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By: William James (1842-1910)

Book cover Varieties of Religious Experience

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 1901 and 1902. These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century.

The Moral Equivalent of War by William James The Moral Equivalent of War

The Moral Equivalent of War, the last public utterance of William James, is significant as expressing the opinions of a practical psychologist on a question of growing popular interest. For the past fifteen years the movement for promoting international peace has been enlisting the support of organizations and individuals the world over. That this is a question on which much may be said for the opposition, James, though a pacificist, admits with his usual fair-mindedness, pointing out that militarism...

Book cover Pragmatism

'Pragmatism' contains a series of public lectures held by William James in Boston 1906–7. James provides a popularizing outline of his view of philosophical pragmatism while making highly rhetorical and entertaining lashes towards rationalism and other competing schools of thought. James is especially concerned with the pragmatic view of truth. True beliefs should be defined as, according to James, beliefs that can successfully assist people in their everday life. This is claimed to not be relativism...

Book cover The Will to Believe : and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy
Book cover Meaning of Truth
Book cover Memories and Studies

By: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)

Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution

In the heat of the failed 1905 revolution in Russia, Lenin here contrasts the precision of the Bolshevik political program and tactics with various inconsistent and servile factions within the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party.

By: M. M. Mangasarian (1859-1943)

The Truth About Jesus.  Is He a Myth? by M. M. Mangasarian The Truth About Jesus. Is He a Myth?

The following work offers in book form the series of studies on the question of the historicity of Jesus, presented from time to time before the Independent Religious Society in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 1909. No effort has been made to change the manner of the spoken, into the more regular form of the written, word.

By: Evelyn Underhill

The Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today by Evelyn Underhill The Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today

Underhill emphasizes the practical, here-and-now nature of spiritual life. She argues that spirituality is a genuine and abiding human fact, and that any complete description of human life must find room for the spiritual factor, and for the religious life in which it finds expression.

By: Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

Book cover Philosophical Letters of Frederich Schiller

By: Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913)

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. It was first published in 1906, and has since been republished many times. – In the book, Kakuzo introduces the term Teaism and how Tea has affected nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, thought, and life. The book is noted to be accessibile to Western audiences because though Kakuzo was born and raised Japanese, he was trained from a young age to speak English; and would speak it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating his thoughts in the Western Mind...

By: William George Jordan (1864-1928)

The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan The Majesty of Calmness

Change your life by changing your thoughts. The Majesty of Calmness is your guide to attracting prosperity, manifesting opportunities, and managing stress–all while discovering the values most precious to you.

By: John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Lectures on Landscape by John Ruskin Lectures on Landscape

A series of lectures on landscape painting delivered at Oxford in 1871, by artist, critic, and social commentator, John Ruskin.

Unto this Last:  Four Essays on the First Principles of Political Economy by John Ruskin Unto this Last: Four Essays on the First Principles of Political Economy

John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) is best known for his work as an art critic and social critic, but is remembered as an author, poet and artist as well. Unto This Last is an important work of political economic though that influenced Gandhi, among others. (Hugh McGuire/Wikipedia)

Book cover The Ethics of the Dust

By: John Locke (1632-1704)

Two Treatises of Civil Government by John Locke Two Treatises of Civil Government

The Two Treatises of Civil Government is a work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke. The First Treatise is an extended attack on Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, which argued for a divinely-ordained, hereditary, absolute monarchy. The more influential Second Treatise outlines a theory of civil society based on natural rights and contract theory. Locke begins by describing the “state of nature,” and goes on to explain the hypothetical rise of property and civilization, asserting that the only legitimate governments are those which have the consent of the people...

A Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke A Letter Concerning Toleration

Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke was originally published in 1689. Its initial publication was in Latin, though it was immediately translated into other languages. In this “letter” addressed to an anonymous “Honored Sir” (actually Locke’s close friend Philip von Limborch, who published it without Locke’s knowledge) Locke argues for a new understanding of the relationship between religion and government. One of the founders of Empiricism, Locke develops a philosophy that is contrary to the one expressed by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan, primarily because it supports toleration for various Christian denominations...

