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Very Short Introductions, from Oxford University Press

See the Very Short Introductions series for Philosophy books

From Oxford University Press, Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas - a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable.


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Library Catalogue Power Search


To find books in the Trent Library, search the Library Catalogue. There's an online tutorial available to learn about the Library Catalogue.

Use a keyword search to find items on a topic. To improve your results, use an "Advanced Search".

The call number section for Philosophy is B - BD (3rd Floor Bata):


  • B General Philosophy - organized by period:
    • Ancient: B 108-708
    • Medieval: B 720-765
    • Renaissance: B 770-785
    • Modern: B 790-5802
  • BC Logic
  • BD Speculative Philosophy


Terminology Notes:

The Library Catalogue uses LCSH (subject headings) in most records, to help us identify items of interest. Philosophy is a subject term, which can be made more specific by adding a time period or geogrphical location.  Examples:

Philosophy -- 19th century
Philosophy, Ancient
Philosophy -- Early modern
Philosophy, Medieval
Philosophy, American
Philosophy, Chinese


It can also be combined with specific topics.  Examples:

Philosophy. Civilization
Philosophy, Buddhist
Philosophy and religion
Philosophy. Religion
Philosophy and science
Philosophy. Science
Philosophy. Language and languages
Philosophy. Literature

The term "philosophical" can also be applied to some headings, as in:

Identity (Philosophical concept)

The best way to search for books is usually to use "philosoph$" and a term specific to your topic in a keyword search. 

Of course, not all topics have "philosophy" in them.  Look for more specific terms like:

  • ethics
  • morality
  • existentialism
  • realism
  • pluralism
  • Descartes
  • metaphysics

Reference Books

Reference books offer great starting points and background reading on a topic.  Listed here are some of the more important reference books available at the Trent Library.  Call numbers are provided for print books; links for online.

Other Reference Sources


The majority of our e-books are included in the Library Catalogue and can be found with any search. The description includes a link to the e-book.

  • To limit a search to e-books, use the Power Search option and change the location to "E-Book".

The following resources contain collections of e-books. Most offer the option to create an account for yourself and save books, as well as adding notations and highlighting.  Often you find more books by searching the collections directly, because they search within the books to find relevant chapters and pages.