Home » Nonfiction Directory » Philosophy Books

Free Philosophy Books – Philosophy Topics PDF

Free Philosophy Books PDF

Hundreds of free pdf philosophy books for beginners and experts. Download. Grouped by subject, era, country. Many recommended single books with descriptions. Bibliography collection.

Search by Author

Search for an Author’s Books

Try searching for books by author. In the search bar in this link, in the creator field, replace LAST, FIRST with the author’s name. Save books you like to your Internet Archive account by clicking “Favorite” while logged in.

Collections of Philosophy Books

Philosophy – General: Search Results at Internet Archive

Free books on philosophy. Some book titles: In Defense of Selfishness, Waiting on God, The Road to Character. Best philosophy books pdf free download.

Philosophy – General: Open Library

About 2,250 free books. Some book titles: The Festival of Insignificance, What if I’m an Atheist? How to Deal with Adversity.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

50 Philosophy Classics

Use Search for an Author’s Books, the first entry on this page, to find free online copies at the Internet Archive.

Free Online Encyclopedia Britannica

31 Most Important Philosophy Books 1950-2000

Two philosophy professors surveyed 16 philosophers to get a list of the most important and influential philosophical books since 1850, and produced this list. Use Search for an Author’s Books, the first entry on this page, to find free online copies at the Internet Archive.

Ancient Philosophy : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free books on ancient philosophy. Some book titles: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Minds, Socrates’ Defense, A World History of Ancient Political Thought.

Ancient Philosophy : Open Library

About 1,800 free books. Some book titles: Philosophy and salvation in Greek religion, The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance, Ancient skepticism.

Medieval Philosophy : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free books on medieval philosophy. Some book titles: Medieval Philosophy from 500 to 1500 CE, The stranger in ancient and mediaeval Jewish tradition, Medieval and modern philosophy.

Medieval Philosophy : Open Library

About 840 free books. Some book titles: John of Salisbury and the medieval Roman renaissance, The divine comedy of Dante Alighieri, Maimonides In His World Portrait Of A Mediterranean Thinker.

Renaissance Philosophy : Search Results at Internet Archive

Renaissance philosophy free books. Some book titles: The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began, Discovering the subject in Renaissance England, Renaissance Thinkers.

Renaissance Philosophy : Open Library

About 280 free books. Some book titles: The Renaissance philosophy of man, Method and order in Renaissance philosophy of nature, Renaissance Theory of Love.

Modern Philosophy : Internet Archive

Free books on modern philosophy. Some book titles: Who made the Scottish enlightenment? Thinking without banisters : essays in understanding, 1954-1975, The shape of the new : four big ideas and how they made the modern world.

Modern Philosophy : Search Results at Open Library

About 4,000 free books. Some book titles: Elegies for Humanism, The shape of the new, Modern Challenges To Past Philosophy Arguments And Responses.

Logic : Internet Archive

Free books on logic. Some book titles: The book of twos : the power of contrasts, polarities, and contradictions, How To Do Things With Logic Workbook, Concepts and categories : philosophical essays.

Logic : Search Results at Open Library

About 1,370 free books. Some book titles: Logic and philosophy, Logic and philosophy for linguists, Introduction to speculative logic and philosophy.

Speculative Philosophy Books

Free books on speculative philosophy. Some book titles: Cosmic Evolution, Multicultural Dynamics and the Ends of History, Freedom of choice affirmed.

Speculative Philosophy : Search Results at Open Library

About 150 free books. Some book titles: Speculation in pre-Christian philosophy, The riddle of human rights, Mind into matter.

Metaphysics : Internet Archive

Free books on metaphysics. Some book titles: Mysterious romantic wonder : engaging philosophy, The new philosophy of universalism, The problems of philosophy.

Metaphysics : Search Results at Open Library

About 930 free books. Some book titles: Does Santa exist?, Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals, Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism. Free books on metaphysics.

Philosophy Methodology : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free books on philosophy methodology. Some book titles: Myth and Philosophy, Basic Issues of Philosophy, Socializing Metaphysics.

Philosophy Methodology : Search Results at Open Library

About 1,050 free books. Some book titles: Epistemology of Management, Best practices for education professionals, Discourse on method, Philosophical Method a very short introduction free download or read online.

