Biographical and Psychological Dimensions of Philosophy:
Selected Bibliography

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

“No hero is a hero to his valet, not, however, because the hero is not a hero, but because the valet is—a valet . . .” — G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit [C (BB).VI.C.c.665]

General Works: Books

Griffiths, A. Phillips, ed. The Impulse to Philosophise. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. See esp. “Scenes from My Childhood” by Bryan Magee and “The Roots of Philosophy” by John White. See my abstracts and comments: The Impulse to Philosophise (essays): annotated contents.

Proem v-viii (editor)
The Examined Life Re-examined (Colin Radford) 1-23
Trouble with Leprechauns (Martin Hollis) 25-39
On Why Philosophers Redefine their Subject (Stuart Brown) 41-57
Some Philosophers I Have Not Known (Frederic Raphael) 59-72
The Roots of Philosophy (John White) 73-88
Re-engaging with Real Arguments (Alec Fisher) 89-107
Can Philosophy Speak about Life? (Ilham Dilman) 109-123
Congenital Transcendentalism and the 'loneliness which is the truth about things' (Frank Cioffi) 125-138
Philosophical Plumbing (Mary Midgley) 139-151
Beyond Representation (Anthony Palmer) 153-163
Scenes from my Childhood (Bryan Magee) 165-180
Metaphysics and Music (Michael Tanner) 181-200
Philosophy and the Cult of Irrationalism (Brenda Almond) 201-217
Is Philosophy a 'Theory of Everything'? (G. M. K. Hunt) 219-231
Notes on Contributors

Hanly, Charles; Lazerowitz, Morris; eds. Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. New York: International Universities Press, 1970.

Editors’ Introduction 1
Introduction — Elizabeth R. Zetzel, M.D. 4
Philosophy, Language and Illusion—Alice Ambrose, Ph.D., LL.D. 14
Psychoanalysis: Philosophy or Science? — Charles Brenner, M.D. 35
The Structure of Tragedy and the Structure of the Psyche in Aristotle’s Poetics — George Devereux, Ph.D. 46
Lawless Sensations and Categorial Defenses: The Unconscious Sources of Kant’s Philosophy — Lewis S. Feuer, Ph.D. 76
Psychoanalysis and the Philosophical Problems of Free Will — Anthony Garrard Flew, M.A. 126
On Being and Dreaming — Charles Hanly, Ph.D. 155
On Solipsism — William E. Kennick, Ph.D. 188
The Problem of Justifying Induction — Morris Lazerowitz, Ph.D. 210
The Need to Philosophize — Ben-Ami Scharfstein and Mortimer Ostow, M.D. 258
Observation, Historical Reconstruction and Experiment: an Epistemological Study — Robert Waelder, Ph.D. 280
Freud and Melanie Klein: Psychology, Ontology, and Weltanschauung — J. O. Wisdom, Ph.D. 327

Herzberg, Alexander. The Psychology of Philosophers. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd.; New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1929. (Routledge; Reprint edition, July, 1999.)

Levi, Albert William. Philosophy as Social Expression. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974. See Descartes' Dualism (Extract from Chapter 4) & "Philosophy's Historic Fate: Museum Pieces, Messages, and Classics" (Chapter 6, Conclusion).

Rodgers, Nigel; Thompson, Mel. Philosophers Behaving Badly. Peter Owen Publishers, May 2005.

Scharfstein, Ben-Ami. The Philosophers: Their Lives and the Nature of Their Thought. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980.

Schuster, Shlomit C. The Philosopher's Autobiography: A Qualitative Study. Foreword by Maurice Friedman. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003.

Simpson, David. Situatedness: Or, Why We Keep Saying Where We're Coming From. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.

Smith, Justin E. H. The Philosopher: A History in Six Types. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Wright, J. Lenore. The Philosopher’s ’I’: Autobiography and the Search for the Self. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006.

General Works: Essays

Baggini, Julian. “The Biographers: Can We Learn Anything Important  from the Biographies of the Great Philosophers?”, The Philosophers' Magazine, no. 7, 1999, pp. 14-15.

Baggini, Julian. “Philosophical Autobiography,” Inquiry, vol. 45, no. 3, S 2002, pp. 295-312.

