BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1 released November 2010, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets, available from

Note that BIC has announced that there will be no further development of the BIC scheme, and that Thema is its preferred subject scheme for current and future use. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

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Code Description
H Humanities
HP Philosophy
For philosophy of economics, use KCS “Economic theory and philosophy”; for philosophy of education, use JNA “Philosophy and theory of education”; for philosophy of history, use HBA “History: theory and methods”; for philosophy of law, use LAB “Jurisprudence and philosophy of law”; for philosophy of language, use CFA “philosophy of language”; for philosophy of mathematics, use PBB “Philosophy of mathematics”; for philosophy of religion, see HRAB “Philosophy of religion” and following; for philosophy of science, use PDA “Philosophy of science”; for semiotics / semiology, use GTE “Semiotics / semiology”
HPC History of Western philosophy
HPD Non-Western philosophy
HPJ Philosophy: metaphysics and ontology
HPK Philosophy: epistemology and theory of knowledge
HPL Philosophy: logic
HPM Philosophy of mind
HPN Philosophy: aesthetics
See also: ABA “Theory of art”
HPQ Ethics and moral philosophy
See also: JFM “Ethical issues and debates” and following; KJG “Business ethics”; LATC “Legal ethics and professional conduct”; MBDC “Medical ethics and professional conduct”; PSAD “Bio-ethics”
HPS Social and political philosophy
See also: JPA “Political science and theory”; JPF “Political ideologies”
HPX Popular philosophy
Class here: accessible works for the general reader seeking to apply principles of philosophy to everyday life

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