400+ Free Online Philosophy Resources Arranged by Topic

This page contains an organized collection of links and resources on a wide range of philosophical topics. Over recent years, there has been a massive increase in high-quality philosophy resources aimed at a general audience. Projects like Aeon, Philosophy Bites, and Wireless Philosophy are making it easier than ever for anyone to learn about philosophy. Unfortunately, all these resources are spread across many different websites so it can be time-consuming to find quality resources on the topics you find interesting. This page aims to make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by bringing together all of these resources onto one page.

If you’re looking for an in-depth overview of a topic, the relevant Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article is usually the best place to start, however the SEP is aimed at academics and can often be challenging for beginners. If the SEP article is not what you’re looking for, the other links are usually much more beginner-friendly. To get started, simply choose a topic from the list below:

Topics:

This first section features resources arranged by topic in alphabetical order.

Ethics

Ethics is the study of concepts involving practical reasoning: good, right, duty, obligation, virtue, choice, etc. You can find an organized collection of articles, podcasts, and videos on ethics here. Or check out some of the resources below:

Animal Ethics

This section features resources on ethical issues relating to animals. You can find a collection of resources on animal ethics here. Or check out the links below to learn more:

Bioethics

Bioethics is the branch of ethics that investigates problems specifically arising from medical and biological practice.  Check out the links below to learn more:

Consequentialism

Consequentialism is the view that the rightness (or wrongness) of an action is determined entirely by its consequences. Check out the links below to learn more:

Deontological Ethics

Deontological ethics refers to ethical views that judge actions primarily based on notions of duties or rights. Check out the links below to learn more:

Effective Altruism

Effective Altruism is a social movement which was influenced by the philosopher Peter Singer and aims to do the most good in the world. Check out the links below to learn more:

Egoism

Egoism is usually divided into two forms. Psychological egoism is the view that people are always motivated by self interest. Ethical egoism is the view that people should always act in their own self interest. Check out the links below to learn more:

Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics is the branch of ethics concerning issues relating to the environment. Check out the links below to learn more:

Happiness

All ethical views ascribe some value to happiness, however there is considerable disagreement about what happiness actually is. Check out the links below to learn more:

Hedonism

Hedonism is the view that pleasure or happiness is the only thing that is intrinsically good. All other things are good to the extent that they promote pleasure or happiness. Check out the links below to learn more:

The Meaning of Life

Many people want a life that is meaningful, however there is considerable disagreement about what exactly makes certain lives meaningful. Check out the links below to learn more:

Metaethics

Metaethics investigates the nature and grounds of ethical beliefs and systems. Check out the links below to learn more:

Moral Luck

How should luck affect our judgements of moral responsibility? Check out the links below to learn more about ‘moral luck”:

Moral Relativism

Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others. Check out the links below to learn more:

Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is the view that actions should be judged based on whether they tend to maximize happiness, pleasure, or well-being. Check out the links below to learn more:

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics is an approach to ethics that tends to emphasize the role of virtue, or moral character, in ethical decision making. Check out the links below to learn more:

Political Philosophy

Political philosophy involves philosophical reflection on how we should arrange our collective lives, especially with respect to our political institutions and social practices. You can find an organized collection of articles, podcasts, and videos on political philosophy here. Or check out some of the resources below:

Anarchsim

Anarchism is a political tradition that emphasizes that human communities can and should flourish without government. Check out the links below to learn more:

Conservatism

Conservatism is a political tradition that emphasizes caution in departing from the historical roots of society, or changing its inherited traditions and institutions. Check out the links below to learn more:

Critical Theory

Critical theory refers to the philosophical approach of the Frankfurt School which aims to understand and critique contemporary society, particularly ways in which society perpetuates domination and limits freedom. You can find a collection of resources on Critical Theory here or check out the links below to learn more:

Democracy

Democracy is generally defined as a decision making procedure which involves a kind of equality between the participants, often through some kind of voting mechanism. Check out the links below to learn more:

