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By: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America

Arguably, one of the most influential and insightful pieces of work concerned with American political life, Democracy in America directs itself towards American politics and society, and is considered to be one the best books written on the subject. Published in 2 volumes, in 1835 and 1840, Tocqueville records his findings after studying the thriving nation in his nine month exploratory journey. The young French aristocrat first came to America on an official assignment to study the American penal system, but instead used this as a pretext to study American society...

By: Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Meditations

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and philosopher who wrote Meditations; insights which were considered to give the meaning of life. The book was not written with the intent to be published. It offers a noteworthy chain of challenging situations which are a reflection on spirituality and enumerate the struggle to understand oneself and one's role in the universe. Written in the style of a journal, Meditations emphasizes that life in this world is short. Aurelius was a stoic philosopher who had influenced the thoughts of many leaders in his time...

By: Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell The Problems of Philosophy

Published in 1912, The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell is one of his most popular books. It renders philosophical issues and questions in a way in which they become relevant and accessible to the man or woman on the street, provoking them to devote time and effort into thinking about these aspects of life. Here, the great philosopher and humanist thinker Bertrand Russell examines the importance of empirical (that which can be verified by observation or experience rather than deduced from logic or reasoning) thinkers like David Hume and George Berkeley the Anglo-Irish philosopher and scientist...

Book cover Proposed Roads to Freedom

Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872 – 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, political activist and Nobel laureate. He led the British “revolt against idealism” in the early 1900s and is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. In this book, written in 1918, he offers his assessment of three competing streams in the thought of the political left: Marxian socialism, anarchism and syndicalism.

Book cover Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays

By: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Studies in Pessimism by Arthur Schopenhauer Studies in Pessimism

Arthur Schopenhauer, an early 19th century philosopher, made significant contributions to metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. His work also informed theories of evolution and psychology, largely through his theory of the will to power – a concept which Nietzsche famously adopted and developed. Despite this, he is today, as he was during his life, overshadowed by his contemporary, Hegel. Schopenhauer’s social/psychological views, put forth in this work and in others, are directly derived from his metaphysics, which was strongly influenced by Eastern thought...

Book cover The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer: the Wisdom of Life
Book cover The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; On Human Nature
Book cover The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Religion, a Dialogue, Etc.
Book cover Essays of Schopenhauer
Book cover The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims
Book cover The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; the Art of Controversy
Book cover The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; The Art of Literature

By: David Hume (1711-1776)

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

The Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a shortened and simplified version of Hume’s masterpiece A Treatise of Human Nature. It sought to reach a wider audience, and to dispel some of the virulent criticism addressed toward the former book. In it, Hume explains his theory of epistemology, and argues against other current theories, including those of John Locke, George Berkeley, and Nicolas Malebranche.

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, philosopher David Hume examines whether belief in God can be rational. The work takes the form of a debate between three characters: Cleanthes, who argues that the existence and nature of God can be empirically verified; Demea, who argues that God is completely beyond human knowledge; and Philo, a philosophical skeptic widely thought to represent Hume’s own beliefs. Much of the debate centers around Cleanthes’ presentation of the analogical argument from design...

A Treatise Of Human Nature by David Hume A Treatise Of Human Nature

This book, published in two volumes called “books” by the author, is a treatment of everything from the origin of our ideas to how they are to be divided. It includes important statements of Scepticism and Hume’s experimental method. Part 1 deals with the nature of ideas. Part 2 deals with the ideas of space and time. Part 3 deals with knowledge and probability. Part 4 deals with skeptical and other systems of philosophy, including a discussion of the soul and personal identity.This is a recording of Volume I (or Book 1). Volume II (which contains Books 2 and 3) is in production at the moment.

Book cover Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

By: Laozi

The Tao Teh King, or the Tao and its Characteristics by Laozi The Tao Teh King, or the Tao and its Characteristics

Written in classical Chinese some time during the sixth century BC, The Tao Teh King or The Tao and its Characteristics is a classical Chinese text that is one of the important keystones in understanding the thought systems of Asia. Though no clear records exist, it is traditionally thought to have been the work of the sage Lao Tzu, the founder of classical Taoism. He is reputed to have been a contemporary of Confucius, though this is also shrouded in mystery. However, many succeeding emperors and dynasties have claimed that he lived in their eras...

