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By: Sun Tzu (c. 554 BC - c. 496 BC)

The Art of War by Sun Tzu The Art of War

The Art of War is a 6th Century BC Chinese treatise on war and military strategy known for its timeless examples of strategy and planning. There is intense interest in this ancient work since it teaches how to be victorious in conflict and that the final victory ultimately is to see war as an effort to win minds and hearts rather than a mere acquisition of territory and wealth. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a two thousand year old work, reputedly authored by a famous military general and strategist who lived in ancient China...

By: the Three Initiates (1908)

The Kybalion by the Three Initiates The Kybalion

The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy is a 1908 book claiming to be the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, published anonymously by a group or person under the pseudonym of “the Three Initiates”. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

By: The Three Initiates

Book cover Kybalion (version 2)

The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy is a 1908 book claiming to be the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, published anonymously by a group or person under the pseudonym of "the Three Initiates". The Kybalion was first published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society and is now in the public domain, and can be found on the internet. The book purports to be based upon ancient Hermeticism, though many of its ideas are relatively modern concepts arising from the New Thought movement. The book early on makes the claim that it makes its appearance in one's life when the time is appropriate and includes variations of material found in the book of Proverbs...

By: Théodule Ribot (1839-1916)

Essay on the Creative Imagination by Théodule Ribot Essay on the Creative Imagination

“It is quite generally recognized that psychology has remained in the semi-mythological, semi-scholastic period longer than most attempts at scientific formulization. For a long time it has been the “spook science” per se, and the imagination, now analyzed by M. Ribot in such a masterly manner, has been one of the most persistent, apparently real, though very indefinite, of psychological spooks. Whereas people have been accustomed to speak of the imagination as an entity sui generis, as a...

By: Thomas Browne

Religio Medici and Hydriotaphia by Thomas Browne Religio Medici and Hydriotaphia

Religio Medici (The Religion of a Doctor) sets out Sir Thomas Browne's spiritual testament as well as being an early psychological self-portrait. In its day, the book was a European best-seller. It was published in 1643 by the newly-qualified physician, and its unorthodox views placed it swiftly upon the Papal Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1645. Although predominantly concerned with Christian faith, the Religio also meanders into digressions upon alchemy, hermetic philosophy, astrology, and physiognomy...

By: Thomas H. Burgoyne (1855-1894)

The Light of Egypt, vol II by Thomas H. Burgoyne The Light of Egypt, vol II

"The Light of Egypt" will be found to be an Occult library in itself, a textbook of esoteric knowledge, setting forth the "wisdom Religion" of life, as taught by the Adepts of Hermetic Philosophy. It will richly repay all who are seeking the higher life to carefully study this book, as it contains in a nutshell the wisdom of the ages regarding man and his destiny, here and hereafter. The London and American first edition, also the French edition, Vol. I, met with lively criticism from Blavatsky Theosophists, because it annihilates that agreeable delusion of "Karma" and "Reincarnation" from the minds of all lovers of truth for truth's sake.

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: 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: Thomas Paine

The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine The Age of Reason

A Universalist book, The Age of Reason advocates for the existence of natural religion and challenges the structure of all organized religion. First written and distributed as pamphlets, the book was later published into two parts. Paine puts forward his personal beliefs, debating reason and revelation, while analyzing the Bible and the influence organized religion has on society. Exploring topics including natural religion, criticism of corrupt religious institutions, and distinction between rationality and blind faith in the supernatural, the book presents a guide for the conscious and free spiritual thinkers...

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: Thomas R. Malthus (1766-1834)

An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas R. Malthus An Essay on the Principle of Population

The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison with the second (Malthus).

By: Thomas Troward (1847-1916)

The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science by Thomas Troward The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science

Thomas Troward was a divisional Judge in British-administered India. His avocation was the study of comparative religion. Influences on his thinking, as well as his later writing, included the teachings of Christ, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. After his retirement from the judiciary in 1896, Troward set out to apply logic and a judicial weighing of evidence in the study of matters of cause and effect. The philosopher William James characterized Troward’s Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science as "far and away the ablest statement of philosophy I have met, beautiful in its sustained clearness of thought and style, a really classic statement...

By: Twentieth Century New Testament

Twentieth Century New Testament by Twentieth Century New Testament Twentieth Century New Testament

Published in 1904, The Twentieth Century New Testament is considered the first translation of the Bible into modern English. It was produced in Britain over a period of 15 years by approximately 20 people -- ministers, housewives, school teachers and businessmen -- who were united by their desire for a New Testament in the language of the people. They were advised by such scholars as J. Rendel Harris and Richard Weymouth so their rendering is quite accurate. In addition they made some effort at rearranging the New Testament books in the order scholars believe they were written -- Mark comes before Matthew, for instance...