Equality

Equality is often considered to be one of the central ideals in political philosophy, but there is considerable controversy around what exactly equality means and what we should aim to equalize. Check out the links below to learn more:

Free Speech

Free speech involves the right to certain kinds of expression, e.g. criticizing the government, burning flags, and displaying paintings, but there is considerable disagreements as to where the limits to free speech should be placed. Check out the links below to learn more:

Freedom

Freedom is often considered to be one of the central ideals in political philosophy but there is disagreement over why freedom is valuable and what freedom consists in. Check out the links below to learn more:

Global Justice

Most political philosophy is concerned about justice within a state. Recently, focus has shifted to more global issues. Global Justice is concerned about these kinds of issues. Check out the links below to learn more:

Justice

Justice is also considered to be a central ideal within political philosophy and again there is disagreement around what exactly justice entails. Check out the links below to learn more:

Liberalism

Liberalism is a political tradition centered on the individual and the rights that individuals have against interference by the government. Check out the links below to learn more:

Political Obligation

Theories of political obligation aim to understand under what conditions an individual is obligated to obey the law. Check out the links below to learn more:

Punishment

Theories of punishment aim to understand under what conditions punishment is justified. Check out the links below to learn more:

Philosophy of Race

Theories of race aim to understand the historical division of humans into various discrete categories. Check out the links below to learn more:

  • The Ontology of Race – article by Abiral Chitrakar Phnuyal via 1000-Word Philosophy
  • Race – podcast via The Philosopher’s Zone
  • Racial Ontology – video via Wireless Philosophy
  • Race – article via the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Rights

Rights generally refer to certain privileges and entitlements that are owed to people according to some legal or ethical system. Check out the links below to learn more:

Social Contract Theory

Social Contract Theory refers to a philosophical tradition than analyses the legitimacy of government through the lens of a hypothetical contract. Check out the links below to learn more:

Socialism

Socialism is a political tradition that emphasizes the dominance of economic power over workers in capitalist societies and generally advocates for workers to have control over the means of production in some meaningful way. Check out the links below to learn more:

Toleration

Toleration involves refraining from acting against beliefs or practices which are disapproved of, or politically opposed, or alien. Check out the links below to learn more:

War

Theories of war are concerned about what conditions, if any, justify war. Check out the links below to learn more:

Epistemology

Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. You can find a collection of resources on epistemology here, or check out one of the topics below:

Disagreement

Disagreement is common both in everyday life and in academia. How should we respond to fact that others disagree with our opinions and beliefs? Check out the links below to learn more:

Knowledge

What is knowledge? It may seem obvious that we have knowledge about some topic in particular cases, but what conditions need to be satisfied to say that we genuinely have knowledge about something? Check out the links below to learn more:

Perception

We rely on our senses for a huge amount of our information about the world, however, our senses can often be unreliable. If illusions and errors are possible, how can we trust our senses as a reliable source of information? Check out the links below to learn more:

Pragmatism

Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition with emphasizes the practical implications of claims about truth and meaning. Check out the links below to learn more:

Skepticism

Skepticism is that view that knowledge or rational belief is not possible, either about some specific subject-matter (e.g. ethics) or in any area whatsoever. Check out the links below to learn more:

Testimony

A large number of our beliefs are formed by trusting the testimony of other people, but knowledge acquired from others can be unreliable. How can know whether the testimony of others is reliable in any particular case? Check out the links below to learn more:

Truth

Truth is a familiar concept but what exactly is truth, and what makes a particular statement or fact true? Check out the links below to learn more:

Metaphysics

Metaphysics is hard to define precisely. Broadly speaking metaphysics investigates the fundamental nature of reality, including concepts like free will, causation, time and space, the existence of God, etc. Check out some of the topics below to learn more:

Causation

Causation seems like a familiar concept: throwing a rock at a window causes it to break. But causation is suprisingly difficult to define abstractly. Check out the links below to learn more:

