Philosophy

This is a list of ebooks by Catholic Christian authorities and authors on philosophy, “the study of being as being”, or (roughly) the rational study of ultimate causes using the data of nature. Some of these are works of “pure” philosophy. Others are theological works that employ philosophical reasoning either (a) to explain revealed truth and make it comprehensible to non-believers, (b) to demonstrate that revealed and rational truth are not in conflict, or (c) to understand the circumstances in which revealed truth is to be applied.

These works are truly philosophical because their arguments are premised on what reason gleans from natural things and not on “special revelation” culminating in Christ; yet they are truly Christian because, being authentically rational and open to all truth, their methods and conclusions point to Christ Who is Truth, even if their reach exceeds their grasp. Like the magi, they walk on the ground which is reason, but their eyes are open to the star of faith.

  • Abortion: The Myths, the Realities, and the Arguments, by Germain Grisez (New York, Cleveland: Corpus Books, 1970). Available in PDF format at The Way of the Lord Jesus (copyright 2009). [N.B., The book provides a history and summary of the abortion issue. The webpage states: “Because Grisez… published it before Roe v. Wade, much of its content is out of date… However, some parts of this book remain relevant and sound, and careful readers may find them useful.”]
  • Aeterni Patris, Encyclical, On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy, by Pope Leo XIII (promulgated on 4 August 1879). Available at EWTN Library and The Summa.info.
  • Approaches to God, by Jacques Maritain. Available at Internet Archive
  • Art and Scholasticism, by Jacques Maritain, translated by Joseph W. Evans. May be read online at Jacques Maritain Center. Also available at Internet Archive.
  • Beauty: a Study in Philosophy, by Aloysius Rother, S.J. (St. Louis, Mo., London: B. Herder, 1917). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library, with a second copy at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • A Brief Text-Book of Logic and Mental Philosophy, by Charles Coppens, 1835-1920 (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1891). Available on Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN; Book contributor: University of California Libraries).
  • A Brief Text-Book of Moral Philosophy, by Charles Coppens, 1835-1920 (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1895; copyright 1895 by the Catholic School Book Company). Available on Internet Archive and Open Library (Digitizing sponsor: MSN; Book contributor: University of California Libraries).
  • Christian anthropology, by John Thein, with an introduction by Prof. Chas. G. Herbermann, Ph.D. (New York, Cincinnati: Benziger Brothers, 1892). Available at Internet Archive. [N.B., No Imprimatur, but it is published by a reputable Catholic publisher, and the content appears to be Catholic.]
  • Commentaries on the Four Books of Sentences of Master Peter Lombard (Commentaria in Quatuor Libros Sententiarum), by St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. Available at Franciscan Archive (published as part of The Commentary Project).
  • Commentary on The Sentences of Peter Lombard, by St. Thomas Aquinas. Excerpt (Latin-English parallel texts) available on this page of the home page of Hugh McDonald. Various translated excerpts are indexed on the Aquinas Translation Project.
  • The Consolation of Philosophy, by [Anicius Manlius Severinus] Beothius, translated by W.V. Cooper (London: J.M. Dent and Company, 1902). First written around 520-526 AD. Available at the University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center.
  • Contraception and the Natural Law, by Germain Grisez (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1965). Available in PDF format at The Way of the Lord Jesus (copyright 2009).
  • Dante and Catholic Philosophy in the Thirteenth Century, by Frederic Ozanam, translated by Lucia Pychowska (New York, The Cathedral Library association, 1897). Available at Open Library and Internet Archive (which states: ‘Translation of the 2d ed. of the author’s Dante et la philosophie catholique, Paris, 1845. The chapter “Des sources poétiques de la Divine comédie” has been omitted’)
  • Decree of Approval of some Theses Contained in the Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas and Proposed to the Teachers of Philosophy, by the Sacred Congregation of Studies, translated from Latin by Hugh McDonald. Latin-English text available on this page of the home page of Hugh McDonald.
  • Decree on the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies of Philosophy, by Congregation for Catholic Education (2011). Available at the website of the Holy See, with excerpt and and link on Rorate Coeli.
