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Below is a selection of books on the discipline of Philosophy. Some of the titles listed here provide an overview of the subject, whereas others offer in-depth analysis on specific topics. As a student, you will mostly be using books on both classical philosophical thought and critical analyses. This page will focus and list titles in the Library's collection that fall under the area of analyses, and they will be in the format of handbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. This is a selection that aims to provide you with a starting place for research.
The books included here comprises of both print and e-books. For print books, a call number is included so that you can find them in the library.
To browse more titles, please visit our library catalog, or ask a librarian for a recommendation.
What are "Handbooks"?
Handbooks are, as the name suggests, books that are handy, or fit in a pocket. This is applied metaphorically to these books listed below: These are books that summarise or provide a macro view of a specific topic, author, or even a specific work of literature. They often contain introductions and summaries to quickly bring a reader up to speed on the basic concepts or theories surrounding the subject, and depending on the book, may also have a secondary function to list the latest or most relevant academic developments surrounding this topic.
In short, they are very useful to you! Do explore the list below - they will prove invaluable for your years here at NTU.
Cambridge Histories Online
It provides access to over 300 volumes of the Cambridge Histories series published since 1960. It covers 15 different subjects. To access books on Philosophy, do a keyword search or select “Philosophy” from its landing page.
Routledge Handbooks for Philosophy
The Routledge Handbooks are an extensive set of handbooks, and their series on philosophy examines and analyzes a wide range of specific and niche philosophical concepts and theories.
The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender by
Publication Date: 2016-04-21
Covering the historical, social, political, and cultural contexts, The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender presents a comprehensive overview of the complexity of gender disparity in Chinese thought and culture.
Palgrave Handbooks on Philosophy
The Palgrave Handbooks tend to examine more modern applications of philosophical theories in real life, and how they are succeeding, or otherwise, in the context of communities and cultures.
Oxford English Dictionary Widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary is a guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words past and presentfrom across the English-speaking world. As a historical dictionary, you can find the history of individual words, and of the languagetraced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.
→ Concurrent users: Unlimited
→ Available to current NTU staff and students | Restricted onsite-access for NIE staff & students, associate members
Why are dictionaries useful?
The definitions of specific literary jargon can be confusing, and are sometimes used in other humanities or social sciences (like in Mass Communication, or Linguistics) but with a different meaning.
Dictionaries provide you with proper context of how a term is used in Philosophy, and saves you the embarrassment of submitting an essay based on a mistaken definition. There are many dictionaries specific for literary criticism beyond those listed below in our collection.
The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon by
Call Number: B2430.F724C178c
Publication Date: 2014-04-21
The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon is a reference tool that provides clear and incisive definitions and descriptions of all of Foucault's major terms and influences, including history, knowledge, language, philosophy and power. The entries are written by scholars of Foucault from a variety of disciplines such as philosophy, gender studies, political science and history.
Routledge Dictionary of Philosophy by
Call Number: B41.P968
Publication Date: 2009-12-03
The Routledge Dictionary of Philosophy includes concise biographical entries for more than one hundred major philosophers, from Plato and Aristotle through to contemporary figures such as Dummett, McDowell, Parfit and Singer. All major entries are followed by helpful suggestions for further reading, including web links, and contain extensive cross-referencing to aid access and comprehension.
The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought by
Publication Date: 2003-01-02
Modern social thought ranges widely from the social sciences to philosophy, political theories and doctrines, cultural ideas and movements, and the influence of the natural sciences. This title provides an authoritative overview of the main themes of social thought. Long essays and entries give full coverage to each topic, and covers major currents of thought, philosophical and cultural trends, and the individual social sciences from anthropology to welfare economics.
Why not Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is actually just an online, general encyclopedia. So should you use Wikipedia in your academic work?
The answer is no. Encyclopedias published by academic publishers are curated and vetted by authorised academics and experts, and aim to provide detailed examinations and analyses on very specific topics. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is curated by anonymous contributors or unverified experts, and aims to provide general knowledge for the public.
Do use the encyclopedias in the Library's collection instead of Wikipedia to get access to well-rounded and detailed examinations of core concepts and theories that can help you develop your arguments and essays, to lend more weight and authority to your arguments.
eResources Page in this Guide
There are a number of online encyclopedias that are good alternatives to Wikipedia listed in the eResources page of this guide!
The Encyclopedia of Political Thought by
Publication Date: 2014-10-06
The Encyclopedia of Political Thought is the most comprehensive and rigorous treatment of significant political thinkers, political theories, concepts, ideas, and schools of thought. Comprises over 900 A-Z entries, including brief definitions, biographies, and major topics, written by a team of 700 contributors from around the world.
The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics by
Publication Date: 2014-07-02
Encyclopedia of Aesthetics includes over 800 entries, and surveys the full breadth of critical thought on art, culture, and society, from classical philosophy to contemporary critical theory. Prominent authors provide analyses of the major philosophers and artists whose works have impacted Aesthetics; and of special interest are in-depth surveys of Western aesthetics and broad coverage of non-Western traditions (e.g., Buddhist and Sanskrit Aesthetics).
Encyclopedia of Social Theory by
Publication Date: 2004-08-19
The Encyclopedia of Social Theory is an indispensable reference source for anyone interested in understanding the roots of contemporary social theory. Topics covered include: -Structural fundamentalism; -Marxist theory; -Critical theory; -Phenomenology; -Ethnomethodology; -Exchange theory; -Rational choice; -Feminism; -Multiculturalism; -Postmodernism.
Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy by
Call Number: B126.E56
Publication Date: 2002-12-30
This encyclopedia covers subjects previously unavailable to English speakers, and includes a thorough survey of the history of Chinese philosophy; entries on all major thinkers from Confucius to Mou Zongsan; essential topics such as aesthetics, moral philosophy, philosophy of government, and philosophy of literature; surveys of Confucianism in all historical periods (Zhou, Han, Tang, and onward) and in key regions outside China; schools of thought such as Mohism, Legalism, and Chinese Buddhism; trends in contemporary Chinese philosophy, and more.