Consciousness

It has been said that consciousness is at once the most familiar and the most mysterious thing that we know of. Check out the links below to learn more:

Death

What exactly is death and is death bad for us? Check out the links below to learn more:

Free Will

If everything in the universe is governed by the laws of nature, does this mean that free will is impossible? Check out the links below to learn more:

God

Does God exist, and if so what kind of being is God? Check out the links below to learn more:

Personal Identity

When I am elderly will be very different in many ways to the person I was a child. I will look different, behave differently, even the atoms that make up my body will be different. What exactly is it that makes 81 year-old me the same person as 8 year-old me? Check out the links below to learn more:

Time

The concept of time is at once familiar and mysterious. Augustine once asked: “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.” Check out the links below to learn more:

  • Time Travel – article by Taylor W. Cyr via 1000-Word Philosophy
  • Hugh Mellor on Time – podcast via Philosophy Bites
  • What is Time? Lecture by Sean Carroll via The Great Courses
  • Time – article via the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Aesthetics

Aesthetics is the study of art, beauty, and taste. Links on the topics of art and beauty are listed below:

Art

What separates things that are consider art from things that are not art. And why should we care about art? Check out the links below to learn more:

Beauty

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is there some objective standard of beauty? What is it that makes something beautiful? Check out the links below to learn more:

Non-Western Philosophy

This section features resources from “non-Western” philosophical sources. Unfortunately this section is limited by the fact that there are relatively few beginner-friendly resources for non-Western philosophy.

African Philosophy
Buddhism
Chinese Philosophy
Confucianism
Daoism
Indian Philosophy
Islamic Philosophy

Philosophy of Biology

Philosophy of biology investigates concepts related to biology including: life and death, disease, evolution, genetics, species, etc. Check out the links below to learn more:

Existentialism

Existentialism is a loose title for a group of philosophies that emphasize certain common themes, such as: the individual, the experience of freedom and choice, authenticity, rationality, etc. You can find a collection of resources on existentialism here or check out the links below to learn more:

Feminist Philosophy

A collection of philosophical approaches that seek to understand and correct biases leading to the subordination of (primarily) women and to end sexism in all forms. Check out the links below to learn more:

Philosophy of Language

This section features resources on the philosophy of language. Check out the links below to learn more:

Logic

Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning. Check out the links below to learn more:

  • Logic and Neutrality – article by Timothy Williamson via The New York Times
  • Logic – podcast via BBC’s In Our Time
  • Validity – video via Wireless Philosophy
  • Informal Logic – article via the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Philosophy of Mathematics

This section features resources on the philosophy of mathematics. Check out the links below to learn more:

Philosophy of Science

This section features resources on the philosophy of science. You can find a collection of resources on the philosophy of science here or check out the links below to learn more:

Philosophy of Technology

This section features resources on the philosophy of technology. Check out the links below to learn more:

Philosophers:

This section features resources on individual philosophers. It is arranged in roughly chronological order.

Pre-Socratics

A loose group of philosophers who (roughly) predate the philosopher Socrates. You can find a collection of resources on the Pre-Socratics here or check out the links below to learn more:

Socrates

Greek philosopher (c. 470–399 BC). You can find a collection of resources on Socrates here or check out the links below to get started:

Plato

Greek philosopher (c. 429–347 BC). You can find a collection of resources on Plato here or check out the links below to get started:

Diogenes

Greek philosopher (c. 400–325 BC). Check out the links below to get started:

Aristotle

Greek philosopher (384–322 BC). You can find a collection of resources on Aristotle here or check out the links below to get started:

Epicurus

Greek philosopher (341–270 BC). You can find a collection of resources on Epicureanism here or check out the links below to get started:

The Stoics

Philosophical tradition associated with Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and others. You can find a collection of resources on Stoicism here or check out the links below to get started:

Plotinus

Founder of Neoplatonism (c. AD 205–270). Check out the links below to get started:

St Augustine

Christian philosopher and theologian (354–430). You can find a collection of resources on St. Augustine here or check out the links below to get started:

Boethius

Roman philosopher and theologian (c. 475–524). Check out the links below to get started:

Avicenna

Islamic philosopher and Neoplatonist (980–1037). Check out the links below to get started:

St Anselm

Medieval philosopher and theolgian (1033/4–1109). Check out the links below to get started:

St Aquinas

Italian philosopher and theologian (1225–1274). You can find a collection of resources on St. Aquinas here or check out the links below to get started:

Machiavelli

Florentine political philosopher (1469–1527). You can find a collection of resources on Machiavelli here or check out the links below to get started:

Montaigne

French philosopher and essayist (1533–1592). You can find a collection of resources on Montaigne here or check out the links below to get started:

Hobbes

English philosopher, mathematician, and linguist (1588–1679). You can find a collection of resources on Hobbes here or check out the links below to get started:

Descartes

French mathematician and philosopher (1596–1650). You can find a collection of resources on Descartes here or check out the links below to get started:

Pascal

French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher (1623–1662). You can find a collection of resources on Pascal here or check out the links below to get started:

Spinoza

Dutch philosopher (1632–1677). Check out the links below to get started:

Locke

English philosopher (1632–1704). Check out the links below to get started:

Leibniz

German mathematician, philosopher, and polymath (1646–1716). Check out the links below to get started:

Berkeley

Irish philosopher (1685–1753). Check out the links below to get started:

Hume

Scottish philosopher and historian (1711–1776). You can find a collection of resources on Hume here or check out the links below to get started:

Rousseau

Genevan philosopher (1712–1778). You can find a collection of resources on Rousseau here or check out the links below to get started:

Smith

Scottish philosopher and economist (1723–1790). Check out the links below to get started:

Kant

German philosopher (1724–1804). You can find a collection of resources on Kant here or check out the links below to get started:

Burke

Irish philosopher and politician (1729–1797). Check out the links below to get started:

Bentham

English philosopher (1748–1832). Check out the links below to get started:

Wollstonecraft

English feminist philosopher (1759–1797). Check out the links below to get started:

Hegel

German philosopher (1770–1831). You can find a collection of resources on Hegel here or check out the links below to get started:

Schopenhauer

German philosopher (1788–1860). You can find a collection of resources on Schopenhauer here or check out the links below to get started:

Mill

English philosopher (1806–1873). You can find a collection of resources on John Stuart Mill here or check out the links below to get started:

Darwin

English naturalist (1809–1882). Check out the links below to get started:

Kierkegaard

Danish philosopher and theologian (1813–1855). You can find a collection of resources on Kierkegaard here or check out the links below to get started:

Marx

German philosopher (1818–1883). You can find a collection of resources on Marx here or check out the links below to get started:

Nietzsche

German philosopher (1844–1900). You can find a collection of resources on Nietzsche here or check out the links below to get started:

Freud

Viennese founder of psychoanalysis (1856–1939). You can find a collection of resources on Freud here or check out the links below to get started:

Russell

English philosopher (1872–1970). You can find a collection of resources on Bertrand Russell here or check out the links below to get started:

Wittgenstein

Austrian philosopher (1889–1951). You can find a collection of resources on Wittgenstein here or check out the links below to get started:

Heidegger

German philosopher (1889–1976). Check out the links below to get started:

Popper

Philosopher of science (1902–1994). Check out the links below to get started:

Sartre

French philosopher and novelist (1905–1980). Check out the links below to get started:

Beauvoir

French feminist philosopher and novelist (1908–1986). Check out the links below to get started:

Arendt

German-born philosopher (1906–1975). You can find a collection of resources on Arendt here or check out the links below to get started:

Camus

Algerian-born French novelist and philosopher (1913–1960). Check out the links below to get started:

Rawls

American moral and political philosopher (1921–2002). Check out the links below to get started:

Foucault

French historian and philosopher (1926–1984). You can find a collection of resources on Foucault here or check out the links below to get started:


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