  • Elementary course of Christian philosophy: based on the principles of the best scholastic authors, by the Christian Brothers (New York: O’Shea, 1893). With Imprimatur Available at Internet Archive and Open Library (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Cornell University Library).
  • An Essay in aid of a Grammar of Assent, by Blessed John Henry Newman. On  Dogmatic Theology, Faith. May be read online on Newman Reader (The National Institute for Newman Studies, 2007).
  • The First Principles of Knowledge, by John Rickaby, S.J. (1889). Available at Jacques Maritain Center.
  • The Four Books of Sentences, by Master Peter Lombard, Archbishop of Paris, c.1100-c.1161 AD. Available at Franciscan Archive (index of Peter Lombard’s works): Latin-English texts of Book I, Book II (incomplete), and Book IV, Distinction 1 (incomplete).
  • The Four Cardinal Virtues, Prudence Justice Fortitude Temperance, by Josef Pieper (Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1955). [LINK DELETED DUE TO COPYRIGHT CONCERNS]
  • Four-Square; or, The Cardinal Virtues: Addresses to Young Men, by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (New York: Joseph F. Wagner, 1908). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library, with a second copy at Internet Archive  and Open Library.
  • The Freedom of Science, by Joseph Donat (New York: J. F. Wagner, 1913). With Imprimatur. Available on Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN; Book contributor: Kelly Library, University of Toronto). According to Open Library, it has the following sections: The freedom of science and its philosophical basis; Freedom of research and faith; The liberal freedom of research; Freedom of teaching; Theology.
  • God, Man and Religion: being part I of a short apologetic series, by Ernest R. Hull, S.J. (Bombay: Examiner Press; New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons; etc., 1914). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library
  • History of Medieval Philosophy, by Maurice De Wulf, 3rd edition, translated by P. Coffey, D.Ph. (London, New York, Bombay, and Calcutta: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909). Available on Jacques Maritain Center.
  • A History of Western Philosophy, Volumes 1 and 2, by Ralph McInerny. (Copyright 1963 by the University of Notre Dame Press. All rights reserved.). Available at Jacques Maritain Center.
  • An Introduction to Christian Philosophy, by William G. Most. Available at EWTN Library. Copyright (c) 1994 William G. Most.
  • The Journey of the Mind into God (Or, The Vision of the Poverello in the Desert of Mt.Alverna), by St. Bonaventure. Latin-English parallel text available at Franciscan Archive; English text available at The Crossroads Initiative (English translation of the 1938 Quaracchi Edition), EWTN Library.
  • [Lectures on the Indians, and on the Law of War, of Franciscus de Victoria] Francisci De Victoria De Indis et De Ivre Belli Relectiones, by Francisco de Vitoria, edited by Ernest Nys (reprinted 1964), of the multi-volume series The Classics of International Law, edited by James Brown Scott. Based on notes of lectures delivered 1532. May be read online at Constitution Society and at the webpage of Professor Ken Pennington. [NB: This is one of the leading early texts of international law and human rights theory, and has led some jurists to declare that Vitoria was the true founder of international law. Vitoria was among the first representatives of Spanish Scholasticism, which used Christian Faith and Thomist analysis to analyze emerging problems and thus laid the bases for modern jurisprudence, economics, political theory, and philosophy.]
  • Leisure The Basis Of Culture, by Joseph Pieper (1952). [LINK DELETED DUE TO COPYRIGHT CONCERNS]
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume I: Cosmology, Psychology, Epistemology (Criteriology), General Metaphysics (Ontology), by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916). Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume II: Natural Theology (Theodicy), Logic Ethics, History of Philosophy, by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library. The third impression (1922) is available at Internet Archive.
  • Metaphysics: Let Thomas Aquinas Teach It, edited by Joseph Kenny, O.P., St. Thomas Aquinas Priory (Ibadan, Nigeria, 2012). Available in PDF format at the website of Joseph Kenny. [N.B., This is a collection of texts by St. Thomas Aquinas, arranged thematically.]