By: John Locke (1632-1704)

Book cover Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

John Locke's essays on human understanding answers the question “What gives rise to ideas in our minds?”. In the first book Locke refutes the notion of innate ideas and argues against a number of propositions that rationalists offer as universally accepted truth. In the second book Locke elaborates the role played by sensation, reflection, perception and retention in giving rise to simple ideas. Then he elaborates on how different modes, substances and relations of simple ideas (of the same kind) give rise to complex ideas v...

By: Epictetus (c.55-135)

The Enchiridion by Epictetus The Enchiridion

Epictetus (Greek: Επίκτητος; c.55–c.135) was a Greek Stoic philosopher. The name given by his parents, if one was given, is not known – the word epiktetos in Greek simply means “acquired.” Epictetus spent his youth as a slave in Rome to Epaphroditos, a very wealthy freedman of Nero. Even as a slave, Epictetus used his time productively, studying Stoic Philosophy under Musonius Rufus. He was eventually freed and lived a relatively hard life in ill health in Rome. So far as is known, Epictetus himself wrote nothing...

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

Aphorisms from the Stoic Greek.

By: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Introduction to The Philosophy of History by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Introduction to The Philosophy of History

The introduction to Hegel’s lectures on the philosophy of world history is often used to introduce students to Hegel’s philosophy, in part because Hegel’s sometimes difficult style is muted in the lectures, and he discourses on accessible themes such as world events in order to explain his philosophy. Much of the work is spent defining and characterizing Geist or spirit. Geist is similar to the culture of people, and is constantly reworking itself to keep up with the changes of society, while at the same time working to produce those changes through what Hegel called the “cunning of reason”...

By: George Santayana (1863-1952)

Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy by George Santayana Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy

Before the beginning of World War II, during the time of the Modernist movement in philosophy, George Santayana wrote these five descriptive essays. He examined John Locke’s sensationalism, British Idealism, the “Theory of Relativity”, Freud’s psychology, and Julien Benda’s preachment on the relations between God and the world. [Summary written by Gary Gilberd]

Book cover The Life of Reason volume 1

The Life of Reason, subtitled "the Phases of Human Progress", is a book published in five volumes from 1905 to 1906, by Spanish-born American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952). It consists of Reason in Common Sense, Reason in Society, Reason in Religion, Reason in Art, and Reason in Science. The work is considered to be the most complete expression of Santayana's moral philosophy [...]. Santayana's philosophy is strongly influenced by the materialism of Democritus and the refined ethics of Aristotle, with a special emphasis on the natural development of ideal ends...

Book cover The Sense of Beauty Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory
Book cover Winds of Doctrine: Studies in Contemporary Opinion

Even before the Great War turned the world upside down, Western civilization was being revolutionized at all levels: intellectually, philosophically, artistically. Noted positivist philosopher George Santayana published this volume on the eve of the War, trying to portray the status of philosophy and theology at that moment by analyzing six significant topics: 1. the intellectual "temper" of the age 2. the clash between Modernism and Christianity 3. the new idealism of Henri Bergson 4. the new skepticism of Bertrand Russell 5. Shelley's fusion of philosophy and poetry 6. the so-called "genteel" tradition in American philosophy.

By: Henry L. Mencken (1880-1956)

In Defense of Women by Henry L. Mencken In Defense of Women

In Defense of Women is H. L. Mencken’s 1918 book on women and the relationship between the sexes. Some laud the book as progressive while others brand it as reactionary. While Mencken didn’t champion women’s rights, he described women as wiser in many novel and observable ways, while demeaning average men. According to Mencken’s biographer, Fred Hobson: Depending on the position of the reader, he was either a great defender of women’s rights or, as a critic labelled him in 1916, ‘the greatest misogynist since Schopenhauer’,'the country’s high-priest of woman-haters.’

By: Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)

The Conquest of bread by Peter Kropotkin The Conquest of bread

In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society.

