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Philosophy

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

About

The IU Bloomington Libraries' Philosophy collection supports research and teaching in all branches of philosophy. Historically, emphasis has been placed on Western philosophy (Western Europe, Great Britain, and America); coverage of the philosophy of the Orient, Eastern Europe, and Latin America is limited. The philosophy collection is housed on the 4th floor of the Herman B Wells Library. 

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.

Recent Additions

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Cross-Tradition Engagement in Philosophy

This book presents a systematic unifying-pluralist account--a "constructive-engagement" account--of how cross-tradition engagement in philosophy is possible. The goal of this "constructive-engagement" account is, by way of reflective criticism, argumentation, and methodological guiding principles, to inquire into how distinct approaches from different philosophical traditions can talk to and learn from each other for the sake of making joint contributions to the contemporary development of philosophy. In Part I of the book, Bo Mou explores a range of fundamental theoretic and methodological issues in cross-tradition philosophical engagement and philosophical interpretation. In Part II, he analyzes several representative case studies that demonstrate how relevant resources in the Western and Chinese philosophical traditions can constructively engage with each other. These studies cover issues in philosophical methodology, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and logic, and ethics. The book's theoretical and practical approaches expand the vision, coverage, and agenda of doing philosophy comparatively, and promote worldwide joint efforts of cross-tradition philosophical inquiries. Cross-Tradition Engagement in Philosophywill be of interest to graduate students and scholars interested in comparative philosophy and the intersection of Chinese and Western philosophy. It will also appeal to those who are interested in the ways in which cross-tradition philosophical engagement can enhance contemporary philosophical debates in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and logic, and ethics.

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Cross-Cultural Existentialism

Engaging in existential discourse beyond the European tradition, this book turns to Asian philosophies to reassess vital questions of life's purpose, death's imminence, and our capacity for living meaningfully in conditions of uncertainty. Inspired by the dilemmas of European existentialism, this cross-cultural study seeks concrete techniques for existential practice via the philosophies of East Asia. The investigation begins with the provocative writings of twentieth-century Korean Buddhist nun Kim Iryop, who asserts that meditative concentration conducts a potent energy outward throughout the entire karmic network, enabling the radical transformation of our shared existential conditions. Understanding her claim requires a look at East Asian sources more broadly. Considering practices as diverse as Buddhist merit-making ceremonies, Confucian/Ruist methods for self-cultivation, the ritual memorization and recitation of texts, and Yijing divination, the book concludes by advocating a speculative turn. This 'speculative existentialism' counters the suspicion toward metaphysics characteristic of twentieth-century European existential thought and, at the same time, advances a program for action. It is not a how-to guide for living, but rather a philosophical methodology that takes seriously the power of mental cultivation to transform the meaning of the life that we share.

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Critique in German Philosophy

Traces a conceptual history of critique in German philosophy from the eighteenth century to the present.

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Crisis and Husserlian Phenomenology

Shedding new light on the theme of "crisis" in Husserl's phenomenology, this book reflects on the experience of awakening to one's own na vet . Beginning from everyday examples, Knies examines how this awakening makes us culpable for not having noticed what was noticeable. He goes on to apply this examination to fundamental issues in phenomenology, arguing that the appropriation of na ve life has a different structure from the reflection on pre-reflective life. Husserl's work on the "crisis" is presented as an attempt to integrate this appropriation into a systematic transcendental philosophy. Crisis and Husserlian Phenomenology brings Husserl into dialogue with other key thinkers in Continental philosophy such as Descartes, Kant, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Derrida. It is suitable for students and scholars alike, especially those interested in subjectivity, responsibility and the philosophy of history.

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Controversial Reasoning in Indian Philosophy

Arth opatti is a pervasive form of reasoning investigated by Indian philosophers in order to think about unseen causes and interpret ordinary and religious language. Its nature is a point of controversy among Mimamsa, Nyaya, and Buddhist philosophers, yet, to date, it has received less attention than perception, inference, and testimony. This collection presents a one-of-a-kind reference resource for understanding this form of reasoning studied in Indian philosophy. Assembling translations of central primary texts together with newly-commissioned essays on research topics, it features a significant introductory essay. Readable translations of Sanskrit works are accompanied by critical notes that introduce arth opatti, offer historical context, and clarify the philosophical debates surrounding it. Showing how arth opatti is used as a way to reason about the basic unseen causes driving language use, cause-and-effect relationships, as well as to interpret ambiguous or figurative texts, this book demonstrates the importance of this epistemic instrument in both contemporary Anglo-analytic and classical Indian epistemology, language, and logic.