By: Unknown

The Dhammapada by Unknown The Dhammapada

The Dhammapada is is a Buddhist scripture, containing 423 verses in 26 categories. According to tradition, these are verses spoken by the Buddha on various occasions, most of which deal with ethics. It is is considered one of the most important pieces of Theravada literature. Despite this, the Dhammapada is read by many Mahayana Buddhists and remains a very popular text across all schools of Buddhism. – Excerpted from Wikipedia

Book cover Oscar Wilde: Art and Morality. A Defence of The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Who can help laughing when an ordinary journalist seriously proposes to limit the subject-matter at the disposal of the artist?” “We are dominated by journalism…. Journalism governs for ever and ever.” One of the nastiest of the British tabloids was founded a year too late to join in the moral panic generated to accompany Oscar Wilde’s court appearances in 1895. Yet there was no shortage of hypocritical journalists posing as moral arbiters to the nation, then as now. This compendium...

Book cover Cratylus

Cratylus (ΚΡΑΤΥΛΟΣ) discusses whether things have names by mere convention or have true names which can only be correctly applied to the object named and may have originated from God.

Book cover Philebus

Philebus (ΦΙΛΗΒΟΣ) discusses pleasure, wisdom, soul and God.

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

Book cover Book of Life

Faith and reason, love and virtue, morality and mortality! In these two short volumes the famous novelist, essayist, and playwright, Upton Sinclair, confided his most prized worldly wisdom for generations to come. His kind and witty personal advice both provokes and enlightens page by page.

By: Various

Short Nonfiction Collection by Various Short Nonfiction Collection

A collection of ten short essays or other short nonfiction works in the public domain.

Soren Kierkegaard, Various Readings by Various Soren Kierkegaard, Various Readings

The writings listed here represent books about Soren Kierkegaard. A fragment of his work, On the Dedication to "That Single Individual", has made it to the public domain. Who was Soren Kierkegaard? He was a Danish philosopher and religious author; b. Copenhagen May 6, 1813; d. there Nov. 11, 1855. His father, Michael, a clothing merchant, once cursed God when he was young. This one incident caused him so much distress that it affected him with a deep melancholy, which he transferred to poor Soren...

Poems and Prose for the Departed by Various Poems and Prose for the Departed

This is a collection of short poems and readings, both religious and secular, on death and bereavement.

Girl Scout Collection by Various Girl Scout Collection

These articles, pamphlets, and stories relating to the Girls Scouts of America touch on the history, activities, ideals, and traditions of this remarkable girls' organization. Though some of the articles appear redundant, they were selected to represent a contemporary view spanning five years of the organization's early popularity (1917-1921). Of significance are the detailed descriptions of Girl Scout involvement in war work during what is now known as World War I. Girl Scouts were prepared through their training for merit badges to be independent, resourceful, reliable, and helpful...

Catholic and Anti-Catholic History by Various Catholic and Anti-Catholic History

G.K. Chesterton and James Walsh join Hilaire Belloc in an energetic rollout of the means by which history becomes propaganda, to the damage, not only to truth, but to the human soul.

Book cover John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

This biography is actually a series of essays by prominent personalities of the time that shed light on John Stuart Mill's life and areas of endeavor. Those areas include his experiences in India House, his moral character, certain botanical explorations, how effective he was as a critic, studies in morals and the law, and discoveries concerning political economy. They also explore ideas concerning his influence on institutions of higher learning, accomplishments as a politician, and fame as a philosopher.

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: 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: Voltaire (1694-1778)

Zadig, or the Book of Fate by Voltaire Zadig, or the Book of Fate

Zadig, ou La Destinée, (”Zadig, or The Book of Fate”) (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire’s own day. The book is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself...

By: Voltairine de Cleyre

Selected Essays by Voltairine de Cleyre Selected Essays

Voltairine de Cleyre (1866–1912) was, according to Emma Goldman, “the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced.” Today she is not widely known as a consequence of her short life. De Cleyre was especially influenced by Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft and Clarence Darrow. After the hanging of the Haymarket protesters in 1887, she became an anarchist. “Till then I believed in the essential justice of the American law of trial by jury,” she wrote in an autobiographical essay, “After that I never could”...

Selected Letters, Sketches and Stories by Voltairine de Cleyre Selected Letters, Sketches and Stories

Voltairine de Cleyre (November 17, 1866 – June 20, 1912) was an American anarchist. She was skilled in many subjects and wrote essays, poems, letters, sketches, stories and speeches. These are her selected letters, sketches and stories.

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

Nearly 160 years after it was first published, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass continues to inspire, enthrall and educate generations of readers. This collection of poems serves as a vehicle for Whitman's philosophy, ideals, love of nature and mystical musings and it subsequently became one of the corner stones of American literature. Whitman was inspired to write Leaves of Grass based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's clarion call for a truly American poet who would tell of its glories, virtues and vices...

By: Walter Pater (1839-1896)

Marius the Epicurean by Walter Pater Marius the Epicurean

Marius the Epicurean is a philosophical novel written by Walter Pater, published in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to this book; and its impact was particularly felt on one of the movement’s leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford.

By: William A Alcott (1798-1859)

Book cover Young Woman's Guide to Excellence

Much of this guide for young women is still valuable today. Despite mentions of tight lacing and other out of date matters, it contains many timeless principles. (Bria Snow)


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