By: Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Book cover The Advancement of Learning
Book cover Valerius Terminus; of the interpretation of nature

By: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

The Sadhana: Realisation of Life by Rabindranath Tagore The Sadhana: Realisation of Life

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, and novelist whose work reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. Sadhana is a collection of essays, most of which he gave before the Harvard University, describing Indian beliefs, philosophy and culture from different viewpoints, often making comparison with Western thought and culture.

Creative Unity by Rabindranath Tagore Creative Unity

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore talks of the many things he feels is necessary for creativity through joy of unity, he covers many topics like the creative ideal, makes comparisons of creativity between the east and the west, the spirit of freedom and about his idea of an University.

By: Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

Utopia by Sir Thomas More Utopia

He was a trusted aide of Henry VIII, but when he supposedly opposed the monarch's second marriage, he was thrown into prison and executed for treason. More than two hundred years later, he was canonized as the patron saint of statesmen and politicians by the Catholic Church. Philosopher, writer, diplomat, lawyer, Renaissance man, avid gardener, humanist thinker and statesman are only some of the words used to describe him. A lifelong opponent of Protestantism who was rumored to have had heretics imprisoned, murdered and burned at the stake, Thomas More is even today an enigmatic figure...

By: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil by Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil

Books 1 and 2. Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil is a book written in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes. The book concerns the structure of society (as represented figuratively by the frontispiece, showing the state giant made up of individuals). In the book, Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by a sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war – situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto bellum omnium contra omnes (”the war of all against all”) – could only be averted by strong central government...

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov The Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town...

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Regarded as the one of the earliest examples of feminist philosophy, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is written as a direct response to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a French politician who delivered a report to the French National Assembly suggesting that women should only receive domestic education and additionally encourages women to stay clear of political affairs. In her treatise, Wollstonecraft avidly criticizes this inadequate perception of women as an inferior sex and attacks social inequality, while also arguing for women’s rights in the hope of redefining their position both in society and in marriage...

By: Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

More Goops and How Not to Be Them by Gelett Burgess More Goops and How Not to Be Them

Deep in the heart of every parent is the wish, the desire, to have other adults tell us, in an unsolicited way, just how very polite one’s child is! This perhaps was even more the case in 1903, when Gelett Burgess produced his second book on the Goops. With entertaining cartoons – cariacatures of misbehaving children – he described many different breaches of tact and good manners. Burgess wrote several books of poetry on the Goops, each poem describing some significant way in which an unthoughtful or unkind child could offend polite society and often offering the hope that the listener would never behave that way...

By: Alfred Binet (1857-1911)

The Mind and the Brain by Alfred Binet The Mind and the Brain

Today, almost every layperson understands the concept of intelligence tests and can glibly discuss IQ scores. In fact, these have become so common in the popular imagination that magazines, websites and pop quizzes offer to assess your intelligence at the drop of a hat! In this scenario, it's interesting to recall the very first person who proposed the concept of measurable intelligence. Alfred Binet was basically a clinical psychologist whose wide-ranging interests in learning difficulties faced by school children prompted him to undertake extensive studies in human cognition, psychology, learning and behavior...

By: Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916)

Philosophy and Fun of Algebra by Mary Everest Boole Philosophy and Fun of Algebra

Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916) was born Mary Everest in England and spent her early years in France. She married mathematician George Boole. She was the author of several works on teaching and teaching mathematics in particular. This short book, Philosophy and Fun of Algebra, is meant to be read by children and introduces algebra and logic. She uses the word “algebra” broadly, defining it as a “method of solving problems by honest confession of one’s ignorance”. Using this definition, Boole introduces, in a conversational manner, the concepts of logic and algebra, illustrating these concepts with stories and anecdotes, often from biblical sources...

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

Book cover First and Last Things

By: William James (1842-1910)

Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James Essays in Radical Empiricism

William James (1842 – 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophies of pragmatism and Radical Empiricism. Essays in Radical Empiricism is a collection edited and published posthumously by his colleague and biographer Ralph Barton Perry in 1912. It was assembled from a collection of reprinted journal articles published from 1904–1905 which James had deposited in August 1906 at Harvard University, for supplemental use by his students.

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.

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: 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: 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.

Book cover The Ethics of the Dust

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 Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

Aphorisms from the Stoic Greek.

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: Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Book cover Martin Luther's 95 Theses

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”.


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