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Free Thought is a social policy in Civilization V. It is part of the Rationalism tree and requires Secularism. In Brave New World it requires Humanism.

It can be a revolutionary concept that allowing free thought to develop is beneficial to all! Especially when you live in a backward, retrograde, traditionalist society, ruled by a despot. Nevertheless, stimulating the free thought of everyone in society transfers immediately into greater flow of ideas, which in turn helps the country's scientific development immensely.

Game Info[]


This is the tree's uber-Policy! It both upgrades one of the central science buildings, the University (which now increases base Science Science output by a total of 50%), and adds Science Science production to the Trading Post tile improvement. Gold Gold-oriented empires will get great immediate benefit from this Policy, since they usually build this type of improvement more. But any empire with lots of jungles will benefit as well: the Trading Post is the only improvement which can be built in a jungle without destroying it, and its native +2 Science Science yield is then upgraded by the improvement to a total of +3, which is then upgraded by the 50% bonus of the University!

Acquiring this Policy is a great strategy for accelerating tech progression for any empire, even one that doesn't intend to develop the whole tree. You just need one other Policy before that (Humanism), and you'll get a serious boost in raw Science Science production, as well as faster Great Scientist progression.

For players pursuing a science victory, getting this Policy should be a very high priority. They should develop another Policy before rushing this one, though, so the recommended progression is Secularism, then Humanism, then Free Thought.

Civilopedia entry[]

Free thought is the belief that knowledge should be gained through the application of science and reason, rather than from tradition or religious dogma. Theories should be tested scientifically and logically. If something can't be proven, it's foolish to believe in it. Blind faith is the arch enemy of free thinkers everywhere. Free thinking is an important part of Buddhist tradition. In the "Kalama Sutta," the Buddha states, "Do not accept anything by mere tradition... Do not accept anything because it accords with your scriptures... But when you know for yourselves - then do you live accordingly."

Civilization V Social Policies [edit]
Tradition AristocracyLanded EliteLegalismMonarchyOligarchy
Liberty CitizenshipCollective RuleMeritocracyRepresentationRepublic
Honor DisciplineMilitary CasteMilitary TraditionProfessional ArmyWarrior Code
Piety Free ReligionMandate of HeavenOrganized ReligionReformationReligious ToleranceTheocracy
Patronage AestheticsConsulatesCultural DiplomacyEducated EliteMerchant ConfederacyPhilanthropyScholasticism
Commerce EntrepreneurshipMercantilismMercenary ArmyMerchant NavyNaval TraditionProtectionismTrade Unions Wagon Trains
Rationalism Free ThoughtHumanismScientific RevolutionSecularismSovereignty
Aesthetics Artistic GeniusCultural CentersCultural Exchange Fine ArtsFlourishing of the Arts
Exploration Maritime InfrastructureMerchant NavyNaval TraditionNavigation SchoolTreasure Fleets
Freedom Civil SocietyConstitutionDemocracyFree SpeechUniversal Suffrage
Autocracy FascismMilitarismPolice StatePopulismTotal War
Order CommunismNationalismPlanned EconomySocialismUnited Front