Some philosophy texts on github

Over the years, I’ve prepared a number of different texts to give to my own students. For example: cleaned up electronic versions of Peirce’s “Fixation of Belief” and Berkeley’s Principles. I’ve had occasional thoughts about sharing them, but didn’t have a sensible platform for doing so.1

In making the most recent update to forall x, I starting using github. It’s primarily a platform for writing software and maintaining code, but it is also well suited for hosting LaTeX documents. Keeping track of which version I used in which semester is a mess that git cleans up, and it’s no extra effort to share the files.

So I created three github repositories today:

  1. pragmatism: In addition to Peirce and James, this includes some Emerson.2 I may add more in the course of this semester.
  2. early-modern: I prepared Hume’s first Enquiry and Berkeley’s Principles for student use years ago. Both are nicely formatted complete books.
  3. understanding-science: I also added a repository for the notes on inference that I posted last year. I still mean to add to those, so I might as well set it up now.

The material in 1 and 2 is mostly in the public domain. Where I’ve written something, I offer it under an open license.

  1. I didn’t want to just dump them in a big jumble on my website. They didn’t belong on the institutional archive, because I didn’t write them. And that’s about as much thought as I put into it.
  2. It’s not that I think Emerson is a pragmatist especially, but just that I didn’t want a separate repository for transcendentalists.

5 thoughts on “Some philosophy texts on github”

  1. Maybe it’s the antiquarian in me, but now that everything published pre-1923 is online, why not just give them a PDF of the original “Fixation of Belief” (for example)? Now you’ve got me curious about how students’ experience changes when they read something that looks old versus something that looks recent!

  2. A scan of an old document will be hard to read on some displays. It’s harder to mark up electronically. It’s not searchable. And it is less accessible for people with disabilities who need to use screen readers or other technology.
    On top of that, this version is easier to excerpt. I have students read ‘Fixation of Belief’ in an intro-level science studies class, but I cut out some of the parts that aren’t relevant for the course.

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