Baggini, Julian. “What Philosophers Are Really Like,” The Philosophers' Magazine.

Blumenau, Ralph. “The Psychology & Psychopathology of Philosophers,” Philosophy Now, no. 48, October/November 2004, pp. 36-37.

Child, Arthur. “Hiddenness: Simple Concealment and Disguise,” Metaphilosophy, vol. 1, no. 3, July 1970, pp. 223-257.

Dilley, Frank B. “Why Do Philosophers Disagree?,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol. 7, no. 3, Fall 1969, pp. 217-228.

Handy, Rollo. “Personality Factors And Intellectual Production,” Philosophy of Science, vol. 23, October 1956, pp. 325-332.

Jay, Martin. “Speaking Azza” [review of: Situatedness: Or, Why We Keep Saying Where We're Coming From by David Simpson], London Review of Books, Vol. 24, No. 23, 28 November 2002.

Lazerowitz, Morris. “The Relevance of Psychoanalysis to Philosophy,” in Psychoanalysis, Scientific Method, and Philosophy: a Symposium, edited by Sidney Hook (New York: New York University Press, 1959), pp. 133-156. (Proceedings of the 2nd annual New York University Institute of Philosophy, Washington Square, New York, March 28-29, 1958.)

The author argues that the metaphysician plays a deceptive game with language and is under the illusion that this is truth-seeking, whereas psychoanalysis will reveal unconscious motivations. Examples analyzing positions on logic and metaphysics are scrutinized. Lazerowitz is ridiculed throughout the symposium.

Lazerowitz, Morris. “Understanding Philosophy,” in Current Philosophical Issues: Essays in Honor of Curt John Ducasse, compiled and edited by Frederick C. Dommeyer, Ph.D. (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1966), pp. 27-53.

The author is apparently much influenced by Freud and Wittgenstein. On Freud’s skepticism and ultimte declared avoidance of philosophy, the inability of philosophers to definitively solve their problems, the preposterousness of certain philosophical positions, various interpretations of the causes of disagreement, the language games of philosophy, suggesting that there are unconscious determinants at work.

Madden, Edward H; Madden, Marian C. “Philosophical Biography: The American Scene,” Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, vol. 28, no. 4, Fall 1992, pp. 609-643.

Madigan, Tim. “The Uses and Abuses of Philosophical Biographies,” Philosophy Now, no. 35, March/April 2002, pp. 26-28.

Newman, Jay. “The Unconscious Origins of Philosophical Inquiry,” The Philosophical Forum, vol. IX, no. 4, Summer 1978, pp. 409-428.

Pieter, Jozef. “Problems and Methods of the Psychology of Philosophizing,” Dialectics and Humanism, 2, Autumn 1975, pp. 151-166.

Robinson, Bryan W. “Comments on Rollo Handy's "Personality Factors and Intellectual Production, ” Philosophy of Science, vol. 24, April 1957, p. 204.

Rodgers, Nigel; Thompson, Mel. “Not So High and Mighty,” The Philosophers' Magazine, no. 29, 1st quarter, 2005, pp. 11-13.

Case Studies: Books

Brădățan, Costică. Dying for Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of the Philosophers. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Cohen, Martin. Philosophical Tales: Being an Alternative History Revealing the Characters, the Plots, and the Hidden Scenes that Make Up the True Story of Philosophy; illustrations by Raúl Gonzáles III. Malden, MA; Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.

Fluff with interesting tidbits.

Edmonds, David; Eidinow, John. Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers. New York: Ecco, 2001.

Rodgers, Nigel; Thompson, Mel. Philosophers Behaving Badly. London; Chicago: Peter Owen Publishers, 2005.

Ward, Warren. Lovers of Philosophy: How the Intimate Lives of Seven Philosophers Shaped Modern Thought. Ockham Publishing (UK), 2022.

Breakey, Hugh. Sex, lies and Hegel: did the intimate lives of philosophers shape their ideas? [review], The Conversation, March 9, 2022.

I suspect this book is trash. — RD

Wisdom, John Oulton (J. O.) The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley’s Philosophy. London: Hogarth Press, 1953. (The International Psycho-Analytical Library; no. 47)

Case Studies: Essays

Monk, Ray. “Philosophical Biography,” in: New British Philosophy: The Interviews, edited by Julian Baggini and Jeremy Stangroom (London; New York: Routledge, 2002), Chapter 1, pp. 9-24.

