We're glad you're here. This guide contains information and resources pertaining to the field of philosophy. Here you'll find featured content, helpful resources and services for scholars, instructional support information, research & writing tips, a list of relevant resources, and new titles. You can also hover over each item in the navigation menu to the left for a brief description of what you'll find there; if you're using a mobile device, there is also a summary on each page.
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To learn more about who we are and the services we offer, including links to key general library services, take a look at the About Us page of this guide.
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.
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.
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)
Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers (American Philosophical Association)
Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience (American Philosophical Association)
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.
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)
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 our Land Acknowledgment and Local Indigenous Resources guide.