  • Moral Philosophy: Ethics, Deontology and Natural Law, by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1918). May be read online at the Jacques Maritain Center. A new impression of the fourth edition (London, New York, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras: Longmans, Green and Co., 1919), with Imprimatur, is available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library
  • Of God and His Creatures: An Annotated Translation (With some Abridgement) of the Summa Contra Gentiles of Saint Tho[ma]s Aquinas, by Joseph Rickaby (London: Burns and Oates, 1905). Available on Jacques Maritain Center.
  • On God’s Existence, by St. Anselm (excerpts of his Proslogium); with How Someone Writing On Behalf Of The Fool Might Reply To All This, by Gaunilo, and Anselm’s Reply to Gaunilo. Available on this page of the Russian-language Medieval Philosophy Library.
  • Our Christian Heritage, by James Cardinal Gibbons (Baltimore: John Murphy and Company; London: R.Washbourne, 1889). Available at Internet Archive with a 2nd copy here.
  • Pastime Papers, by Henry Edward Manning (London: Burns & Oates, Ltd., 1892?). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • Philosophy of Nature: Let Thomas Aquinas Teach It, edited by Joseph Kenny, O.P., St. Thomas Aquinas Priory (Ibadan, Nigeria, 2012). Available in PDF format at the website of Joseph Kenny. [N.B., This is a collection of texts by St. Thomas Aquinas, arranged thematically.]
  • The physical system of St. Thomas, by Cornoldi, Giovanni Maria, 1822-1892, Dering, Edward Heneage (London : Art and Book Co., 1893). Available at Internet Archive.
  • Proslogium and Monologium by St. Anselm of Canterbury. May be downloaded in PDF format through the Saints’ Books index,
  • Proslogium, or Discourse on the Existence of God, by St. Anselm (c. 1078). Available on Medieval Sourcebook.
  • Providence, by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Available at EWTN Library.
  • Reality: A Synthesis Of Thomistic Thought, by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Available at EWTN Library .
  • Scholasticism, by Joseph Rickaby, SJ. Available at Internet Archive, 2nd copy, 3rd copy, 4th copy.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas and Medieval Philosophy, by D.J. Kennedy, O.P. (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1919). Available at the Jacques Maritain Center.
  • Summa Contra Gentiles, by Saint Thomas Aquinas, translated by the English Dominican Fathers (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, [NB, The source information states: New York: Benzinger Brothers], 1924). With Imprimatur. Available online at Saint Wiki.
  • The Summa Contra Gentiles, or On the Truth of the Catholic Faith, by St. Thomas Aquinas, translated by Anton C. Pegis,  James F. Anderson, Vernon J. Bourke, and Charles J. O’Neil (New York: Hanover House, 1955-57). Edited, with English, especially Scriptural references, updated by Joseph Kenny, O.P.  Available at the website of the Dominican House of Studies, Priory of the Immaculate Conception. Parallel texts in Latin and English available at the website of Joseph Kenny.
  • The Summa Theologica [or Summa Theologiae, or Summation of Theology], by St. Thomas Aquinas, translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Second and Revised Edition, 1920). With Imprimatur. May be read on New Advent, with active links to relevant Scriptural passages and Catholic Encyclopedia articles. Another edition (Benziger Bros., 1947) is available on Catholic Primer and at the website of the Dominican House of Studies, Priory of the Immaculate Conception. The Logic Museum contains the incomplete parallel Latin and English texts, the latter from the Dominican translation.
  • The temporal mission of the Holy Ghost: or, Reason and revelation, by Cardinal Manning, Henry Edward, 1808-1892 (1865). Available at Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: National Institute for Newman Studies, Book contributor: Saint Mary’s College of California).
  • Thomism and Mathematical Physics, Dissertation by Bernard I. Mullahy (July 1946). Available on Internet Archive. (Creative Commons license: Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)
  • A Tour of the Summa, by Monsignor Paul J. Glenn. May be read online at Catholic Theology.info. Described thus at Marian Land: “This unique synopsis of the Summa Theologica is a complete, chapter-by-chapter restatement of St. Thomas’ work, intended to expose readers to the totality of St. Thomas’ thought and yet be brief enough to fit into one volume.”
  • The Trinity and God the Creator, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Dogma. May be read online on EWTN Library.

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