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Western Philosophy

The School of Athens, Raphael, Public Domain Image

This section contains texts by the most important writers who have defined the philosophy of modern Western society. Texts here discuss ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy. NOTE: most of these are large text files, which may take a while to download on a slow connection.

George Berkeley

 Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous [1713]
 A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge [1710]

Rene Descartes

 Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences
 Meditations on First Philosophy [1641]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 The Transcendalist
 Essays, First Series
 Essays, Second Series


 The Enchiridion
 The Discourses [101 CE]


 Letter to Menoeceus

Thomas Hobbes

 Leviathan [1651]

David Hume

 Of Superstition and Enthusiasm [1741]
 Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion [1741]
 Of the Liberty of the Press [1741]
 Of Essay Writing [1742]
 Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences [1742]
 An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding [1748]
 A Letter from a Gentleman [1754]
 Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul [1755]
 The Natural History of Religion [1757]
 Of Tragedy [1757]
 Of the Standard of Taste [1757]
 My Own Life [1777]
 Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion [1779]

Immanuel Kant

 The Critique of Judgement [1790]
 The Critique of Practical Reason [1788]
 The Critique of Pure Reason [1781]
 Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals [1785]
 Introduction to the Metaphysic of Morals [1785]
 The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics [1780]
 Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics [1783]
 The Science of Right [1790]

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

 The Monadology [1898]

John Stuart Mill

 On Liberty [1859]
 Representative Government [1861]
 Utilitarianism [1863]
 The Subjection of Women

Friedrich Nietzsche

 Thus Spake Zarathustra [1891]

Blaise Pascal

 The Provincial Letters [1657]
 Pensees [1660]


NOTE: These file are in the Plato section under Classics.

 Cratylus [360 BCE]
 Charmides, or Temperance [380 BCE]
 Critias [360 BCE]
 Crito [360 BCE]
 Euthydemus [380 BCE]
 Euthyphro [380 BCE]
 Gorgias [380 BCE]
 Ion [380 BCE]
 Laches, or Courage [380 BCE]
 Laws [360 BCE]
 Lysis, or Friendship [380 BCE]
 Meno [380 BCE]
 Parmenides [370 BCE]
 Phaedo [360 BCE]
 Phaedrus [360 BCE]
 Philebus [360 BCE]
 Protagoras [380 BCE]
 The Republic
 [360 BCE]
 The Seventh Letter [360 BCE]
 Sophist [360 BCE]
 Statesman [360 BCE]
 Symposium [360 BCE]
 Theaetetus [360 BCE]
 Timaeus [360 BCE]


 The Theologico-Political Treatise
 On the Improvement of Understanding

Henry David Thoreau

 A Plea for Captain John Brown [1853]
 Slavery in Massachusetts [1854]
 Life Without Principle [1863]
 Civil Disobedience [1849]
 Walden, or Life in the Woods [1854]

Mary Wollstonecraft

 Vindication of the Rights of Women [1792]