+50 Free Philosophy Books [PDF]

Humanity has always asked itself essential questions related to its own existence and the way in which we relate to reality. All sciences and disciplines we know today derive from the same root, perhaps one of the earliest forms of metacognition. That is the importance of our extensive collection of philosophy books. In it you will find the best titles on the subject and you will be able to have excellent content for your studies.

Making a selection of philosophy books is not easy, because it is a very broad subject, with innumerable ramifications and that, in addition, transcends many historical periods, until arriving to our days. Broad, transcendent and profound, philosophy makes its way through time to unravel the origin of knowledge, thought and reason.

So how can we define the mother of all sciences? Some authors classify it as an academic discipline, but other authors also emphasize that it is a set of knowledge and reflections on existence and that it has a transcendental character. Philosophy aims to respond to concerns and provide solutions to fundamental problems related to being, beauty, knowledge, thought, language, ethics, among others.

The origin of philosophy is controversial, however, the literature on the subject agrees that it dates back to classical Greece. In fact, it is said that Pythagoras was interrogated by King Leonidas to ask him if he considered himself a wise man. Pythagoras replied that he considered himself a lover of wisdom, that is, a philosopher.

In addition to Pythagoras, other great philosophers stood out in Greece, among whom we can mention Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. This search for knowledge and the reflective way of finding answers was a custom inherited to Rome and from there, later, to all of Europe. Greek philosophy would mark what was the logical and rational thought of the West, until well into the 16th century.

But, not only in the West there were outstanding philosophers, in the East there were also great thinkers such as Confucius and Buddha, whose wisdom, thought and, in some cases, religions have also penetrated this side of the world.

But, philosophy is not a discipline only of the classical world, as others have evolved to the point that today we also have great philosophers from all over the world. Some outstanding philosophers of the modern era are Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Bacon, Voltaire, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Marx, Engels, Schopenhauer, Comte, Nietzsche, among others. Among the contemporaries we can mention Heidegger, Sartre, Ortega y Gasset, Foucault, Habermas, Zizek, among many others.

As is common, philosophy also has several branches, such as logic, metaphysics, gnosiology, epistemology, philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics, among others. All of them allow us to discover the way in which human beings change the world and the implications of this process, and how the different dynamics that we experience in the reality of this universe are produced. Therefore, it cannot be said that philosophy has lost its relevance or that it has ceased to be transcendental.

We leave you, then, in the company of the knowledge represented by the more than 50 books of philosophy that you can enjoy in this section of our virtual library.

1) Eastern Philosophy Books

Eastern philosophy is the different currents of thought that evolved in South Asia, especially in countries such as China, India and Japan, and in the zones of influence of Islam (from the Iberian Peninsula to Indonesia). It spread from the invasions carried out by Alexander the Great.

This philosophy defended that the phenomena of nature are the answer to the sins committed by the human being. However, philosophers such as Lao Tse, Confucius and Buddha opposed these superstitious beliefs and favored a wisdom of live and let live.

With respect to this type of philosophy, there have been disagreements about calling some currents of Eastern thought “religion“; for example, Buddhism refuses to be labeled as a religion.

2) Epistemology Books

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the nature, origin and validity of knowledge. It studies the foundations and methods of scientific knowledge. To this end, it takes into account historical, social and psychological factors to determine the process of construction of knowledge, its justification and its veracity.

The function of epistemology is to crystallize, i.e., to clarify the circumstances under which knowledge can be acknowledged and its limits, i.e., to determine the scope and validity of knowledge. It uses argumentations as a means to determine the validity or invalidity of knowledge; these can be demonstrative, intuitive, using resources of authority, among others.

When epistemology of medicine, biology or sociology is done, it basically examines the way in which these disciplines study their objects to produce scientific knowledge. Thus, as a study of science, epistemology serves not only the philosopher, but also the scientist.

3) General Philosophy Books

Philosophy is a doctrine that uses a set of logical and methodical reasoning about abstract concepts such as existence, truth and ethics based on science, the characteristics and causes and effects of natural things such as human beings and the universe.

