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Philosophy

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

About

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 | Feminism & Feminist Philosophies

Female Empowerment SymbolFeminism is the belief in the social, economic, and political equality of all sexes. 

This feature covers some of the history and individual movements within feminism.

Access the resources on waves of feminism and its various lineages of thought here, or by navigating to the "Features" section (on the left side, in the menu) and selecting "Feminist Philosophies."

Next Steps
If you'd like to engage further with feminism in its various forms and across media, consider checking out this comprehensive new guide to Feminist Fiction in German.

Online Readings

Books

Online Resources

Databases

Featured | Black Philosophy & Thought

Philosophy has long centered the perspective and contributions of white male thinkers, especially from Europe and the U.S. In recognition of Black History Month, we have compiled a guide highlighting just a few of the influential Black thinkers in order to expand the horizons of philosophy as it is currently understood and learn about the history and achievements of Black and African philosophers. Their works span the areas of Black feminism, colonial studies, and critical race theory, among others, and challenge us to think outside of dominant viewpoints. These thinkers represent only a handful of the many important Black philosophers of history and today, and we hope you'll continue to learn and explore beyond the scholars and lineages of thought we've highlighted here. 

Access this resource here, or by navigating to the "Features" section (on the left side, in the menu) and selecting "Black Philosophy & Thought."

Further Reading & Exploration
Africana Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
African American Philosophy: A General Outline (Oxford Handbooks Online)
"The Reality of Black Philosophy" (The Black Scholar)

Next Steps
As with many of these national commemorations, one month is never enough time to fully honor and celebrate the history and culture of marginalized communities, let alone heal the legacies (and ongoing reality) of harm they've experienced. We recognize that there is much more to be done, that racism and anti-blackness can't be eliminated simply through the creation of resource guides, and that the work of realizing justice won't soon be over. But nevertheless, we keep trying, contributing how we can and building upon the efforts of those who came before us, and we continue to learn from and with one another.

If you'd like to engage more deeply with Black History Month, the IU Libraries Arts & Humanities department has created a number of interrelated resources and features to provide more holistic coverage of this remembering. You'll find those, below:

And for all things Black culture, you can never go wrong with the resources, services, and collections of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library.

Additionally, throughout the '21 spring semester, our department is hosting an ongoing Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge. This program encourage participants to engage with items from our collections that will facilitate and deepen their awareness of a variety of social justice issues, and features a number of titles relevant to Black History Month. If you'd like to join us, take a look at the Challenge Guide.

Recent Additions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

All Philosophy Guides

Contributors' Notes

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