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Goretti Publications

Our Philosophy

We have a few unusual policies at Goretti Publications, and our readers may be interested in having them explained. So we've endeavored to do so here. Essentially, these devolve into two main areas: numbering and copyright. We'll address both in turn.


Readers will quickly notice that our works are not numbered in the prevalent decimal system. Instead, they are numbered in the dozenal system, where each column in a number flips to the next at twelve, rather than at ten. So counting proceeds as such:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, dozen; dozen-one, dozen-two, dozen-three, dozen-four...

Depending on the medium, we use different characters for "ten" and "eleven." We use "X" for ten and "E" for eleven on the Internet, where our fonts are limited; so our counting in digits looks like this:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, X, E, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1X, 1E, 20, 21...

In our pdfs and printed works, we have real font options; so there, we use an inverted "2" for ten and an inverted "3" for eleven; our copyright pages explain this.

The dozenal system has a long pedigree, having been first explicated by Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz in E48 (1640) and supported by luminaries such as Georges-Louis Leclerc (also known as the Comte de Buffon); Pierre-Simon Laplace; John Nystrom; Sir Isaac Pitman; Herbert Spencer; George Bernard Shaw; and H. G. Wells.

A thorough explanation for why the dozenal system is preferable to the decimal is beyond our scope here; but plenty of information can be found at the Dozenal Society of America:

Dozenal Society of America


At Goretti Publications, we only publish works that do not restrict the reader's freedom in meaningful ways. This means, as a practical matter, that we only publish works under "copyleft" licenses, or those in the public domain. The reader may wish to understand why.

The first reason is that we see no real basis for so-called "intellectual property" in any sensible system of philosophy. There is no natural right to control the way that other people use something once we give it to them (e.g., there is no natural right to prevent someone from copying a book once we've handed it to them), nor is it, as a practical matter, particularly effective at incentivizing authors and innovation. Indeed, to the contrary, the intellectual property regime as it stands is more often used to stifle innovation and to collect rents on old works rather than to incentivize the production of new ones.

However, agree or disagree with this way of thinking (and obviously, on this complex issue there is a great deal more to say), Goretti Publications would still wish only to publish works which are open; that is, which do not restrict the reader's freedom in unjustified ways. This is because we want our works to be spread more, not less; and in the unlikely event that this deprives us of some profit that we would otherwise accrue, we are glad and proud to make the sacrifice. As Thomas Jefferson once noted:

It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

All around the world, men offer one another their tapers, seeking some small bit of light to help shine their way through the world. It would be strange indeed if we, possessing such infinitely reproducible lights as we do, were to begrudge our fellow man a tip from our taper.

For this reason, we only publish works that we can use in this way: that we can offer for free to whomever wishes them. It seems unlikely that we would make much profit on any of the works we publish; but if we would, we're happy to give that up for the good of others. Rather than make it impossible for us to do so, we will limit ourselves only to those books which we can offer freely to the world.