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Philosophy

A subject guide for the Department of Philosophy

Welcome to the Philosophy Subject Guide

This guide has been created by your Subject Liaison Librarian to provide students of Philosophy with information about the Library. The guide includes details of the relevant online and print resources, with lists of the key titles included throughout. 

The guide also provides support to use the Library's resources effectively, including how-to videos, online chat and details of further training available through Library@Skills.

This guide will help you to understand what the Library provides, which resources to use and how to use them.

Subject Collections

The Philosophy printed collection is located in the UCL Main Library, in addition to these open shelves there are off-site stores for rare and valuable special collections and the lesser used, older material.

The Library provides online access to a huge range of materials. Here are some of the key databases in this subject, providing online versions of everything from works of philosophy, to criticism, to historical newspapers:

Further information about all these resources and more can be found in this guide.

Where to study?

You can choose to study in any of UCL's Libraries and study spaces, there are bookable study spaces and group work spaces. There is also space which is for postgraduate use only.

New books in Philosophy

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language

The philosophy of language is central to the concerns of those working across semantics, pragmatics and cognition, as well as the philosophy of mind and ideas. Bringing together an international team of leading scholars, this handbook provides a comprehensive guide to contemporary investigations into the relationship between language, philosophy, and linguistics. Chapters are grouped into thematic areas and cover a wide range of topics, from key philosophical notions, such as meaning, truth, reference, names and propositions, to characteristics of the most recent research in the field, including logicality of language, vagueness in natural language, value judgments, slurs, deception, proximization in discourse, argumentation theory and linguistic relativity.  Showcasing the cutting-edge in research in the field, this book is essential reading for philosophers interested in language and linguistics, and linguists interested in philosophical analyses.

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Making the Case: feminist and critical race philosophers engage case studies

Analyzes the value of using case-based methodologies to address contemporary social justice issues in philosophy.

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Kant's Prolegomena

The Prolegomena is often dismissed as Kant's failed attempt to popularize his philosophy, but as the essays collected here show, there is much to be gained from a careful study of the work. The essays explore the distinctive features of the Prolegomena, including Kant's discussion of philosophical methodology, his critical idealism, the nature of experience, his engagement with Hume, the nature of the self, the relation between geometry and physics, and what we cognize about God. Newly commissioned for this volume, the essays as a whole offer sophisticated and innovative interpretations of the Prolegomena, and cast Kant's critical philosophy in a new light.

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Bentham

Jeremy Bentham - philosopher, theorist of law and of the art of government - was among the most influential figures of the early nineteenth century, and the approach he pioneered - utilitarianism - remains central to the modern world. In this new introduction to his ideas, Michael Quinn shows how Bentham sought to be an engineer or architect of choices and to illuminate the methods of influencing human conduct to good ends, by focusing on how people react to the various physical, legal, institutional, normative and cultural factors that confront them as decision-makers. Quinn examines how Bentham adopted utility as the critical standard for the development and evaluation of government and public policy, and explains how he sought to apply this principle to a range of areas, from penal law to democratic reform, before concluding with an assessment of his contemporary relevance. This book will be essential reading for any student or scholar of Bentham, as well as those interested in the history of political thought, philosophy, politics, ethics and utilitarianism.