Best Philosophy Book Covers


I saw this very clever cover for a book on set theory and it got me wondering about good book design in philosophy. Let’s take a few moments to judge books by their covers. Share ones you think are particularly good here (and provide links to images if possible).

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SMM
SMM
6 years ago

Ben Bradley – Well-Being and Death
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416WyTjhoPL.jpg

One of the best book covers period.Report

Christy Mag Uidhir
6 years ago

Though shameless self-promotion, I’m still utterly taken with the cover of my own book Art & Art-Attempts (OUP 2013).

https://sites.google.com/site/cmaguidhir/research/books

Not only does it feature my favorite artwork, Tobi Wong’s This is a Lamp (2001)–courtesy of the Wong estate and Tim Dubitsky–but OUP did a killer job with the color scheme. Hate on the insides all you want, the outside kicks serious ass.Report

Ross Cameron
Ross Cameron
6 years ago

I really love the cover to Hud Hudson’s The Fall and Hypertime

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/academic/religion/philosophy/9780198712695/ViewLarger.doReport

Daniel
6 years ago

A poor picture, but this is my favorite:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P6%2BAg0vyL.jpgReport

Simon Evnine
6 years ago

It’s nothing fancy, but I’ve always loved the cover of this edition of Quine’s _From a Logical Point of View_, and the typography inside the book. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0674323513/triskelionlimite/Report

justinrweinberg
6 years ago

Curiosity got the better of me and I went looking for good philosophy covers and stumbled upon Book Worship. I am not sure than any of these would win any “best cover” contest, but for people with certain tastes, seeing many of these images gathered together will bring intense feelings of joy; I feel like I am high on art at the moment. Some of these were familiar, but a lot of them I hadn’t seen before.

Alan Donagan – The Theory of Morality
John Stuart Mill – Utilitarianism
Jean-Paul Sartre – Essays in Existentialism
John Rawls – A Theory of Justice (I have three versions of this book but never saw this one before)
William Earle – Objectivity
Nicholas Rescher – Essays in Philosophical Analysis
John Dewey – Essays in Experimental Logic
Joseph Fletcher – Situation Ethics
These three from the late 1960’s, early 1970’s Oxford Readings in Philosophy series: John Searle – The Philosophy of Language; P. F. Strawson – Philosophical Logic; and G.H.R. Parkinson – The Theory of Meaning. (What were the rest in this series? I bet the whole bunch would make for a killer poster.)

There are several other covers of philosophy books featured at the site, including works by Kant, Hegel, Russell, Heidegger, Husserl, Cassirer, and others.Report

Travis N. Rieder
6 years ago

Well I know that you are familiar with this one, Justin, but I think Kevin’s cover to _Is a Little Pollution Good for You_ is pretty awesome.

http://books.google.com/books?id=dqI6k8TIN3MC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=falseReport

Karl
Karl
6 years ago
Daniel Harris
6 years ago

The original cover of David Lewis’s ‘Convention’ is a beautiful example of high-modern graphic design, and it also alludes in a clever way to book’s content.

http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lr52ubpLTe1qarkzuo1_1280.png

(I couldn’t find a scan of the cover when I was looking for one a while back, so I created this one in Illustrator.)

I also think that the original cover of ‘Word & Object’ is both beautiful and subtle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_and_Object#mediaviewer/File:Word_and_Object.jpg

For example: the hollowing-out of ‘Word’ might be seen as a metaphorical gesture at Quine’s skeptical views about meanings (i.e., contents). One could also read into the fact that the ascender on the ‘b’ in ‘object’ sticks up and intervenes in the spacing of ‘word’ (but that no letter in ‘word’ touches any letter in ‘object’, whereas it does touch the ampersand), the fact that the most emphasized character on the page is the ampersand that links together ‘word’ and ‘object’, and the fact that both the ‘j’ and the ‘t’ in ‘object’ have had to be amputated so that they could be arranged very closely to ‘word &’.

It’s not clear how much of this was intentional, but it’s fun to think about.Report

Jake
Jake
6 years ago

Jason Brennan’s ‘Why Not Capitalism?’ has a great cover given that it is a response to GA Cohen’s ‘Why Not Socialism?’.

Brennan’s: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Not-Capitalism-Jason-Brennan/dp/0415732972
Cohen’s: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Not-Socialism-G-Cohen/dp/0691143617/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_yReport

Alex Guerrero
6 years ago

I quite like Paul Boghossian’s _Fear of Knowledge_ cover: http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Knowledge-Against-Relativism-Constructivism/dp/0199230412Report

RM
RM
6 years ago

_Problems of the Self_ by Williams has a particularly well-chosen work of art for its cover: http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347375884l/5595.jpgReport

Tim O'Keefe
Reply to  RM
6 years ago

OK, I like that, but it reminds me immediately of the earlier album cover art for Black Sabbath’s _Sabotage_:

http://img27.fansshare.com/pic129/w/sabbath-manifesto/1200/8560_black_sabbath_sabotage.jpgReport

RM
RM
Reply to  Tim O'Keefe
6 years ago

Black Sabbath – Sabotage – 1975.
Rene Magritte – Not To Be Reproduced – 1937.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_to_be_ReproducedReport

Tim O'Keefe
Reply to  Tim O'Keefe
6 years ago

Ah, OK. Thanks.Report

Doug Stalker
Doug Stalker
6 years ago

My volume, Grue! The New Riddle of Induction, from 1994, has a good cover–green, blue, emerald shapes, etc. http://www.amazon.com/Grue-The-New-Riddle-Induction/dp/0812692195Report

James Doyle
James Doyle
6 years ago
John Schwenkler
6 years ago

I really like the cover of Candace Vogler’s _Reasonably Vicious_: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674030725

(I like the inside of the book, too.)Report

stefan
stefan
6 years ago

Stalnaker’s *Inquiry* is great.

http://philosophicalaesthetics.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/stalnaker-inquiry-1987.html

As are some of the others in this blog:

Philosophical Aesthetics (Modernism in philosophy book covers, 1950-1992)
http://philosophicalaesthetics.blogspot.co.uk/Report

colinfarrelly
colinfarrelly
6 years ago
anonymous
anonymous
6 years ago

Agustín Rayo’s The Construction of Logical Space: http://www.amazon.com/Construction-Logical-Space-Agustin-Rayo/dp/0199662622Report