Aesthetics: Internet Archive

Free books on Aesthetics Philosophy. Some book titles: Art in the Life of Mathematicians, The Principles of Art, Music and Ethical Responsibility.

Aesthetics : Search Results at Open Library

About 1,500 free books. Some book titles: Music soothes the soul, Space Between: A New Gestalt Approach To Ontology and Aesthetics, Meanings of abstract art.

Chinese Philosophy Books : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free books on Chinese philosophy. Some book titles: Heaven and Earth Are Not Humane, Trying Not to Try, Cultivating Qi.

Chinese Philosophy Books : Search Results at Open Library

About 530 free books. Some book titles: Confucius, Sun Tzu on the art of war, Chinese Wisdom The Way Of Perfect Harmony. Chinese philosophy books free.

Indian Philosophy Books : Internet Archive

Free books on Indian philosophy. Indic philosophy books. Some book titles: Life Without Conflict, Harmony in Marriage, A History of Indian Philosophy.

Indian Philosophy Books : Open Library

About 280 free books. Some book titles: Free will, agency, and selfhood in Indian philosophy, Generation existential, Relativism, Suffering and Beyond.

Nature Philosophy: Search Results at Internet Archive

Free books on nature philosophy. Some book titles: Reclaiming the Wild Soul, The Once and Future World, What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?.

Nature : Search Results at Open Library

About 3,000 free books. Some book titles: Natural born heroes, Thoreau on Nature, A Natural History of Natural Theology.

Philosophy Bibliography : Search Results at Internet Archive

Philosophy Bibliography free books. Some book titles: Philosophy: a Guide to the Reference Literature, Philosophy’s Literature, Women Philosophers: a bibliography of books.

Bibliography : Search Results at Open Library

About 390 free books. Some book titles: American philosophers, 1950-2000, Bibliography on East Asian religion and philosophy, Greeks and Us. Philosophy Bibliography free books pdf.

More Collections on Philosophy Topics

CORE BOOKS – Philosophy

Plato : A Brief Insight

Annas, Julia
Sterling 2009

No philosopher has equaled Plato for the imagination and creativity with which he engages readers and entices them to join in philosophical conversation. This brief survey introduces Plato’s many-sided and elusive genius in a way that is both stimulating and accessible. In ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and theory of knowledge, Plato’s wide-ranging, bold, and influential ideas continue to challenge, provoke, and inspire us today.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy

Audi, Robert
Cambridge University 1999

Survey of ideas and thinkers written by an international team of 436 contributors. Includes the most comprehensive entries on major philosophers, 400 new entries including over 50 on preeminent contemporary philosophers, extensive coverage of rapidly developing fields such as the philosophy of mind and applied ethics, more entries on non-Western philosophy than any comparable volume, and increased coverage of Continental philosophy.

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless

Barrow, John D.
Vintage 2006

Now Infinity is the darling of cutting edge research, the measuring stick used by physicists, cosmologists, and mathematicians to determine the accuracy of their theories. From the paradox of Zeno’s arrow to string theory, Cambridge professor John Barrow takes us on a grand tour of this most elusive of ideas and describes with clarifying subtlety how this subject has shaped, and continues to shape, our very sense of the world in which we live. The Infinite Book is a thoroughly entertaining and completely accessible account of the biggest subject of them all–infinity.

Post-structuralism : A Very Short Introduction

Belsey, Catherine
Oxford University 2002

Following a brief account of the historical relationship between structuralism and poststructuralism, this book traces the key arguments that have led poststructuralists to challenge traditional theories of language and culture. Best philosophy books pdf free download.

50 Philosophy Classics : Thinking, Being, Acting Seeing – Profound Insights and Powerful Thinking from Fifty Key Books

Butler-Bowdon, Tom
Oxford University 2013

For over 2000 years, philosophy has been our best guide to the experience of being human, and the true nature of reality. From Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, Confucius, Cicero and Heraclitus in ancient times to 17th century rationalists Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza, from 20th-century greats Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Baudrillard and Simone de Beauvoir to contemporary thinkers Michael Sandel, Peter Singer and Slavoj Zizek, 50 Philosophy Classics explores key writings that have shaped the discipline and had an impact on the real world.