By: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Book cover Case of Wagner / Nietzsche Contra Wagner / Selected Aphorisms

A collection of three of Nietzsche's writings concerning the music of Wagner. In particular, he relates Wagner's music as degenerate, unrefined and unintelligent and relates it to a gradually degenerating German culture and society. The translator provides a detailed introduction.

By: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Book cover Homer and Classical Philology
Book cover We Philologists Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8
Book cover Thoughts out of Season Part I

By: Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

Erewhon by Samuel Butler Erewhon

Erewhon, or Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler, published anonymously in 1872. The title is also the name of a country, supposedly discovered by the protagonist. In the novel, it is not revealed in which part of the world Erewhon is, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be read as the word Nowhere backwards, even though the letters “h” and “w” are transposed. It is likely that he did this to protect himself from accusations of being unpatriotic, although Erewhon is obviously a satire of Victorian society.

Book cover Erewhon Revisited
Book cover Selections from Previous Works and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals

By: Varous

Ancient Greek Philosopher-Scientists by Varous Ancient Greek Philosopher-Scientists

The Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, that is, the philosopher-scientists who lived before or contemporaneously to Socrates, were the first men in the Western world to establish a line of inquiry regarding the natural phenomena that rejected the traditional religious explanations and searched for rational explanations. Even though they do not form a school of thought, they can be considered the fathers of philosophy and many other sciences as we have them now. None of their works is extant, so, in this collection, we present the textual fragments, when existing, of ten Pre-Socratic philosopher-scientists, and quotations and testimonials about them left by later authors...

By: Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Book cover Of the Shortness of Life

De Brevitate Vitae ("Of the Shortness of Life") is a moral essay written by Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoic philosopher, to his friend Paulinus. The philosopher brings up many Stoic principles on the nature of time, namely that men waste much of it in meaningless pursuits. According to the essay, nature gives man enough time to do what is really important and the individual must allot it properly. In general, time can be best used in the study of philosophy, according to Seneca.

By: Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Book cover Martin Luther's 95 Theses

By: Nagarjuna

She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom) by Nagarjuna She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom)

The She-rab Dong-bu (Tree of Wisdom) is a metrical translation in Tibetan of a Sanscrit ethical work entitled Prajnya Danda, written by Nagarjuna who flourished in the fourth century of the Buddhist era (about 100 B.C.), The Tibetan version was probably made about the 11th century of our era but the exact date has not been determined. It is included in the Ten-gyur, ངོ་ section, volume གོ་, beginning at leaf 165. The Tibetan translator describes it as the second volume but I cannot say whether the remainder of the work has been preserved in Tibetan – the Sanscrit original is apparently lost.

By: Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

Has a Frog a Soul? by Thomas Henry Huxley Has a Frog a Soul?

Thomas Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his championing and development of Darwinism, was perhaps the most important Victorian biologist after Darwin himself. This speech to the Metaphysical Society in 1870 is one of Huxley’s best known texts outside the sphere of his specialism, and remains read today by students of philosophy. In it, Huxley argues from the results of vivisection to metaphysics.

By: Rupert Brooke

Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke by Rupert Brooke Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke

Rupert Chawner Brooke (August 3, 1887 – April 23, 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic War Sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier), as well as for his poetry written outside of war, especially The Old Vicarage, Grantchester and The Great Lover. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”.

By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

Book cover Machiavelli, Volume I

By: Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

The Philosophy of Style by Herbert Spencer The Philosophy of Style

“The Philosophy of Style,” explored a growing trend of formalist approaches to writing. Highly focused on the proper placement and ordering of the parts of an English sentence, [Spencer] created a guide for effective composition. Spencer’s aim was to free prose writing from as much “friction and inertia” as possible, so that the reader would not be slowed by strenuous deliberations concerning the proper context and meaning of a sentence.

Book cover Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I

By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland

Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society comprised entirely of Aryan women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination. It first appeared as a serial in Perkin’s monthly magazine Forerunner.

