Philosophy:List of important publications in philosophy

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This is a list of important publications in philosophy, organized by field. The publications on this list are regarded as important because they have served or are serving as one or more of the following roles:

  • Foundation – A publication whose ideas would go on to be the foundation of a topic or field within philosophy.
  • Breakthrough – A publication that changed or added to philosophical knowledge significantly.
  • Influence – A publication that has had a significant impact on the academic study of philosophy or the world.

Historical texts

European and Islamic philosophy

Ancient philosophy

Medieval philosophy

Early modern philosophy

Title page of Advancement of Learning by Francis Bacon

19th-century philosophy

Asian philosophy

Indian philosophy

Chinese philosophy

Zhou Dynasty
Warring States
Song Dynasty
  • The Record of Linji
  • Zhou Dunyi, The Taiji Tushuo
  • Zhu Xi, Four Books [compiled]
  • Zhu Xi, Reflections on Things at Hand, 1175

Japanese philosophy

Pre-Meiji Buddhism
  • Kukai, Attaining Enlightenment in this Very Existence, 817
  • Honen, One-Sheet Document, 1212
  • Shinran, Kyogyoshinsho, 1224
  • Dogen Zenji, Shōbōgenzō, 1231–1253
  • Hakuin Ekaku, Wild Ivy
Early modern

Contemporary philosophy

Logic and philosophy of logic

Philosophy of language



Philosophy of mind

  • Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind, 1949
  • Wilfrid Sellars, "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind", 1956
  • Herbert Feigl, "The 'Mental' and the 'Physical'", 1958
  • David K. Lewis, "An Argument for the Identity Theory", 1966
  • Thomas Nagel, "What Is it Like to Be a Bat?", 1974
  • Jerry Fodor, The Language of Thought, 1975
  • Hilary Putnam, "The Meaning of 'Meaning'", 1975
  • Tyler Burge, "Individualism and the Mental", 1979
  • George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By, 1980
  • Paul Churchland, "Eliminative Materialism and Propositional Attitudes", 1981
  • Jerry Fodor, The Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty Psychology, 1983
  • John Searle, Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind, 1983
  • Stephen Stich, From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science: The Case Against Belief, 1983
  • Ruth Garrett Millikan, Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism, 1984
  • Patricia Churchland, Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain, 1986
  • Thomas Nagel, The View from Nowhere, 1986
  • Mark Johnson, The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason, 1987
  • Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and The Laws of Physics, 1989
  • Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained, 1991
  • Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, 1991
  • David Chalmers, The Conscious Mind, 1996
  • Andy Clark, Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again, 1997
  • Andy Clark & David Chalmers, The Extended Mind, 1998
  • Shaun Gallagher, How the Body Shapes the Mind, 2005
  • Andy Clark, Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension, 2008
  • David Chalmers, The Character of Consciousness, 2010
  • Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, 2010
  • Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, 2010
  • Andy Clark, Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind, 2015

Philosophy of religion

Philosophy of mathematics

Philosophy of science

  • Henri Poincaré, Science and Hypothesis, 1902, and The Value of Science, 1905
  • Hermann Weyl, Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science, 1927/1949
  • Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1934/1959
  • John Dewey, Logic: The Theory of Inquiry, 1938
  • Rudolf Carnap, Logical Foundations of Probability, 1950/1962
  • Hans Reichenbach, The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, 1951
  • Stephen Toulmin, The Philosophy of Science: An Introduction, 1953
  • Nelson Goodman, Fact, Fiction, and Forecast, 1955
  • Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-critical Philosophy, 1958
  • Ernest Nagel, The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation, 1961
  • Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962/1996
  • Carl Gustav Hempel, Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science, 1965
  • Mario Bunge, Scientific Research: Strategy and Philosophy (republished in 1998 as Philosophy of Science), 1967
  • Stephen Toulmin, Human Understanding: The Collective Use and Evolution of Concepts, 1972
  • Mario Bunge, Treatise on Basic Philosophy, 8 volumes, 1974–1989
  • Roy Bhaskar, A Realist Theory of Science, 1975
  • Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge, 1975/1993
  • Larry Laudan, Progress and its Problems: Towards a Theory of Scientific Growth, 1978
  • David K. Lewis, "How to Define Theoretical Terms", 1979
  • Bas C. van Fraassen, The Scientific Image, 1980
  • Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution, 1980
  • Wesley C. Salmon, Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World, 1984
  • Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life, 1985
  • Ronald Giere, Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach, 1988
  • David Hull, Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science, 1988
  • Paul Thagard, Computational Philosophy of Science, 1988
  • Helen Longino, Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, 1990
  • Lorraine Code, What Can She Know? Feminist Theory and the Construction of Knowledge, 1991
  • Sandra Harding, Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women's Lives, 1991
  • Paul Thagard, Conceptual Revolutions, 1992
  • John Dupré, The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science, 1993
  • Deborah Mayo, Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge, 1996
  • E. O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, 1998
  • John Ziman, Real Science: What it Is, and What it Means, 2000
  • Peter Godfrey-Smith, Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, 2003/2021
  • Hasok Chang, Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress, 2004
  • William C. Wimsatt, Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings: Piecewise Approximations to Reality, 2007
  • Nancy J. Nersessian, Creating Scientific Concepts, 2008
  • Heather Douglas, Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal, 2009
  • William Bechtel and Robert C. Richardson, Discovering Complexity: Decomposition and Localization as Strategies in Scientific Research, 2010

