English Philosophical Texts Online

A free online library of early modern English-language philosophical texts

General Information

English Philosophical Texts Online is part of a project at the University of Oxford. Our aim is to provide high-quality digital editions of a broad canon of English language philosophical works published in Britain between 1650 and 1830, to make them freely available in one place, and to provide intuitive software for performing sophisticated searches and computational analyses of these works. For more information about the analytical software we have planned, see the Research section of this site.

Roughly 40% our target works have already been digitised, through projects like the Text Creation Partnership, the Online Library of Liberty, and Project Gutenberg. However, these works can be difficult to locate unless you already know where to look, and the fact that they are spread out over multiple sites prohibits systematic searching and comparative computational analysis. Furthermore, the editions on these sites do not include universal paragraph references, making them of limited use to historians of philosophy. By combining these works with new digitisations of as many other works, including several by often neglected female writers, we hope to provide a lasting scholarly resource of unparalleled size in this field.

Thanks to the John Fell Fund, we conducted a pilot project last year (2018-19), the principal aim of which was to draw up a list of works, locate the best publicly available digital editions of those works, and to estimate the cost and feasibility of converting these editions into a consistent format and of digitizing the works that remain. We are now applying to the Leverhulme Trust for the necessary funds to see the project through to completion. We continue to seek input from scholars, teachers, and other interested parties, so please contact us with any suggestions, queries, or expressions of interest.