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A subject guide for the Department of Philosophy

Welcome to the Philosophy Subject Guide

This guide has been created by your Subject Liaison Librarian (see right) 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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Women Philosophers Volume I

Illuminating a significant moment in the development of both American and feminist philosophical history, this book explores the pioneering thought of the women in the early American Idealist movement and outgrowths of it in the late-nineteenth century. Dorothy Rogers specifically examines the ideas of women who entered philosophical discourse through education and social activism. She begins by discussing innovative educators, some of whom were members of the influential Idealist movement in St. Louis, Missouri in the eighteen-sixties and seventies. She then looks at the ideas and impact of women who were independent scholars and social and political activists. Throughout the volume, Rogers explores how Idealist thought developed, matured, and was transformed over time o across lines of race, culture, and socio-economic class. Several of the women discussed were ardent feminists and activists- Mary Church Terrell, Anna C. Brackett, Grace C. Bibb, Ana Roqu , Ellen M. Mitchell, Lucia Ames Mead, Jane Addams, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Luisa Capetillo. 

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Across the Great Divide

The division between analytic and continental political theory remains as sharp as it is wide, rendering basic problems seemingly intractable. Across the Great Divide offers an accessible and compelling account of how this split has shaped the field of political philosophy and suggests means of addressing it. Rather than advocating a synthesis of these philosophical modes, author Jeremy Arnold argues for aporetic cross-tradition theorizing: bringing together both traditions in order to show how each is at once necessary and limited. Across the Great Divide engages with a range of fundamental political concepts and theorists--from state legitimacy and violence in the work of Stanley Cavell, to personal freedom and its civic institutionalization in Philip Pettit and Hannah Arendt, and justice in John Rawls and Jacques Derrida--not only illustrating the shortcomings of theoretical synthesis but also demonstrating a productive alternative.

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Heidegger's Phenomenology of Perception

In volume I, Kleinberg-Levin interprets and defines the five key words in Heidegger's project. In this second volume, he makes use of these words, illuminating their specific concrete meaning and significance for Heidegger's phenomenology of perception and his philosophy of history. At stake in Kleinberg-Levin's project, coming after Heidegger, is the possibility of another experience and understanding of being. Concentrating on the appropriation of seeing and hearing as capacities and capabilities bearing promising potentialities that could be developed, he shows how these modes of perception should be understood in the context of Heidegger's critique of the history of metaphysics, wherein vision has served as paradigm for knowledge, truth, and reality. He also shows that seeing and hearing need to be understood in the context of Heidegger's philosophy of history, in which seeing and hearing are both given a role in the transformation of the character of our humanity, redeeming their own inherent potential. Kleinberg-Levin explores the question of our potential for growing in our humanity, growing in our sense of what it means to be human. In this way, he connects his thinking, after Heidegger, not only to the history of European thought, but also to the philosophical contributions of Emerson and Dewey, the best among the Americans to continue the Enlightenment Project.

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Natural Law

As the first translation into any modern language of Achenwall's Ius naturae, from the 1763 edition used by Immanuel Kant, this is an essential work for students and Kant scholars. For over twenty years, Kant used this book as the basis for his lectures on natural law. It has influenced his legal and political philosophy, as well as his ethics, and is indispensable for understanding Kant's Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law and his Metaphysics of Morals. Achenwall's Ius naturae focuses on the fundamental principles of legal and political philosophy. It first discusses the natural rights and obligations pertaining to the relations of humans independently of their membership in particular communities, and then discusses those pertaining to the family, the state, and international relations. Articulating his theory with clear definitions, precise distinctions, and instructive comparisons with the work of Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Wolff, and others, Achenwall offers a lucid account that fits squarely in the natural law tradition. This is a complete English translation of both volumes of the 1763 edition. The volume also includes an Introduction by eminent Kant scholar Paul Guyer.