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Contractualism

This Element begins by describing T.M. Scanlon's contractualism according to which an action is right when it is authorised by the moral principles no one could reasonably reject. This view has argued to have implausible consequences with regards to how different-sized groups, non-human animals, and cognitively limited human beings should be treated. It has also been accused of being theoretically redundant and unable to vindicate the so-called deontic distinctions. I then distinguish between the general contractualist framework and Scanlon's version of contractualism. I explain how the general framework enables us to formulate many other versions of contractualism some of which can already be found in the literature. Understanding contractualism in this new way enables us both to understand the structural similarities and differences between different versions of contractualism and also to see the different objections to contractualism as internal debates about which version of contractualism is correct.

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Contemporary with Christ

The Christian life, concerned with both spirituality and doctrine, aims not at rationally defensible truth but at life-transforming love. Greater understanding of the truth will not settle the restlessness in a human spirit; only the redemptive power of relationship with God can calm the soul. The crux of Kierkegaard's presentation of Christianity is not that doctrine is unimportant, but that it is ultimately insufficient for a life lived in relationship with God. In Contemporary with Christ ,Joshua Cockayne explores the Christian spiritual life with SÃ,ren Kierkegaard (in the guise of his various pseudonyms) as his guide and analytic theology as his key tool of engagement. Cockayne contends that the Christian life is second-personal : it seeks encounter with a personal God. As Kierkegaard describes, God invites us to "live on the most intimate terms with God." Cockayne argues that this vision of Christian spirituality is deeply practical because it advocates for a certain way of acting and existing. This approach to the Christian life moves from first-reflection, whereby one acquires objective knowledge, to second-reflection, whereby one attains deeper self-understanding, which fortifies one's relationship with God. Individuals encounter Christ through traditional practices: prayer, the Eucharist, and the reading of Scripture. However, experiences of suffering and mortality that mirror Christ's own passion also enliven this life of encounter. Spiritual progress comes through a reorientation of one's will, desire, and self-knowledge. Such progress must ultimately serve the goal of drawing close to God through Christ's presence. Engaging philosophy, theology, and psychology, Cockayne invites us to join in a conversation with Kierkegaard and explore how the spiritual disciplines provide opportunities for relationship with God by becoming contemporary with Christ.

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Competing Knowledges on a Global Scale - Wissen Im Widerstreit

Whatever societies accept as 'knowledge' is embedded in epistemological, institutional, political, and economic power relations. How is knowledge produced under such circumstances? What is the difference between general knowledge and the sciences? Can there be science without universal truth claims? Questions like these are discussed in eleven essays from the perspective of Sociology, Law, Cultural Studies, and the Humanities.

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Buddhist Ethics: a Very Short Introduction

With over 520 million followers, Buddhism is now the world's fourth largest religion. Over the last seventy years or so there has been a growing interest in Buddhism, and it continues to capture the imagination of many in the West, who see it as either an alternative or a supplement to theirown religious beliefs.For complex cultural and historical reasons, ethics has not received as much attention in traditional Buddhist thought as it has in the West. In this Very Short Introduction, Damien Keown explores how Buddhism approaches a range of moral issues of our age, including our relationship with ourenvironment, our treatment of animals, and our stance on abortion, on sexuality and gender, on violence and war. This new edition also includes a discussion of the ethical challenges posed by cutting-edge developments in science and biomedical technologies, including neuroscience, artificialintelligence, transhumanism, and gene editing.ABOUT THE SERIES:The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to makeinteresting and challenging topics highly readable.

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The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedanta

This handbook brings together a distinguished team of scholars from philosophy, theology, and religious studies to provide the first in-depth discussion of Vedanta and the many different systems of thought that make up this tradition of Indian philosophy. Emphasizing the historical development of Vedantic thought, it includes chapters on numerous classical Vedantic philosophies as well as the modern Vedantic views of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, and Romain Rolland. The volume offers careful hermeneutic analyses of how Vedantic texts have been interpreted, and it addresses key issues and debates in Vedanta, including religious diversity, the nature of God, and the possibility of embodied liberation. Venturing into cross-philosophical and cross-cultural territory, it also brings Vedanta into dialogue with Saiva Nondualism as well as contemporary Western analytic philosophy. Highlighting current scholarly controversies and charting new paths of inquiry, this is an indispensable research guide for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of Vedanta and Indian philosophy.

All Philosophy Guides