A Companion to World Philosophies

Deutsch, Eliot and Bontekoe, Ron, eds.
Blackwell 1999

Written by an international assembly of leading philosophers, this volume offers students, teachers and general readers a rich and sophisticated introduction to the major non-Western philosophical traditions – particularly Chinese, Indian, Buddhist and Islamic philosophies. African and Polynesian thinking are also covered by way of historical and contemporary survey articles.

Goodbye, Descartes: The End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind

Devlin, Keith J.
Wiley 1997

“A book such as this belongs in the personal library of everyone interested in learning about some of the most subtle and profound works of the human spirit.” -American Scientist. “Devlin’s very attractive book is a well-written attempt to explain mathematics to educated non-mathematicians. The basic ideas are presented in a clear, concise, and easily understood manner. Highly recommended.” -Choice.

Existentialism : A Very Short Introduction

Flynn, Thomas
Oxford University 2006

Existentialism was one of the leading philosophical movements of the twentieth century. Focusing on its seven leading figures, Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Camus, this Very Short Introduction provides a clear account of the key themes of the movement which emphasized individuality, free will, and personal responsibility in the modern world. Drawing in the movement’s varied relationships with the arts, humanism, and politics, this book clarifies the philosophy and original meaning of ‘existentialism’ – which has tended to be obscured by misappropriation. Placing it in its historical context, Thomas Flynn also highlights how existentialism is still relevant to us today.


Gardiner, Patrick L.
Oxford University 1988

Scholars have largely misunderstood Soren Kierkegaard, remembering him chiefly in connection with the development of existentialist philosophy in this century. Patrick Gardiner demonstrates how Kierkegaard developed his ideas and examines his thoughts in light of the doctrines on society developed by his contemporaries Marx and Feuerbach. Finally, he assesses the profound importance of Kierkegaard’s ideas on the development of modern ways of thinking.

Foucault : A Very Short Introduction

Gutting, Gary
Oxford University 2005

From aesthetics to the penal system; from madness and civilisation to avant-garde literature, Foucault was happy to reject old models of thinking and replace them with versions that are still widely debated today. A major influence on Queer Theory and gender studies (he was openly gay and died of an AIDS-related illness in 1984), he also wrote on architecture, history, law, medicine, literature, politics and of course philosophy, and even managed a best-seller in France on a book dedicated to the history of systems of thought.


Hare, R. M.
Oxford University 1982

Even after twenty-three centuries Plato’s work remains the starting-point for the study of logic, metaphysics, and moral and political philosophy. But though his dialogues retain their freshness and immediacy, they can be difficult to follow. Professor Hare has provided a short introduction to Plato’s thought that makes their meaning clear.


Janaway, Christopher
Oxford University 1994

Arthur Schopenhauer is the most readable of German philosophers. This book offers a succinct explanation of his metaphysical system, concentrating on the original aspects of thought, including his doctrine of the will, his pessimism and his theories of art and music – which inspired artists and thinkers such as Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud and Wittgenstein.

One Hundred Philosophers: The Life and Work of the World’s Greatest Thinkers

King, Peter J.
Barron’s 2009

Here, presented for non-specialist readers, is an easy-to-understand survey of ideas put forth by 100 important philosophers, from the pre-Socratics of ancient Greece to the analytic philosophers of the present day. Each thinker is summarized in a single illustrated page, or in many instances, in a two-page spread. Each entry includes the philosopher’s birth and death dates, titles of major works, major influences, a capsule biographical sketch, and a brief summary of his or her most important ideas.

Humanism : A Very Short Introduction

Law, Stephen
Oxford University 2011

Religion is currently gaining a much higher profile. The number of faith schools is increasingly, and religious points of view are being aired more frequently in the media. As religion’s profile rises, those who reject religion, including humanists, often find themselves misunderstood, and occasionally misrepresented. Stephen Law explores how humanism uses science and reason to make sense of the world, looking at how it encourages individual moral responsibility and shows that life can have meaning without religion. Challenging some of the common misconceptions, he seeks to dispute the claims that atheism and humanism are ‘faith positions’ and that without God there can be no morality and our lives are left without purpose.

The Story of Philosophy

Magee, Bryan
DK 1998

Traces more than 2,500 years of Western philosophy, from Plato and Aristotle in ancient Greece to Saint Augustine and medieval philosophy, the golden century of German philosophy, Bertrand Russell and Albert Camus of the modern era, and much more. World-renowned philosopher and professor Bryan Magee expertly guides your exploration through the major philosophical issues, the important questions, and the key contributions of the great philosophers in this illustrated, accessible guide.

Great Thinkers of the Western World: The Major Ideas and Classic Works of More than 100 Outstanding Western Philosophers, Physical and Social Scientists, Psychologists, Religious Writers, and Theologians

McGreal, Ian P., ed.
HarperCollins 1992

From Parmenides to Albert Camus, theses men and women have profoundly influenced the development of Western civilization through their theories and revolutionary ideas and by providing intellectual, scientific or spiritual illumination. Articles on 116 thinkers are arranged chronologically, making it essay for readers to follow and appreciate the development of ideas from the early Greeks through the first half of the twentieth century.

Socialism : A Very Short Introduction

Newman, Michael
Oxford University 2005

What is socialism? Does it have a future, or has it become an outdated ideology in the 21st century? Michael Newman examines and explains the successes and failures of modern socialism by taking an international perspective — ranging from communism in Cuba to social democracy in Sweden. Discussing its evolution from the industrial towns of the 19th century to its response to the feminist, green, and anti-capitalist movements today, Newman concludes that, with its values of equality, solidarity, and cooperation, socialism remains as relevant as ever but that it needs to learn lessons from the past.

See our Customs and Traditions USA books

Presocratic Philosophy : A Very Short Introduction

Osborne, Catherine
Oxford University 2004

This is a book about the invention of Western philosophy, and the first thinkers to explore ideas about the nature of reality, time, and the origin of the universe. It begins with the finding of the new papyrus fragment of Empedocles’ poem, and uses the story of its discovery and interpretation to highlight the way our understanding of early philosophers is marked by their presentation in later sources. Catherine Osborne invites her readers to dip their toes into the fragmentary remains of thinkers from Thales to Pythagoras, Heraclitus to Protagoras, to try to fill in the bits of a jigsaw that has been rejigged many times and in many different ways.

Logic : A Brief Insight

Priest, Graham
Sterling 2010

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this engaging and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong that conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, Priest lays out the basics of formal logic in simple, nontechnical terms.

America the Philosophical

Romano, Carlin
Knopf 2012

With verve and keen intelligence, Carlin Romano — Pulitzer Prize finalist, award-winning book critic, and professor of philosophy — takes on the widely held belief that the United States is an anti-intellectual country. Instead he provides a richly reported overview of American thought. A rebellious tour de force that both celebrates our country’s unparalleled intellectual energy and promises to bury some of our most hidebound cultural clichés.

Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages

Rubenstein, Richard E.
Harcourt 2003

Europe was in the long slumber of the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire was in tatters, and the Greek language was all but forgotten—until a group of twelfth-century scholars rediscovered and translated the works of Aristotle. The philosopher’s ideas spread like wildfire across Europe, offering the scientific view that the natural world, including the soul of man, was a proper subject of study. Aristotle’s Children transports us back to this pivotal moment in world history, rendering the controversies of the Middle Ages lively and accessible, and allowing us to understand the philosophical ideas that are fundamental to modern thought.

A History of Western Philosophy; and its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day

Russell, Bertrand
Simon and Schuster 1945

First published in 1946, History of Western Philosophy went on to become the best-selling philosophy book of the twentieth century. A dazzlingly ambitious project, it remains unchallenged to this day as the ultimate introduction to Western philosophy. Providing a sophisticated overview of the ideas that have perplexed people from time immemorial, it is ‘long on wit, intelligence and curmudgeonly scepticism’, as the New York Times noted, and it is this, coupled with the sheer brilliance of its scholarship, that has made it one of the most important philosophical works of all time. Russell History of Western Philosophy free download or read online.

The Problems of Philosophy

Russell, Bertrand
Cosimo 2007

This classic work, first published in 1912, has never been supplanted as an approachable introduction to the theory of philosophical enquiry. It gives Russell’s views on such subjects as the distinction between appearance and reality, the existence and nature of matter, idealism, knowledge by acquaintance and by description, induction, and the limits and value of philosophical knowledge.

