If you took a course in philosophy or critical thinking at college or university,
you paid an average of $70 for your textbook. I think that's too much,
especially for students who have to choose between food and the rent, two or
three times a year, like a lot of my students. Yet the cost of these books never goes down,
because students are a captive market.
So, I gathered a team of writers, editors, and designers, and together we created
our own textbook, so that my students don't have to buy one. The production
process was was funded by the more than 700 backers who pleged a little bit of money
each through Kickstarter,
an online crowd-sourcing fundraising platform. We raised almost $17,000 to pay for the contributors,
as well as designers, editors, and publicists. (And I'm still receiving private donations too, via PayPal).
And now I've made it available to the whole world, for free.
Clear and Present Thinking is published under my own imprint, Northwest Passage Books.
But as promised, the book's copyright is set under a
Creative Commons open culture license. This means anyone can use it, share it, and do
almost anything with it. Systematic critical reason is the open-source OS of the mind; and so it makes
sense to me to give this book to the world, electronically for free, and in print for the lowest
possible price. For editions which I cannot set to $0.00, I will commit all royalties to future
free or nearly-free textbook projects.
The team and I would like to thank everyone for their generous support for their project, and for helping make knowledge a little bit more free.
An expanded edition is now in the planning stages, and announcements will be made in all the usual places when the time comes. Meanwhile, I am open to suggestions from readers about how the text could be improved, and what could go into the expanded edition.