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Open Source Readings Arranged by Theme

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    This list is not comprehensive, but the vast majority of public domain works are available because they are older. A few newer authors are publishing through Creative Commons, but that is not common. Thus, this list may serve best as introducing student to some classics or to compare older attitudes and thoughts on a topic to modern ones. In addition, there are a few works here than can serve as primary sources for historical research. A couple of additional searchable open source databases are listed at the bottom of this list.

    Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion

    A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

    Walden and Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

    Siddartha (Herman Hesse)

    The Prophet (Khalil Gilbran)

    The Ethics of Aristotle

    Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

    Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzche

    The Fourth Dimension and the Bible

    What is Man? and Other Essays by Mark Twain

    The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig (2001)


    The Art of War (Sun Tzu) -- also military (and business) strategy

    My Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum (1879)

    Sketches in Bedlam (1823)

    Is Man a Free Agent? The Law of Suggestion (1902)

    Economics, Politics, and Sociology

    The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)

    The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx)

    The Republic (Plato)

    A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Mary Wollstonecraft)

    First English Edition of Michel de Montaigne's Essays (1603)

    The Federalist Papers

    ProPublica articles (just attribute them)

    Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace. Edited by Mark Tovey (book of essays) 2009.

    A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift


    On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

    First Paper to Link CO2 and Global Warming, by Eunice Foote (1856

    The Anatomy of Drunkenness (1834) -- Great as an example of classification; written by a doctor



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    This page last updated on June 7, 2020.










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