Kant : A Very Short Introduction

Scruton, Roger
Oxford University 2001

Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his exceptionally complex subject with a strong hand, exploring the background to Kant’s work and showing why the Critique of Pure Reason has proved so enduring.


Scruton, Roger
Oxford University 1986

Breaking down obstacles to understanding the ideas of history’s greatest thinkers, these brief, accessible, and affordable volumes offer essential introductions to the great philosophers of the Western tradition from Plato to Wittgenstein.In just 64 pages, each author, a specialist on his subject, places the philosopher and his ideas into historical perspective. Each volume explains, in simple terms, the basic concepts, enriching the narrative through the effective use of biographical detail.


Singer, Peter
Oxford University 1983

Many people regard Hegel’s work as obscure and extremely difficult, yet his importance and influence are universally acknowledged. Professor Singer eliminates any excuse for remaining ignorant of the outlines of Hegel’s philosophy by providing a broad discussion of his ideas and an account of his major works.

Introduction to Philosophy

Smith, Nathan et al
OpenStax 2022

Designed to meet the scope and sequence of your course, Introduction to Philosophy surveys logic, metaphysics, epistemology, theories of value, and history of philosophy thematically. To provide a strong foundation in global philosophical discourse, diverse primary sources and examples are central to the design, and the text emphasizes engaged reading, critical thinking, research, and analytical skill-building through guided activities.

Descartes : A Very Short Introduction

Sorell, Tom
Oxford University 2000

René Descartes (1596-1650) had a remarkably short working life, and his output was small, yet his contributions to philosophy and science have endured to the present day. He is perhaps best known for his statement ‘Cogito, ergo sum’. By a mixture of ‘intuition’ and ‘deduction’ Descartes derived from the ‘cogito’ principle first the existence of a material world. But Descartes did not intend the metaphysics to stand apart from his scientific work, which included important investigations into physics, mathematics, psychology, and optics. In this book Tom Sorrell shows that Descartes was, above all, an advocate and practitioner of a new mathematical approach to physics, and that he developed his metaphysics to support his programme in the sciences.


Tanner, Michael
Oxford University 1994

The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was almost wholly neglected during his sane life, which ended abruptly in 1889. With his well-known idiosyncrasies and aphoristic style, Nietzsche is always bracing and provocative, and temptingly easy to dip into. Michael Tanner’s readable introduction to the philosopher’s life and work examines the numerous ambiguities inherent in his writings and explodes many of the misconceptions that have grown in the hundred years since Nietzsche wrote “do not, above all, confound me with what I am not!”

Rousseau : A Very Short Introduction

Wokler, Robert
Oxford University 2001

One of the most profound thinkers of modern history, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) was a central figure of the European Enlightenment. He was also its most formidable critic, condemning the political, economic, theological, and sexual trappings of civilization along lines that would excite the enthusiasm of romantic individualists and radical revolutionaries alike. In this study of Rousseau’s life and works Robert Wokler shows how his philosophy of history, his theories of music and politics, his fiction, educational and religious writings, and even his botany, were all inspired by visionary ideals of mankind’s self-realization in a condition of unfettered freedom. He explains how, in regressing to classical republicanism, ancient mythology, direct communion with God, and solitude, Rousseau anticipated some post-modernist rejections of the Enlightenment as well.

Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy

Zeyl, Donald J., ed.
Greenwood 1997

The only encyclopedia in English specific to the field of Classical Philosophy, this work presents 270 articles on major and minor figures and on topics of importance to the philosophy of Greek and Roman antiquity. The articles present not only succinct historical accounts of their subject matter, but they introduce readers to issues of interpretation and debate in the contemporary scholarly study of the philosophy of the Classical period. Scholars, students, and interested lay persons will find this volume useful in gaining a comprehensive view of the field.

The Britannica Guide to Theories and Ideas that Changed the Modern World

Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia Britannica 2010

“The Britannica Guide to Theories and Ideas That Changed the Modern World, is one title in a 4 book series that focuses on the transformative power of various movements, voyages, conceits, and outright brainstorms. A true journey into modernity, this set delves into the facts surrounding landmark decisions, actions, and inventions that have advanced cultures, inspired humankind and forever changed the way the world works. Supplementing the text, which is categorized for easy referencing, are an array of photographs and illustrations that provide an unforgettable visual narrative. ” – Publisher.

Scroll to Top