Philosophy of physics

Philosophy of biology

Philosophy of chemistry

  • Eric Scerri and Lee C. McIntyre, "The Case for the Philosophy of Chemistry", 1997
  • Davis Baird, Eric Scerri, and Lee C. McIntyre (eds.), Philosophy of Chemistry: Synthesis of a New Discipline, 2006

Philosophy of psychology

  • William James, The Principles of Psychology, 1890
  • B. F. Skinner, Science and Human Behavior, 1953
  • Abraham Kaplan, The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science, 1964
  • Paul E. Meehl, "Theory-Testing in Psychology and Physics: A Methodological Paradox", 1967
  • Roy Bhaskar, The Possibility of Naturalism: A Philosophical Critique of the Contemporary Human Sciences, 1979/2015
  • John Robert Anderson, Cognitive Psychology and its Implications, 1980/2019
  • Ned Block (ed.), Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, 1981
  • Mario Bunge and Rubén Ardilla, Philosophy of Psychology, 1987
  • Paul E. Meehl, "Theoretical Risks and Tabular Asterisks: Sir Karl, Sir Ronald, and the Slow Progress of Soft Psychology", 1992
  • Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, 2002
  • Jesse Prinz, Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion, 2004

Philosophy of economics

  • Lionel Robbins, An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, 1932
  • Kenneth Arrow, Social Choice and Individual Values, 1951/1963
  • Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, 1962
  • Joan Robinson, Economic Philosophy, 1962
  • Kenneth E. Boulding, "Economics as a Moral Science", 1969
  • Amartya Sen, On Economic Inequality, 1973
  • Elizabeth S. Anderson, Value in Ethics and Economics, 1993
  • Paul Ormerod, The Death of Economics, 1994
  • Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, 1999
  • Steve Keen, Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences, 2001/2011



  • P. F. Strawson, "Freedom and Resentment", 1962
  • John McDowell, "Virtue and Reason", 1972
  • John McDowell, "Non-Cognitivism and Rule-Following", 1981
  • Jürgen Habermas, Justification and Application: Remarks on Discourse Ethics, 1993



  • George Santayana, The Sense of Beauty, 1896
  • Benedetto Croce, Aesthetic: As Science of Expression and General Linguistic, 1902
  • Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism, 1920
  • John Dewey, Art as Experience, 1934
  • Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", 1935
  • R. G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art, 1938
  • Monroe Beardsley, Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism, 1958
  • George Kubler, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, 1962
  • Nelson Goodman, Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols, 1968/1976
  • Richard Wollheim, Art and Its Objects, 1968
  • Rudolf Arnheim, Visual Thinking, 1969
  • Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, 1970
  • Richard Schechner, Essays on Performance Theory, 1976/2004
  • Arthur Danto, The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art, 1981
  • Noël Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror, or Paradoxes of the Heart, 1990
  • Kendall Walton, Mimesis as Make-Believe: On The Foundations of the Representational Arts, 1990
  • Richard Shusterman, Pragmatist Aesthetics: Living Beauty, Rethinking Art, 1992/2000
  • Arthur Danto, After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History, 1997
  • Roger Scruton, The Aesthetics of Music, 1997
  • Roger Scruton, Beauty, 2009

Social philosophy


  • Edward Said, Orientalism, 1978
  • Judith Butler, "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution", 1988
  • Judith Butler, Gender Trouble, 1990
  • Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, 2006
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Ethics of Identity, 2005
  • Harvey Mansfield, Manliness, 2006
  • Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, 2012
  • Sally Haslanger, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique, 2012

Philosophy of education

Philosophy of history

Philosophy of law

Political philosophy

Continental philosophy

Phenomenology and existentialism

Hermeneutics and deconstruction

Structuralism and post-structuralism

Critical theory and Marxism

Eastern philosophy

See also

  • List of years in philosophy


  1. Palmer, John (2 August 2016). "Parmenides (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Stanford University. 
  2. Brickhouse, Thomas; Smith, Nicholas. "Plato (427–347 B.C.E.)". 
  3. Hermeticism has philosophical as well as a religious and esoteric aspect.
  4. The Ordinatio, is taken to be Scotus' premier work.
  5. 'New Confucianism is perhaps the most influential form of Confucian philosophy in the twentieth century: The following essay, published on New Year's Day 1958, is often referred to as the "New Confucian Manifesto" (even though that particular phrase never occurs in it).' "Eirik Harris' translation of "Manifesto on Behalf of Chinese Culture," by Mou Zongsan et al.". 

External links