List of important publications in philosophy

This is a list of important publications in philosophy, organized by field.

Some reasons why a particular publication might be regarded as important:

  • Topic creator A publication that created a new topic
  • Breakthrough A publication that changed or added to philosophical knowledge significantly
  • Influence A publication which has significantly influenced the world or has had a massive impact on the teaching of philosophy.

Historical philosophical texts

European and Islamic philosophy

Ancient philosophy

Medieval philosophy

Early modern philosophy

Title page of Advancement of Learning by Francis Bacon

Asian philosophy

Indian philosophy


Chinese philosophy

Zhou Dynasty
  • Kongzi, Analects (likely written later by followers)
  • Kongzi, Five Classics (compiled)
  • Sunzi, Art of War
  • Laozi, Dao De Jing
Warring States
  • Mengzi, [The] Mengzi
  • Han Fei, [The] Han Feizi
Song Dynasty
  • 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
  • Zeami Motokiyo, Style and Flower, approx. 1400 AD
  • Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings, approx. 1600 AD

Contemporary philosophical texts

Phenomenology and existentialism

Hermeneutics and deconstruction

  • Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (1960)
  • Paul Ricœur, Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation (1965)
  • Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (1967)

Structuralism and post-structuralism

Critical theory and Marxism

  • Georg Lukacs, "History and Class Consciousness" (1923)
  • Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution (1941)
  • Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944)
  • Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization (1945)
  • Louis Althusser, Reading Capital (1965)
  • Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics (1966)
  • Jürgen Habermas, Theory of Communicative Action (1981)
  • Alain Badiou, Being and Event (1988)


  • Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (1912)
  • G. E. Moore, "A Defence of Common Sense" (1925)
  • Edmund Gettier, "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" (1963)
  • Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979)
  • Stanley Cavell,The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (1979,1999)
  • Roderick Chisholm, A Theory of Knowing
  • Alvin Goldman, Epistemology and Cognition
  • Alvin Goldman, "What is Justified Belief?"
  • John McDowell, Mind and World
  • Susan Haack, Evidence and Enquiry
  • Laurence Bonjour, The Structure of Empirical Knowledge
  • Stephen Stich, The Fragmentation of Reason
  • Timothy Williamson, Knowledge and its Limits
  • Keith DeRose, The Case for Contextualism
  • Jason Stanley, Knowledge and Practical Interest
  • Hilary Kornblith, Knowledge and its Place in Nature
  • Jonathan Kvanvig, The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding
  • David K. Lewis, Elusive Knowledge
  • Willard van Orman Quine, "Epistemology Naturalized"
  • Peter Unger, Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism


Philosophy of biology

Philosophy of chemistry

Philosophy of mind

Philosophy of physics

Philosophy of psychology

  • William James, The Principles of Psychology
  • Donald Davidson, The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme

Philosophy of religion

  • Alvin Plantinga, God and Other Minds, 1967
  • Alvin Plantinga, 'Is Belief in God Properly Basic', 1981
  • Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God, 1979
  • William Lane Craig, The Kalam Cosmological Argument, 1979
  • J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism, 1982
  • Dewi Zephaniah Phillips, 'Religion Without Explanation'
  • J. L. Schellenberg, Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason, 1993
  • William Rowe, 'The Evidential Argument from Evil: A Second Look', 1996

Philosophy of science

Ethics and value theory


  • R.G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art
  • Nelson Goodman, Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols, 1968
  • Arthur C. Danto, After the End of Art
  • Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory


  • G. E. M. Anscombe, Modern Moral Philosophy
  • Philippa Foot, Virtues and Vices and Natural Goodness
  • David Gauthier, Morals by Agreement
  • Alan Gewirth, Reason and Morality
  • Allan Gibbard, Thinking How to Live
  • Susan Hurley, Natural Reasons
  • Shelly Kagan, The Limits of Morality
  • Christine Korsgaard, The Sources of Normativity
  • John McDowell, Values and Secondary Qualities
  • Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue
  • J. L. Mackie, Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong
  • G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica
  • Martha Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness
  • Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons
  • Derek Parfit, On What Matters
  • Peter Railton, Facts, Values, and Norms
  • W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good
  • Thomas M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other
  • Samuel Scheffler, The Rejection of Consequentialism
  • Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
  • Michael A. Smith, The Moral Problem
  • Bernard Williams, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy


  • P. F. Strawson, Freedom and Resentment


  • Don Marquis, "Why Abortion is Immoral"
  • Paul Ramsey, The Patient as a Person
  • Paul Ramsey, Fabricated Man
  • Judith Jarvis Thomson, "A Defense of Abortion"

Business ethics

  • Tibor R. Machan, The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Wealthcare (2007)


  • Judith Butler, 'Performative Acts and Gender Constitution', (1988)
  • Edward Said, Orientalism

Social philosophy

Philosophy of economics

Philosophy of education

Philosophy of history

  • R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History
  • Karl Löwith, Meaning in History: The Theological Implications of the Philosophy of History

Philosophy of law

  • John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights
  • H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law, 1994
  • Lon L. Fuller, The Morality of Law
  • Ronald Dworkin, Law's Empire

Political philosophy

Logic, language, and mathematics

Logic and philosophy of logic

Philosophy of language

Philosophy of mathematics

Chinese and Japanese thought

  • Feng Youlan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, 1934
  • Feng Youlan, New Rational Philosophy, 1939
  • Kitaro Nishida, An Inquiry into the Good, 1911
  • Kitaro Nishida, From the Acting to the Seeing, 1923–27
  • Suzuki Daisetsu Teitaro, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, 1934
  • Nishitani Keiji, Religion and Nothingness, 1961

See also

  • List of years in philosophy



    • Irvine, Andrew David. "Bertrand Russell". In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    Further reading

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