is whether wise people can always be happy regardless of the apparent evil that fortune throws in their way. Andrew Peabody says the A. and M. in the text may stand for Auditor, Adolescens, Atticus or Aulus and Marcus or Magister. Written by Marcus Tullius Cicero. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge.

By: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Book cover World As Will and Idea, Vol. 1 of 3

In this work, Schopenhauer explains his fundamental idea that at the root of the reality we see around us is a Will that eternally, insatiably seeks to be satisfied. Each human Subject observes the Objects around her from the perspective of that fundamental Will working within each person. The human observer is distracted by the details of life and individual distinctions that obscure this Will; only by penetrating this “principium individuationis” (which is enslaved by the cause-and-effect tyranny of the Principle of Sufficient Reason) can the observer perceive the essential Thing-In-Itself...

By: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Book cover Dissertation Concerning the Nature of True Virtue

Disproportionately remembered as a hellfire-and-brimstone Puritan preacher on the basis of the excessively-anthologized "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Jonathan Edwards was a noted philosopher in the field of Aesthetics, or the metaphysics of Beauty. An examination even of his sermons reveals constant references to this philosophical preoccupation, his favorite word in many passages seeming to be "Sweetness," by which term he intended to convey a rich sense of Beauty. In "A Dissertation...

By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Book cover My Confession

"My Confession" is a brief autobiographical story of Leo Tolstoy's struggle with a mid-life existential crisis of melancholia. It describes his search for answers to the profound questions "What will come of my life?" and "What is the meaning of life?", without answers to which life, for him, had become "impossible." Tolstoy reflects on the arc of his philosophical life until then: his childhood abandonment of his Russian orthodox faith; his mastery of strength, will, power, and reason; and how, after he had achieved tremendous financial success and social status, life to him seemed meaningless...

By: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Book cover World as Will and Idea, Vol. 2 of 3

In this work, Schopenhauer explains his fundamental idea that at the root of the reality we see around us is a Will that eternally, insatiably seeks to be satisfied. Each human Subject observes the Objects around her from the perspective of that fundamental Will working within each person. The human observer is distracted by the details of life and individual distinctions that obscure this Will; only by penetrating this “principium individuationis” (which is enslaved by the cause-and-effect tyranny of the Principle of Sufficient Reason) can the observer perceive the essential Thing-In-Itself...

By: Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Book cover Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

Bertrand Russell wrote 'Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy' while imprisoned for protesting Britain's involvement in World War I. Russell summarizes the significance of the momentous work of mathematicians in the late nineteenth-century. He further describes his own philosophy of mathematics, Logicism (the view that all mathematical truths are logical truths), and his earlier, influential work solving the paradoxes that plagued mathematical foundations, which crystallized after ten years of dogged effort into the co-authored (with Alfred North Whitehead), three-volume 'Principia Mathematica'...

By: John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902)

Book cover Human Sacrifice

This was one of Lord Acton's essays, that was in response to the publication of the letters between Sir Robert Peel and Lord Macaulay. Lord Acton hoped to refute the common prejudice that the religious practice of sacrificing human victims was not always carried out by unfeeling and uncivilized people, but was in some cases the development of an advanced theology. At the insistence of Lord Stanhope, Acton published the essay in the Home And Foreign Review in 1863.

By: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Book cover World as Will and Idea Volume 1

Schopenhauer used the word "will" as a human's most familiar designation for the concept that can also be signified by other words such as "desire," "striving," "wanting," "effort," and "urging." Schopenhauer's philosophy holds that all nature, including man, is the expression of an insatiable will to life. It is through the will that mankind finds all their suffering. Desire for more is what causes this suffering. He used the word representation (Vorstellung) to signify the mental idea or image of any object that is experienced as being external to the mind...