By: Winston Churchill (1871-1947)

Book cover The Inside of the Cup

By: Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

An Introduction to Metaphysics by Henri Bergson An Introduction to Metaphysics

An Introduction to Metaphysics (Introduction a la Metaphysique) is a 1903 essay by Henri Bergson that explores the concept of reality. For Bergson, reality occurs not in a series of discrete states but as a process similar to that described by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Reality is fluid and cannot be completely understood through reductionistic analysis, which he said “implies that we go around an object”, gaining knowledge from various perspectives which are relative. Instead, reality can be grasped absolutely only through intuition, which Bergson expressed as “entering into” the object.

Book cover Laughter : an Essay on the Meaning of the Comic
Book cover Creative Evolution

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Book cover Academica
Book cover The Academic Questions, Treatise De Finibus, and Tusculan Disputations, of M.T. Cicero, With a Sketch of the Greek Philosophers Mentioned by Cicero

By: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe The Jew of Malta

Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death. The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean...

By: William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932)

Book cover Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga

The Book talks on the internal world of the self. The real nature of the subconscious mind, the way to control it, how ego comes into play and most frequently asked questions like "Who am I" are attempted to answer.

By: St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Book cover Book of the Foundations

Essentially the sequel to The Life of St. Teresa, Teresa recounts the foundations of the Discalced Carmelite monasteries in Spain, both for men and women. This book tells of all the triumphs and troubles, and about the many people who helped her.(Introduction by Ann Boulais)

By: Blaise Pascal

Pensées by Blaise Pascal Pensées

Pascal’s Pensées is widely considered to be a masterpiece, and a landmark in French prose. When commenting on one particular section (Thought #72), Sainte-Beuve praised it as the finest pages in the French language. Will Durant, in his 11-volume, comprehensive The Story of Civilization series, hailed it as “the most eloquent book in French prose.” In Pensées, Pascal surveys several philosophical paradoxes: infinity and nothing, faith and reason, soul and matter, death and life, meaning and vanity—seemingly arriving at no definitive conclusions besides humility, ignorance, and grace. Rolling these into one he develops Pascal’s Wager.

Book cover Pascal's Pensées

By: Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933)

Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe Bushido: The Soul of Japan

Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe was one of the first books on samurai ethics that was originally written in English for a Western audience, and has been subsequently translated into many other languages (also Japanese). Nitobe found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control, and he uses his deep knowledge of Western culture to draw comparisons with Medieval Chivalry, Philosophy, and Christianity.

By: Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is the only book-length philosophical work published by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein during his lifetime. He wrote it as a soldier and a prisoner of war during World War I. The slim volume (fewer than eighty pages) comprises a system of short statements, numbered 1, 1.1, 1.11, 1.12, etc., through to 7, intended to be such that 1.1 is a comment on or elaboration of 1, 1.11 and 1.12 comments on 1.1, and so forth. It is an ambitious project to identify the relationship between language and reality and to define the limits of science.

By: Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty by Jeremy Bentham Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights who influenced the development of liberalism. The essay Offences Against One’s Self (c. 1785), argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexuality. The essay remained unpublished during Bentham’s lifetime for fear of offending public morality...

An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Jeremy Bentham's Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence, first published in 1789, focuses on the principle of utility and how this view of morality ties into legislative practices. Bentham's ambition in life was to create a complete Utilitarian code of law. The philosophy of utilitarianism argues that the right act or policy is that which would cause "the greatest good for the greatest number of people", also known as "the greatest happiness principle", or the principle of utility...

By: Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori The Montessori Method

In the early 1900’s Dr. Maria Montessori began to reform educational methods with her work the ‘Case dei Bambini’ in Rome, Italy. Montessori began her work by developing methods to educate mentally retarded children, the method she developed was used with several children who at age eight took the state examinations in reading and writing, the children passed with above average scores. Because of this success (which is known as the ‘first Montessori Miracle’) Dr. Montessori was asked to open a school for children in Rome which she did...


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