Liberal Arts and the Humanities

119 Philosophy

Also see Philosophy OER in development.
Last update: Dec 5/23


Argument Diagramming (CC BY-NC-SA)

Potentially useful to a broad range of students, Argument Diagramming provides an introduction to exploring and understanding arguments. This course will explain what the parts of an argument are and how to break arguments into their parts and create diagrams to show how those parts relate to each other.

Causal and Statistical Reasoning (CC BY-NC-SA)

This course provides an introduction to causal and statistical reasoning. After taking this course, students will be better prepared to make rational decisions about their own lives and about matters of social policy. They will be able to assess critically—even if informally—claims that they encounter during discussions or when considering a news article or report. A variety of materials are presented, including Case Studies where students are given the opportunity to examine a causal claim, and the Causality Lab, a virtual environment to simulate the science of causal discovery. Students have frequent opportunities to check their understanding and practice their skills.

Logic & Proofs (CC BY-NC-SA)

This is an introductory course designed for students from a broad range of disciplines, from mathematics and computer science to drama and creative writing. The highly interactive presentation makes it possible for any student to master the material. Concise multimedia lectures introduce each chapter; they discuss, in detail, the central notions and techniques presented in the text, but also articulate and motivate the learning objectives for each chapter.


Animals & Ethics 101: Thinking Critically About Animal Rights (CC BY-SA)

This book provides an overview of the current debates about the nature and extent of our moral obligations to animals. We will explore the most influential and most developed answers to these questions – given by philosophers, scientists, and animal advocates and their critics – to try to determine which positions are supported by the best moral reasons.

Supplemental Materials

The Republic of Plato (Public Domain, Project Gutenberg)

Transcript of Benjamin Jowett’s 1888 translation of this work. This text attempts to capture all that is of value in the early versions. It is based largely on the third edition, “revised and corrected throughout,” of 1888, but incorporating the complete Stephanus numbering that is found only in a two-volume version published in 1908.

WISC-Online Philosophy Learning Objects (CC BY-NC)

A collection of learning objects on topics in philosophy.


Critical Thinking (CC BY)

Using a combination of the newest findings in hemispheric science, neuropsychology, and brain development, along with the long-established rhetorical algorithms for analyzing the structure of arguments, this course explores the boundaries of critical and creative thinking in pursuit of developing a clearer and more robust model for the construction and deconstruction of various forms of argument. A variety of “texts” are used to help students develop rhetorical analysis skills, critical thinking tools and a diverse, integrative apparatus for establishing the veracity of truth claims in both academic and cultural contexts.

Form and Content: An Introduction to Formal Logic (CC BY-NC-ND)

An introductory logic text that uses low-stakes, fun examples to illustrate good and bad arguments.

Foundations for Moral Relativism – 2nd expanded edition (CC BY-NC-ND)

This textbook explores the current debate about cultural difference and shows that different communities can indeed be subject to incompatible moralities, because their local mores are rationally binding. At the same time, the mores of different communities are explained, even when incompatible, as still being variations on the same moral themes.

Fundamental Methods of Logic (CC BY)

The text is suitable for a one-semester introductory logic or “critical thinking” course. The emphasis is on formal techniques and problem solving rather than analytical writing, though exercises of the latter sort could easily be incorporated. It covers a variety of topics at an introductory level. Chapter One introduces basic notions, such as arguments and explanations, validity and soundness, deductive and inductive reasoning; it also covers basic analytical techniques, such as distinguishing premises from conclusions and diagramming arguments. Chapter Two discusses informal logical fallacies. Chapters Three and Four concern deductive logic, introducing the basics of Aristotelian and Sentential Logic, respectively. Chapters Five and Six concern inductive logic. Chapter Five deals with analogical and causal reasoning, including a discussion of Mill’s Methods. Chapter Six coversbasic probability calculations, Bayesian inference, fundamental statistical conceptsand techniques, and common statistical fallacies.

A Friendly Introduction to Mathematical Logic (CC BY-NC-SA)

At the intersection of mathematics, computer science, and philosophy, mathematical logic examines the power and limitations of formal mathematical thinking. In this expansion of Leary’s user-friendly 1st edition, readers with no previous study in the field are introduced to the basics of model theory, proof theory, and computability theory. The text is designed to be used either in an upper division undergraduate classroom, or for self study.