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

Book cover Quatrains of Omar Khayyam of Nishapur

In 1906, Eben Francis Thompson,scholar and poet, published a limited edition of his translation of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam. This edition contains 878 quatrains, and represents the most extensive translation of Omar's rubai in any language.In the Introduction, Nathan Haskell Dole writes: Mr Thompson has put into English verse this whole body of Persian poetry. It is a marvel of close translation, accurate and satisfactory. He has succeeded in doing exactly what he set out to do - to add nothing and to take nothing away, but to put into the typical quatrain, as determined by Fitzgerald and others, exactly what Omar and his unknown imitators said.

By: Bhartṛhari (c. 400-500)

Book cover Vairagya Shatakam

Vairagya Shatakam is one of the best books that gives the true picture of Renunciation. The book talks on how a common man gets lured by the endless desires which when satisfied fetches him nothing but the desires again. It concludes saying how these unsatiable desires mislead the man from knowing his real nature-omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience!

By: Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)

Book cover Theologico-Political Treatise

Written by the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus or Theologico-Political Treatise was one of the most controversial texts of the early modern period. It was a preemptive defense of Spinoza's later work, Ethics, published posthumously in 1677, for which he anticipated harsh criticism. In the treatise, Spinoza put forth his most systematic critique of Judaism, and all organized religion in general. Spinoza argued that theology and philosophy must be kept separate, particularly in the reading of scripture...

By: Prentice Mulford (1834-1891)

Book cover Thoughts are Things (Version 2)

Prentice Mulford was also instrumental in the founding of the popular philosophy, New Thought, along with other notable writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Mulford's book, Thoughts are Things, served as a guide to this new belief system and is still popular today.

By: Various

Book cover American Philosophy Collection Vol. 1

This collection of articles in early 20th Century American philosophy focuses on the topics of realism, experience, and ideas, with particular attention to the pragmatic naturalism of John Dewey. In tracks 1-5, Dewey responds to critics of his famous article “The Postulate of Immediate Empiricism” (available in Short Nonfiction Collection Vol.034). Tracks 6-12 constitute a series of pointed debates between Dewey and E. B. McGilvary on the topics of time, ideas, and reality. Tracks 13-16 include stand-alone articles on related topics, including Dewey’s influential critique of “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology...

By: May Sinclair (1863-1946)

Book cover Defence of Idealism

The philosophy of Idealism, revived in eighteenth-century Europe by George Berkeley, argued against philosophical materialism by maintaining that Reality is a creation of the Mind. Despite its flourishing under the leadership of Hegel, Fichte, Schopenhauer, and Schelling, Idealism had definitely fallen into decline late in the nineteenth century and early in the twentieth. May Sinclair, the writer of many popular but philosophically provocative novels and part-time World War I ambulance corps-person, was an unlikely one to take up the torch of the old school and try to revive it yet again for the twentieth century...

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Book cover Quintessence of Ibsenism

George Bernard Shaw, a playwright with a few bones to pick of his own, undertakes a surgical analysis of the social philosophies underlying the work of Henrik Ibsen. Focusing his analysis on Ibsen's challenge to the conventional "ideals" which both Ibsen and Shaw consider the greatest evils in human society, Shaw summarizes and exposits sixteen of Ibsen's plays, seizing the opportunity to elucidate some of the principles dearest to himself. Some of the most striking passages reveal Shaw's radical feminist perspectives, some of which resonate as if a half-century ahead of their time...

By: Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Book cover Philosophy of Logical Atomism

'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism' is a series of lectures by Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) that touches on numerous topics, including the nature of propositions, the relations of propositions to facts and of different types of words to the varieties of things, what kinds of facts there are, existence, monism and pluralism, and aspects of philosophical logic and of reference. Guiding the lectures, at least according to Russell's headnote to his lectures, is Russell's intent to fully flesh out ideas he learned from his former pupil, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951).

Book cover Our Knowledge of the External World: As a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy

Bertrand Russell gave the Lowell Lectures in March and April of 1914; these lectures produced 'Our Knowledge of the External World'. Russell attempts to analyze the relationship of the crude data of our senses to the notions of physics such as space, time, and matter. Russell takes his analysis to illustrate the method of logical analysis used to such wonderful effect by thinkers in the late nineteenth-century to the notions of continuity, infinity, and the infinitesimal. These analyses effected...


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