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Where can I find a good place to obtain philosophy articles, journals, and books for free?

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    You want everything in one place, don't you. PhilArchive, formerly PhilPapers, is an online repository of philosophy e-prints, PhilSci-Archive is similar, but specializes in philosophy of science. Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg have free books of all sorts, mostly older ones, including many on philosophy. They are searchable by keywords.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 6:10
  • Academia.edu is one more place.
    – sand1
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 9:10
  • If you sign up for a free jstor.org membership you can view 100 free papers per month, they have lots of academic philosophy papers there. Also, although it's illegal in most countries, if you know a paper's DOI you can enter it into sci-hub.st and you can usually find it there, it's your personal decision whether that's ethical or not (I'd say the benefits of wider access to knowledge outweigh the harm to journals which mainly make money from institutional subscriptions, and note it's widely used by academics)
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 19:56
  • I usually start with the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (iep.utm.edu) and Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (plato.stanford.edu) whenever doing research since they are both pear-reviewed and cover about every imaginable topic between them.
    – E Tam
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 6:59

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Due to copyright there is no place where you can legally obtain contemporary papers and books if the manuscripts are not made accessible by the authors themselves (like on academia.edu or PhilArchive).

The common legal places are found in the first comment to the question by @Conifold (copied for archiving-purposes. Comments can be deleted fast):

You want everything in one place, don't you. PhilArchive, formerly PhilPapers, is an online repository of philosophy e-prints, PhilSci-Archive is similar, but specializes in philosophy of science. Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg have free books of all sorts, mostly older ones, including many on philosophy. They are searchable by keywords.

Another legal way is usually via huge libraries or university accounts. They commonly have contracts with different publishers of journals so that you can download papers for free (for personal/academic use!). Some publishers, like Oxford University Press, offer some books as download per chapter to these institutions as well.

If you are interested in a particular paper, sometimes writing an email to the author and simply asking for it helps. Most of them actually have no problem with sending a pdf of their papers.

Everything else violates copyrights and is simply illegal.

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  • The opening sentence here is misleading, intentionally or not. There is a concerted effort to make research open access e.g. there is a directory of o-a journals doaj.org. There were people who resisted the abolition of slavery, there are people who support copyright.
    – sand1
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 19:56
  • @sand1 I do not support taking thirty bucks for an article that should be part of free research. I just state how things are. And it is a fact that if the authors themselves do not make their work open access, it is illegal to obtain a copy due to copyright.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 4:51
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Project Gutenberg is great for anything 70 years older than when the author died. LibriVox have audio versions of public domain books.

A relatively recent addition to translations of Wittgenstein's work 'The Mythology Of Our Language: Remarks On Frazer's Golden Bough' is available for free download here.

Open Culture has philosophy resources.

You might be interested to read about Z Library, 'a shadow library and file-sharing project for scholarly journal articles, academic and general-interest', although I couldn't possibly recommend it (that is a Wikipedia link discussing the topic).

Visit your local library, and/or look up their online resources. There were already online services, & they have expanded in lockdown.

If you have interests in specific types of philosophy you may find additional resources.

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  • I think I should be made more clear that Z-Library is clearly illegal. I am still seriously thinking about editing that part out of the answer.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 18:12
  • @PhilipKlöcking: Reading about it will make that clear.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 18:28
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  • Your local public library will have some philosophy books, and if you want extra you can often request a purchase for specific titles as long as they are relatively new publications. (This is good as it also supports your library and authors which in turn makes access easier).

  • For other books you can request ILLs (Interlibrary Loans) from your local library. They will often be able to bring in books from academic libraries for you.

  • You can inquire if your local library has partnerships with the local university which will in turn give you access to the academic library just as if you were a student there.

  • For articles, some academic libraries grant guest access to their databases where you can download articles, however they may require you to be onsite for that.

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