An Introduction to Philosophy (CC BY-NC)

The goal of this text is to present philosophy to newcomers as a living discipline with historical roots. While a few early chapters are historically organized, the goal in the historical chapters is to trace a developmental progression of thought that introduces basic philosophical methods and frames issues that remain relevant today. Later chapters are topically organized. These include philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, areas where philosophy has shown dramatic recent progress.

Introduction to Philosophy by OpenStax (CC BY)

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.

Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology (CC BY)

This book engages first-time philosophy readers on a guided tour through the core concepts, questions, methods, arguments, and theories of epistemology—the branch of philosophy devoted to the study of knowledge. The book progresses systematically while placing key ideas and thinkers in historical and contemporary context. Central topics include the analysis of knowledge, the nature of epistemic justification, rationalism vs. empiricism, skepticism, the value of knowledge, the ethics of belief, Bayesian epistemology, social epistemology, and feminist epistemologies.

Learning from Arguments: An Introduction to Philosophy (CC BY-NC)

Each chapter offers a sustained argument for some controversial thesis, specifically written for an audience of beginners. The aim is to introduce newcomers to the dynamics of
philosophical argumentation, using some of the arguments standardly covered in an introductory philosophy course, but without the additional hurdles one encounters when reading the primary sources of the arguments: challenging writing, obscure jargon, and references to unfamiliar books, philosophers, or schools of thought.

Metaethics from a First Person Standpoint (CC BY)

This textbook addresses in a novel format the major topics and themes of contemporary metaethics, the study of the analysis of moral thought and judgement. Metathetics is less concerned with what practices are right or wrong than with what we mean by ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Looking at a wide spectrum of topics including moral language, realism and anti-realism, reasons and motives, relativism, and moral progress, this book engages students and general readers in order to enhance their understanding of morality and moral discourse as cultural practices.

Other Logic Textbooks (Various CC licences)

A list of introductory and advanced logic open textbooks and free textbooks that are not under open licences. Many of the open textbooks include source files.

Plato’s Republic: An Introduction (CC BY)

Plato’s ‘Republic’: An Introduction offers a rigorous and thought-provoking analysis of the text, helping readers navigate one of the world’s most influential works of philosophy and political theory. With its approachable tone and clear presentation, it constitutes a welcome contribution to the field, and will be an indispensable resource for philosophy students and teachers, as well as general readers new to, or returning to, the text.

The Politics of Sports (CC BY-NC-SA)

A collection of texts and materials that team together students’ familiarity with sports and critical inquiry skills. The Politics of Sports has the potential to capture the interest of college students in order to excite them to begin a research journey with a sense of authority and investment in a topic that is at once familiar and complex enough to yield a wide range of inquiry.

Thinking Critically About Abortion (CC BY)

This book introduces readers to the many arguments and controversies concerning abortion. While it argues for ethical and legal positions on the issues, it focuses on how to think about the issues, not just what to think about them. It is an ideal resource to improve your understanding of what people think, why they think that and whether their (and your) arguments are good or bad, and why. It’s ideal for classroom use, discussion groups, organizational learning, and personal reading. It includes a number of teaching resources, including discussion questions and videos.

Thinking Well (CC BY)

A logic and critical thinking textbook complete with practice/homework exercises.

Words of Wisdom: Intro to Philosophy (CC BY-NC-SA)

In this text we discuss topics ranging from “Are Humans good by nature?” to “Is there a God?” to “Do I have the right to my own opinion?” Philosophy is the study of wisdom, and can emerge in our conversations in places like social media, in school, around the family dinner table, and even in the car. The text uses materials that are 2,500 years old, and materials that were in the news this year.


Carnap (GNU General Public Licence )

Carnap is a free and open software framework written in Haskell for teaching and studying formal logic.


Critical Thinking (CC BY-NC)

A collection of videos for a Critical Thinking in Global Challenges course. Topics include obesity, climate change, infectious diseases, and population.

Introduction to Philosophy (CC BY-NC)

A collection of 34 videos on different introductory topics in philosophy.


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