Philosophy reading list

For prospective students

We advise you to read the Philosophy page thoroughly. For reading and preparation advice, you should find the following sections particularly useful:

Do also keep an eye on the subject resources, which provide more general guidance and examples for developing your academic interests.

For offer holders

No knowledge of Philosophy is presupposed by the course at Cambridge. It is essential, however, to have done some advance reading, and this list is provided for guidance. The aim has been to list mainly works of original philosophy and to list only such works as can (with more or less effort) be understood by people new to the subject. Please do not be discouraged if you find the books difficult. You are welcome to write to us if you would like further guidance or recommendations about subjects not covered here.

Texts likely to be in use for first year course work are marked with a (T)

  • J L Ackrill, Aristotle the Philosopher. Opus
  • A J Ayer Language, Truth, and Logic. Penguin
  • George Berkeley Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (many editions)
  • Simon Blackburn Think. Oxford
  • Simon Blackburn Being Good. Oxford
  • Tim Crane The Mechanical Mind. Penguin
  • Rene Descartes Meditations.(many editions)
  • Ross Harrison Democracy. Routledge
  • Peter Smith An Introduction to Formal Logic. CUP (T)
  • D Hume (T) Dialogues concerning Natural Religion. OUP
  • D Hume Enquiries.OUP
  • T Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Univ of Chicago Press
  • J S Mill (T) On Liberty. (many editions) (available with Utilitarianism etc in J S Mill, On Liberty and Other Essays, World Classics. Oxford)
  • T Nagel What Does It All Mean?. OUP
  • Plato Meno. (many editions)(T) (Available in Protagoras and Meno). Penguin
  • Graham Priest Logic. Oxford
  • B Russell The Problems of Philosophy. OUP
  • R M Sainsbury Paradoxes. CUP
  • M Budd Values of Art. Penguin

Further information

For more information, please consult the Faculty of Philosophy website. This includes:

Reading lists | For offer holders | Undergraduate study