Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Philosophy

The IU Bloomington Libraries' Philosophy collection supports research and teaching in all branches of philosophy.

About Philosophy

What is truth? What is knowledge? What is goodness? Philosophy (from the Greek for “love of wisdom”) is the discipline of asking such questions about the fundamental nature of the universe. The IU Bloomington Libraries’ Philosophy collection supports research and teaching in all branches of philosophy. Philosophy encompasses a wide range of subfields, from metaphysics and epistemology to ethics to the philosophy of science.

Historically, emphasis has been placed on Western philosophy (Western Europe, Great Britain, and America); coverage of the philosophy of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America is limited, but growing. The philosophy collection is housed on the 4th floor of the Herman B Wells Library.

To learn more about the IU Department of Philosophy, visit their website.

Featured | Indigenous Philosophies

The field of philosophy is often (mis)perceived as an anglo- and eurocentric discipline, dominated by certain voices and a distinctively Western perspective. Indigenous forms of knowledge, methodologies, and worldviews, in all their diversity and complexity, however, have existed for millennia, thriving outside the academy and other institutional spaces and engaging with life, experience, and the nature of reality in unexpected and exciting ways. These tributaries of thought, flowing within and across Native communities, subvert dominant paradigms and ideals of philosophical thought and challenge us to consider other ways of knowing and understanding the world.

In this guide, and in recognition of National Native American Heritage Month, we have attempted to outline and highlight the many books, articles, and individuals that comprise and who have contributed to Indigenous philosophy and thought across time. To access these resources, hover over the "Features" tab on the right and select "Indigenous Philosophies."

Further Resources & Reading
Indigenous Philosophies (Philosophy Now)
Native American Philosophy (Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy)
Newsletter on Native American and Indigenous Philosophy (American Philosophical Association)
Indigenous Research and Professional Philosophy in the U.S. (Political Philosopher Blog)

Next Steps
If you'd like to learn more about this month-long celebration of Indigenous communities and identity, we've created a guide with list of resources, as well as a playlist featuring Indigenous musicians, on the Media Studies Research Guide. There is also an introduction to Two-Spirit identity and the LGBTQIA Indigenous experience on the Gender Studies Research Guide.

For more information about the Indigenous communities with ongoing and traditional ties to this land, and how to support Indigenous groups and movements, take a look at the Land Acknowledgment section on the left-hand side of this page.

Featured | Introduction to Queer Theory

In celebration of Pride Month, we've created this feature on queer theory.Pride flag

Queer theory is a way of thinking that dismantles traditional assumptions about gender and sexual identities. The field emerged from sexuality studies and women's studies. Queer theorists analyze gender and sexuality as socially and culturally constructed concepts. The goal of queer theory is to challenge traditional academic approaches and fight against social inequality.

Access the resources on queer theory by going to "Introduction to Queer Theory" or by navigating to the "Features" section (on the left side, in the menu) and selecting "Introduction to Queer Theory."

Recent Additions

Cover Art links to catalog record

Mirabilis Dubitatio

St. Thomas Aquinas placed the formal cause on prominent display as the foundation for his metaphysics of esse. Yet nowhere did he offer a systematic presentation of the key elements for this central doctrine. In response to this absence, Mirabilis dubitatio presents a systematic analysis of the doctrine which Aquinas himself called “a topic of wondrous difficulty.” Kaiser's work argues this central feature of Aquinas's thought, the formal cause, must be reintegrated into any metaphysical analysis in the 21st century. Such a reintegration can only begin through a presentation and understanding of Aquinas's coherent account as presented here.

Cover Art links to catalog record

The Bloomsbury Handbook of Fichte

A founding figure of German idealism, Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) developed a radically new version of transcendental idealism. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Fichte follows his intellectual life and presents a comprehensive overview of Fichte's dynamic philosophy, from his engagement with Kant to his rigorously systematic and nuanced Wissenschaftslehre and beyond. Covering a variety of topics and issues in epistemology, ontology, moral and political philosophy, as well as philosophy of right and philosophy of religion, an international team of experts on Fichte explores his important contributions to philosophy. This is an invaluable research resource for all Fichte scholars and a reliable guide for anyone undertaking a study of Fichte and German idealism.