Neumaier, John J. "From a Thesis on Bertrand Russell to the Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach: Philosophy as Biography," in: Diverse Perspectives on Marxist Philosophy: East and West, edited by Sara F. Luther, John J. Neumaier, and Howard L. Parsons (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995).

Quirk, Michael J. The Heidegger Case. 2000.

Sinclair, Robert . Biography as Philosophy: American Pragmatism and the Social Context of Ideas. Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy 32nd Annual Meeting, March 3– 5, 2005, Bakersfield, CA.

Govier, Trudy. "Philosophy, Life and Philosophies of Life," Philosophy Now, no. 49, January/February 2005, pp. 23-25.

Verene, Donald P. “The Limits of Argument: Argument and Autobiography,” Philosophy and Rhetoric, vol. 26, no. 1, 1993, pp. 1-8.

Psychological Research

Alexander, Joshua; Buckner, Cameron; Gonnerman, Chad; Weinberg, Jonathan M. (2010). "Are Philosophers Expert Intuiters?", Philosophical Psychology 23 (3): 331-355.

Machery, Edouard; Scheines, Richard; Feltz, Adam; Sytsma, Justin; Livengood, Jonathan. (2010). "Philosophical Temperament," Philosophical Psychology 23 (3): 313-330.

General Works: Web Sources / Bibliography

Suber, Peter. Philosophy as Autobiography: Psychologistic, Reductive, & Non-Immanent Readings of Philosophy.

Links on this site:

Letter to Simon Foucher (1675) by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Quotes from Abelard and Heloise, or the Writer and the Human by Ludwig Feuerbach

Abelard and Heloise, or the Writer and the Human (Ludwig Feuerbach): Book notes by R. Dumain

Karl Marx vs. Cynical Reason: On Suppositions of Naked Self-Interest

Karl Marx on Philosophy after Its Completion

Marx's Notebooks on Epicurean Philosophy (Extracts on Total Philosophy, Praxis, Historiography)

Philosophy as Autobiography: Alternatives to Subjectivism by R. Dumain

Review: Michael Mack, German Idealism and the Jew by R. Dumain

"Popes, Kings & Cultural Studies: Placing the commitment to non-disciplinarity in historical context" by Karl Maton

The Partial Sociology of Philosophies: The Historical Perspective of Randall Collins (An Unfinished Review) by Ralph Dumain

How to Integrate Philosophy and Everyday Life: To Think Philosophically in Life, Or Reproduce the Fragmentation of Knowledge?

Hegel & Me by R. Dumain

"‘Philosophy’ and ‘Literature’: Relationships of Genres and the Frontiers of Thought" by R. Dumain

On Merab Mamardashvili (from "Where Does Meaning Come From?") by Mara Stafecka

The Impulse to Philosophise (essays): annotated contents

The Philosophers: Their Lives and the Nature of Their Thought by Ben-Ami Scharfstein

Popularizing Philosophers: A Selected Bibliography

The Philosophy of Theory and Practice: Selected Bibliography

Philosophy of History of Philosophy & Historiography of Philosophy: Selected Bibliography

Wisdom, Philosophy & Everyday Life — Theoretical Perspectives: An Unconventional Guide

Philosophy & the Division of Labor: Selected Bibliography

Intellectual Life in Society, Conventional and Unconventional: A Bibliography in Progress
     See also subsections:
      Proletarian Philosophy
      History of Philosophy: Special Perspectives

(2/6/2005; rev. 2/9/2005, 2/12/2005, 3/2/2005, 3/8/2006, 3/22/2005, 4/21/2005, 11/11/2006, 12/5/07, 7/29/10, 8/17/10, 11/27/10, 4/7/12, 7/11/13, 12/26/14, 2/1/15, 5/26/19, 9/3/19, 9/19/19, 10/5/19, 10/27/19, 12/22/19, 3/19/20, 2/12/21, 2/24/21, 3/17/21, 5/8/22, 5/15/22, 5/21/22)

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Uploaded 6 February 2005
Last update 21 May 2022
Previous update 15 May 2022

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