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Philosophy

A subject guide for the Department of Philosophy

New to UCL

If you are new to UCL we have created an Online Induction to help you familiarise with UCL Library Services. Visit the Getting started with UCL Library Services: Online induction page to find out more.

New Postgraduates

Library resources for Philosophy postgraduates

Friday 7th October, 11.00 - 11.50am, Cruciform Building B1.15A - Public Cluster

This training session will provide an introduction to UCL Library services and resources specifically for Philosophy postgraduate students. The session will include an introduction to Explore and an overview of the most relevant online resources.

Just turn up! 

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.

Take a virtual tour of Main Library

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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An Ethics of Political Communication

Working in the tradition of analytic philosophy, Alexander Brown argues that many different forms of political communication (or anti-communication) that often infuriate the public can also be ethically or morally objectionable. These forms include question dodging, offering scripted answers, stonewalling, not listening, disseminating propaganda, pandering, being insincere, giving false denials, issuing revisionist interpretations, refusing to take responsibility, never apologising, boasting, and gaslighting. Brown invokes a host of normative reasons including those having to do with epistemic arrogance, interference in autonomy, and violating the right to be heard. This is not to say that, all things considered, politicians should never engage in dubious political communication. Sometimes these are necessary evils. Brown argues, however, that further moral inquiry is needed to show why they are evils, and to determine when the use of these rhetorical tactics can be excessive, unreasonable, or out of place.

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On Beauty and Measure: Plato's Symposium and Statesman

On Beauty and Measure features renowned philosopher John Sallis' commentaries on Plato's dialogues the Symposium and the Statesman. Drawn from two lecture courses delivered by Sallis, they represent his longest and most sustained engagement to date with either work. Brilliantly original, Sallis's close readings of Plato's dialogues are grounded in the original passages and also illuminate the overarching themes that drive the dialogues.

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Frances Power Cobbe

This volume brings together essential writings by the unjustly neglected nineteenth-century philosopher Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904). A prominent ethicist, feminist, champion of animal welfare, and critic of Darwinism and atheism, Cobbe was well known and highly regarded in the Victorianera. This collection of her work introduces contemporary readers to Cobbe and shows how her thought developed over time, beginning in 1855 with her Essay on Intuitive Morals, in which she set out her duty-based moral theory, arguing that morality and religion are indissolubly connected. This work provided the framework within which she addressed many theoretical and practical issues in her prolific publishing career. Shedding light on Cobbe's philosophical perspective and its applications, this volume demonstrates the range, systematicity and philosophical character of her work and makes her core ethical theory and its central applications and developments available for teaching and scholarship.

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A Philosophy for Future Generations

If societies, like institutions, are built to endure, then the bond that exists between generations must be considered. Constructing a framework to establish a philosophy of future generations, Tiziana Andina explores the factors that make it possible for a society to reproduce over time. Andina's study of the diachronic structure of societies considers the never-ending passage of generations, as each new generation comes to form a part of the new social fabric and political model. Her model draws on the anthropologies offered by classical political philosophies such as Hobbes and Machiavelli and the philosophies of power as discussed by Nietzsche. She confronts the ethics and function of this fundamental relationship, examines the role of transgenerationality in the formation and endurance of Western democracies and recognizes an often overlooked problem: each new generation must form part of social and political arrangements designed for them by the generations that came before.