He was born in Egypt, although those great thinkers of the golden age of Ancient Greece, such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle would be the ones who have stood out the most in the various philosophical debates that arose at that time; For them, the raison d’être of philosophizing was due to the astonishment generated by certain circumstances.

In the peak moments of humanity, when changes are imposed or chaos arises, public opinion turns to the voice of philosophers, to help it think about what is happening: to determine precisely what is the wisest way to do it, or what are the dynamics of thought that are most convenient and that will yield the best results in the long run.

4) Gnosiology Books

Philosophy is a set of reflections on the essence, effects, properties and causes of natural things, where subjective thought is one of its main characteristics. From it has been derived Gnosiology, a branch of philosophy in charge of studying the knowledge of the human being as a whole.

It focuses exclusively on “knowledge”, that quality that all human beings have, where this knowledge comes from, how it is approached and how it affects our daily lives.

It has a starting point, which is based on the materialistic or idealistic solution that arises from the problem: how our knowledge of the world around us is related to the world itself. Thus, gnosiology is constituted as a practical study to help people in their common relations through knowledge.

5) Philosophers' Books

Philosopher is the person who studies philosophy, a science born from the human attitude of contemplation and reflection on existence. Philosophizing is intrinsic to man and implies thinking, reasoning and wondering about values, being, thought, reason, existence, knowledge, which are just some of the most recurrent themes.

Philosophizing involves asking and raising different questions about the world in general. It is about reasoning, making use of reason and drawing conclusions. To carry out this investigation, the philosopher needs to make use of other sciences such as, for example, theology.

They will seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself, above all things and without a pragmatic end. The philosopher is driven by curiosity and in that order will begin to inquire into the ultimate foundations of reality itself. Here is a selection of outstanding books written by great philosophers.

6) Philosophy Books for Children

Philosophy, which plays a fundamental role in the formation of committed citizens and with their own judgment, has traditionally been considered a subject too abstract and obtuse for children; it was thought to be a form of knowledge suitable only for the fully developed minds of adults. 

However, in the opinion of numerous experts, children not only can philosophize, but should do so. Among them is Matthew Lipman, philosopher and creator of the Philosophy for Children project, who expressed the following “It is necessary to teach children to philosophize, so they will learn to think and will be able to build a better world, to be active and engaged citizens”.

The Philosophy for Children project and program appeared in the United States at the end of the 1960s and is based on the realization that it is not possible to achieve truly free and supportive societies if we do not have people capable of thinking for themselves within the framework of a supportive and cooperative discussion process.

7) Philosophy of Law Books

The philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy whose object of study is the being of law with respect to the spirit of man in a given time and place. It encompasses the total vision of the legal phenomenon in search of the moral, logical and historical conditions that make law possible.

The different schools of philosophy of law (iusnaturalism, positivism, Marxist schools, systems theory, analytical and semiological visions, structuralism or theories of argumentation among others) come to build an ideal legal model for their own vision of society and on the basis of their own categories.

Philosophy as a theoretical reflection comes into contact with law through this subject in order to deepen the theoretical bases of the science of justice on the basis that law is the foundation of social welfare. Philosophy reflects on the bases of law and also on its purpose.

8) Political Philosophy Books

Political Philosophy studies in a rational and reflective way political questions, such as power, the State, government, the common good, authority, rights, justice, forms of government and laws, in terms of their origin, essence, limits, legitimacy, nature, necessity and scope.

There are great political philosophers who have marked history. Confucius was one of the first thinkers who related ethical action to the practice of politics. Thomas Aquinas also reflected on how human beings can conduct righteous government through the practice of the virtues. Niccolò Machiavelli was an expert in the study of power and law.

The field of knowledge of political philosophy also includes the study of some questions of the philosophy of social sciences, such as the theory of decision and rational action, the theory of systems, the critical theory of society and others.

So, here ends our selection of Philosophy books. We hope you liked it and that you already have your next book!

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