Cover Art links to catalog record

The Bloomsbury Companion to Arendt

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) remains a touchstone in innumerable debates about the use of violence in politics, the responsibility one has under dictatorships and totalitarianism, and how to combat the repetition of the horrors of the past. The Bloomsbury Companion to Arendt offers the definitive guide to her writings and ideas, her influences and commentators, as well as the reasons for her lasting significance, with 66 original essays taking up in accessible terms the myriad ways in which one can understand her work and her continuing importance. These essays, written by an international set of her best readers and commentators, provide a comprehensive coverage of her life and the contexts in which her works were written.

Cover Art links to catalog record

Apperception and Self-Consciousness in Kant and German Idealism

In Apperception and Self-Consciousness in Kant and German Idealism, Dennis Schulting examines the themes of reflexivity, self-consciousness, representation and apperception in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and German Idealism more widely. Central to Schulting's argument is the claim that all of human experience is irreversibly self-referential and that this is part of a self-reflexivity, or what philosophers call transcendental apperception, a Kantian insight that was first apparent in the work of Christian Wolff and came to inform all of German Idealism. The author establishes the historical roots of Kant's thought and traces it through to his immediate successors Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

Cover Art links to catalog record

Aesthetics

A revised second edition of the bestselling anthology on the major figures and themes in aesthetics and philosophy of art, the ideal resource for a comprehensive introduction to the study of aesthetics. Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology offers a well-rounded and thorough introduction to the evolution of modern thought on aesthetics. In a collection of over 60 readings, focused primarily on the Western tradition, this text includes works from key figures such as Plato, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Danto, and others. Broad in scope, this volume also contains contemporary works on the value of art, frequently-discussed continental texts, modern perspectives on feminist philosophy of art, and essays by authors outside of the community of academic philosophy.

Cover Art links to catalog record

Aesthetics in Dialogue

The impact of aesthetics is increasing again. For today's scholars, aesthetic theories are a significant companion and contribution in studying and analyzing cultural phenomena and production. Today's scene of aesthetics is more global than what it is in most disciplines, as it does not just include scholars from all over the world, but also keeps on applying philosophical traditions globally.

Cover Art links to catalog record

Advancing the Human Self

Do technologies advance our self-identities, as they do our bodies, cognitive skills, and the next developmental stage called postpersonal? Did we already manage to be fully human, before becoming posthuman? Are we doomed to disintegration and episodic selfhood? This book examines the impact of radical technopoiesis on our selves from a multidisciplinary perspective, including the health humanities, phenomenology, the life sciences and humanoid AI (artificial intelligence) ethics. Surprisingly, our body representations show more plasticity than scholarly concepts and sociocultural narratives. Our embodied selves can withstand transplants, bionic prostheses and radical somatechnics, but to remain autonomous and authentic, our agential potentials must be strengthened - and this is not through 'psychosurgery' and the brain-computer interface.

Cover Art links to catalog record

Adorno and Neoliberalism

The first book to investigate the relevance of Theodor W. Adorno's work for theorizing the age of neoliberal capitalism. Through an engagement with Adorno's critical theory of society, Charles Prusik advances a novel approach to understanding the origins and development of neoliberalism. Offering a corrective to critics who define neoliberalism as an economic or political doctrine, Prusik argues that Adorno's dialectical theory of society can provide the basis for explaining the illusions and forms of domination that structure contemporary life. Prusik explains the importance of Marx's critique of commodity fetishism in shaping Adorno's work and focuses on the related concepts of exchange, ideology, and natural history as powerful tools for grasping the present.

Contributors' Notes

Rachel Brill (she/her) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant