Philosophy Reference Links
There is a wealth of philosophical information on the Web. Some essential, useful, and general philosophy links are provided here.
* Highly recommended sites are listed with their logos.
- Philosophical Preparation
- Philosophical Dictionaries
- Philosophical Encyclopedias
- Philosophy Podcasts, Lectures, and Courses
- Philosophy Forums
- Searching for Philosophy Papers
- Searching for Philosophy Books
- Philosophy Writing Resources
- Notable Philosophy Links
- Philosophy Courses Links
I. Philosophical Preparation
Virtual Training Suite for Philosophy
This free online tutorial is designed to guide researchers first coming to philosophy on the use of the Internet to locate information on the web. The tutorial covers the prominent internet sites, how to search for scholarly information, what to trust, and how to maximize information skills. Other features include printer friendly pages, glossary, and a link basket, teaching resources, workbook, slide presentation, handouts, and a downloadable poster. The site is authored by Meriel Patrick at the University of Oxford and is a tutorial designed for UK higher education by the RDN Virtual Training Suite. For students of philosophy, the Internet Philosopher is most helpful at the beginning of the semester since the reader quickly learns how to access some of the most useful and authoritative sites on the Internet. The tutorial can be completed in about an hour.
II. Philosophical Dictionaries
- The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
2nd. ed (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp.101. General editor Robert Audi and an international team of well over 400 philosophical scholars supply detailed overviews with extensive cross-references of both Western and non-Western philosophical terminology. This is the most thorough philosophical dictionary presently on the web. Technical terms are defined comprehensively and authoritatively. The following link is another source for the second edition of The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy on the web.
- The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language
Supervised by William Dwight Whitney, The Century Dictionary, esteemed for its lexicography, was the largest American encyclopedic dictionaries of the English language ever published. This historical dictionary is included here for its encyclopedic definitions of technical terms at the end of the 19th century. The dictionary is searchable and browsable by means of a DjVu plug-in at the Century Dictionary Online site as developed by project directors Jeffery A. and Sara G. Triggs.
- Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
Vol. 1 Entries: Abstraction in the Formation of Concepts ‐ Design Argument.
Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
Vol. 2 Entries: Despotism – Common Law.
Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
Vol. 3 Entries: Concept of Law – Protest Movements.
Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
Vol. 4 Entries: Psychological Ideas in Antiquity – Zeitgeist
(1973-74 New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977-80). Editor in Chief Philip P. Wiener and scholarly authors of the era craft central influential ideas in the Western tradition. Now out of print, the Dictionary is published online with the help of Scribner's and the Electric Text Center at the University of Virginia. The dictionary includes articles on the historical development of a broad spectrum of ideas in philosophy, religion, politics, literature, and the biological, physical, and social sciences.
- Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names
(1977-2002) This well-informed guide, constructed by Garth Kemerling, provides and effective gateway for insight into philosophical terms and names for the beginning student of philosophy. Concise entries include recommended readings and are cross-linked and hyperlinked to additional reliable sources on the Internet including The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, The Columbia Encyclopedia, The Perseus Digital Library, Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind, and The Catholic Encyclopedia. This resource is a functional, convenient, and helpful beginning for the study of philosophical terms and persons. Entries are locatable by alphabetical browsing.
- Dictionary of Philosophy: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern
(New York: Philosophical Library, 1942) Edited by Dagobert D. Runes, the dictionary includes terms from ancient, medieval, and modern philosophy with terms from Eastern philosophy as well — with definitions by over 70 notable philosophical specialists. This hypertext version is provided by Andrew Chrucky, and a pdf version is available also for reading online or downloading. Although dated in some respects, this work is one of the best on the web for short accurate entries.
- Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology
(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1901).The articles provided here by James Mark Baldwin and a scholarly international committee is an incomplete resource, yet still useful, for interpreting the development of thought with the clear, precise, and authoritative definition of terms. Subject areas include ethics, aesthetics, logic, philosophy of religion, anthropology, economics, political and social philosophy, philology, and education. Only entries A – O are completed. The web project is developed by Christopher D. Green.
- Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind
Edited by Eric Hochstein with an academic advisory board, The Dictionary of Mind is also, in part, crowdsourced from professional philosophers and ABD students. Concise definitions terms from the sub-discipline of philosophy of mind as well as related philosophical terms are briefly defined with occasional additions and web-references. Entries are found by site-search or browse alphabetically.
- Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), pp. 1297. Under general editor Emily Apter and a team international translators, philosophical terms from more that 15 languages which are usually left untranslated from one language to another (or are actually mistranslated in the other) are explained and related to their field of study and their connectivity of use.
- German-English Dictionary of Theological & Philosophical German
Search almost 30,000 entries by word entry or by alphabet letter; terms are related to topics in religion, ethics, language, linguistics, philosophy, and additional subjects. Content development and the editorial advisory board is headed by Wolfgang P. Kunze.
- [Oxford] Glossary of Philosophical Terms
Clear, thorough, and essential definitions of terms for philosophy students are part of the Student Resources page provided by John Perry, Michael Braman, and John Martin Fischer authors of Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings 6th ed. The minor hindrance of having to scroll through over thirty PDF pages of text in more than offset by the reliability of this essential resource.
- The Wikipedia Glossary of Philosophy
Wikipedia supplies short definitions of philosophical terms with cross-references — entries exclude logic terms. Search is by alphabetical browsing.
- The Ism Book — A Field Guide to the Nomenclature of Philosophy
This academic "field guide" provides brief definitions of theories, doctrines, movements, and approaches in philosophy, religion, politics, science, the arts, and related disciplines. The Ism Book was originally written in 1990 and first placed in the public domain on the web in March, 1996. In 2005 the key terms were totally revised and is now continuously updated on the web by Peter Saint-Andre. As a guide to the terminology of philosophy including some of the ordinary language meanings of the central terms, the list of terms is interlinked and is especially useful in reviewing for examinations or for obtaining explanations and interpretations of key terms for philosophy papers.
- Some Greek Philosophical Terms
Richard Taylor's six pages of selected Greek terms is useful for study in courses in ancient Greek philosophy.
III. Philosophy Encyclopedias
- 1911 Encyclopæia Britannica
Most philosophy entries from this 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, many written by well-known philosophers of the time, are well-worth consulting fore their extremely useful in-depth commentary on major works and authors before 1910. Hugh Chisholm was editor-in-chief of this encyclopedia of “arts, sciences, literature, and general information.” The volumes linked above are digitized by Google and made available by the Hathi Trust Digital Library, a partnership of academic and research institutions.
- The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This self-described “Field Guide to the Nomenclature of Philosophy” consists of regularly updated original articles by thirty editors and three hundred scholars in their fields. The articles are authoritative, peer-reviewed, and available for personal and classroom use. The general editors James Fieser and Bradley Dowden have designed the site to be most useful for students in obtaining secondary source information on the key terms and personages of philosophy. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy can also be recommended for obtaining an overview of the problems of philosophy for background readings for lectures and papers. In general, the articles are well researched and are accessible by undergraduates. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, its main competitor, is designed for more advanced work, although both encyclopedias consist of scholarly work.
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This continuously updated reference work is a publishing project of the Metaphysics Research Lab at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) at Stanford University. The General editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia is Edward N. Zalta. Authors of subject entries are well-known scholars in their fields; even so, the subjects discussed are accessible by undergraduates and are authoritative and well balanced. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is the most scholarly general source for philosophy on the web and is essential as a starting point and background research for philosophy term papers.
- Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Search this dynamic resource, constructed by Andrew Chrucky, with results from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind, The Ism Book, The Catholic Encyclopedia, A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names
- Wikipedia Philosophy Portal
This threshold to resources includes summaries and links of academic branches of philosophy, related academic fields, various lists of links to topics, and links to internet resources. Separate portals are offered for aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, metaphysics, and political philosophy. Wikipedia philosophical entries are often underrated. Even though some entries reflect disproportionate emphases, it's a generally reliable resource. Although academicians rarely, if ever, cite this source, on occasion, most refer to it on their own time.
IV. Philosophy Podcasts
- BBC In Our Time: Philosophy
BBC's Radio 4, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, has offered for MP3 download or Flash online play over 150 audio program episodes and counting. Philosophical topics include discussion of philosophers, theories, problems, and arguments. Program times usually vary from 10 to 60 minutes, and program topics are searchable and cross-listed.
- University of Chicago: Elucidations
Over 100 podcasts, mostly by prominent academic philosophers, concerning many areas of philosophy, both theoretical and practical, are available for download or listening online. Topics range from current scholarly issues to inviting historical problems of philosophy. The podcasts usually are from 30 to 45 minutes.
- History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
Peter Adamson provides all-encompassing audio lectures of historical world-philosophical figures and ideas from the following categories or periods: the Presocratic, Socratic and Platonic, Aristotelian, Hellenistic, Late Antiquity, Ancient Christian, Medieval, Islamic, Spanish, Eastern, and African. The 20-minute-or-so audio lectures are available for listening on site, on Apple podcast, or upon download. For each of the over 300 lectures Prof. Adamson lists further readings and a relevant link to an associated topic from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Open Culture: Free Online Philosophy Courses
Over 200 audio and video online university courses in a wide assortment philosophy fields, including some Eastern philosophy topics, are available from Australian, British, Canadian, Danish, French, Indian, Scottish, and U.S. universities.
- Philosophy Bites
Philosophy Bites is a series of podcasts hosted by philosophers Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds featuring interviews of prominent philosophers in their fields of expertise. Not only is the series exceptionally well-done from a philosophical point of view, but it is one of the most popular podcast series on the web. Archive podcast interviews by theme number over 400.
- University of Oxford: Podcasts: Philosophy
Audio and video lectures and lecture series are available on a wide variety of topics including general philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, and philosophies of criticism, film, mind, politics, and science, among many, many others — over 130 pages of links to related topics.
- Wi-Phi: Open Access Philosophy
About 150 animated videos on introductory philosophical problems and topic from the point of view of doing philosophy as opposed to learning about philosophy are provided as of midyear 2018. Philosophy graduate students and professors usually explain the the topic in about 5 to 10 minutes. The videos are clearly, concisely, insightfully, and brilliantly performed.
- The Partially Examined Life
The podcast's many episodes and supplemental blog mostly concern academic topics in Western philosophy and philosophers in a relaxed fashion. Podcasts times often run more than an hour and cover the spectrum of philosophical topics.
- The Philosopher's Zone
Recent topics for these ABC RN radio podcasts and programs originate from exploring current issues through the purview of logic, ethics, and metaphysics. Earlier programs in the archives, beginning with 2005, present philosophical problems and ideas from the ancient world to the present. Programs topics are searchable by date beginning in 2005 or by indexed topic.
V. Philosophy Forums
- The Philosophy Forum
Philosophy discussions comport with almost all areas of philosophy; fairly active discussion is evident in almost specialized topics. The discussion categories include metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of art, logic and philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of religion , philosophy of science, and philosophy of language. Monthly readings and reading groups are offered. Currently this is one of the most popular discussion of philosophical subjects on the web.
- Philosophy Discussion Forums
These argumentative forums include active discussions in epistemology and metaphysics, ethics and morality, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science and philosophy of arts, but not logic and philosophy of mathematics. The Philosophy Discussion Forums include the opportunity to discuss a philosophy book of the month and occasionally an interview in a one-on-one forum is available. This site presents a wonderful opportunity for beginning students of philosophy to try out philosophical ideas for opinions and assessment by a variety of respondents. Many of the participants appear to be self-directed individuals willing to explore philosophical ideas.
- Philosophy Now Forum
The Philosophy Now Forum takes its name from its emphasis on the discussion of topics from the magazine Philosophy Now on the same named website — a site emphasizing current philosophical and ethics issues. The forum includes discussion in all major branches of philosophy, and, unlike Philosophy Discussion Forums and The Philosophy Forum, includes discussion in applied ethics, gender philosophy, and philosophical counseling. Additionally, this forum attracts more practical and popular interest than academic interest.
VI. Searching for Philosophy Papers
- BASE: Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
BASE is a Universität Bielefeld Library search engine in English with advanced searching features to locate quality academic web resources — the data base includes more than 100 million documents and more than 5,000 sources, 60% of which are open access.
- Cognitive Sciences Eprint Archive
CogPrints archives papers in many fields including the philosophical areas of epistemology, ethics, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.. Almost 1,000 self-archived papers in philosophy are browsable by subject.
CORE provides access to over 130 million open access research papers from open access journal and international repositories — an extremely useful resource with a straightforward search engine. More complex search query syntax is explained with in the CORE API v2 docs page.
- DOI: Resolve a DOI Name
If you know the DOI (the digital object identifier) of a research paper, enter the DOI number and letters into the text box and click "“Go.”. Your browser will then load the webpage which explains how the paper can be accessed.
To search for the metadata of a research paper in order to find, cite, or read, click on the “Search Metadata” tab on this linked page and enter the author and/or title, or its DOI in the text search box. Results are sorted by relevance, publication, year, DOI, and information to cite, filter, or get JSON metadata.
- DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
DOAJ in an online directory providing open access to world-wide academic open access articles in over 10,000 peer-reviewed journals in science, technology, medicine, social science, and humanities with search engine functionality in the Chrome browser.
- Google Scholar
Google Scholar is a premiere search engine for all fields of philosophy. When you search for a specific paper, below the entry found on the results page is often a list of the available versions of the paper (i.e., versions available in academic repositories or on an author's website). When accessed, those versions often link to a site where the paper can be read or downloaded — sometimes as a pre-publication. The Google Scholar search engine is perhaps the most productive on the web for locating philosophy papers.
- Microsoft Academic
This academic semantic search engine employs machine learning to locate authors, journal, subjects, or subjects and “understands” their interrelation with fields of study, conferences, journals, and institutions. When locating a paper, this search engine sometimes can be used in conjunction with Google Scholar to locate the paper or a pre-publication of the paper on the web in an academic repository.
PhilPapers, the most comprehensive index of philosophy on the web, provides access to information about philosophy books, journals, and open-access archives. Some texts are accessible online; most are proprietary and only accessible through an institutional licensee (i.e., university, research center), or
through websites illegal in most countries such as Sci-Hub. Philosophical topics in books and journals are browsable by topics or by search engine. The site states that its open-access eprint archive, hosted at PhilArchive, numbers over 30,000 items and is the largest on the web. PhilArchive is searchable by means of over 5,000 categories on the PhilArchive category browse page.
VII. Searching for Philosophy Books
- Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
This collection of public domain and open access documents of Western literature and philosophy can be queried by universal search, author's name, title, or subject tag. The collection is limited to important complete works in American literature, English literature, and philosophy, and are mostly in plain text.
- Bartleby.com Great Books Online: Nonfiction
The nonfiction section of Bartleby's Great Books Online offers access to many classic philosophy works as part of The Harvard Classics series of books. These works can be accessed from the Index of Subjects or the Index of Titles.
- Digital Book Index: Philosophy
As a meta-index for major ebook sites, the philosophy section of the Digital Book Index provides downloadable and web-based access to a plenitude of books in all fields of philosophy. Links to Classic Western and Eastern philosophical authors are available; moreover, over 1,200 books in philosophy and religion are available in a variety of formats. See the Main Help Page for more complex searches.
- Erratic Impact Philosophy Research Base
Self-described as a meta-index of philosophy, this comprehensive study guide is initially somewhat confusing to navigate as it includes a compendium of a number of separate websites, some currently being updated, yet many of the linked sites are well worth browsing. Subjects of interest can be located with the Philosophy Research Base's site map which lists topics based on history of philosophy, philosophical topics, philosophers, and “alt-philosophy”: feminism, ecofeminism, queer theory, animal rights, and ecology.
- Google Advanced Book Search
Google Books provides the means to read, download, cite, and translate books. Many of the almost 30 million books in the Google library are displayed fully, others partially, and many none at all. Search filters include author, title, publisher, subject, publication date, and text words or phrases. Public domain books can be downloaded in several different formats. Google Advanced Search ia extremely useful resource for finding passages for scholarly books for citation.
- Hathi Trust Digital Library
- With over 120 mostly U.S. partnering institutions and universities offering free open access to many public domain books with many thousands of philosophy books, most downloadable. Advanced Catalog Search and Advanced Full-Text Search provide different filters for search terms including “subject” and “full view” limits. The Hathi Trust Digital Library accesses services for public domain from Google Books, the Internet Archive, and other institutions. Sometimes, full downloads are limited to members of partner institutions.
- The Logic Museum
There are over 3,000 articles available on this wiki: many providing original or translations of Aristotelian, medieval, and traditional logic and philosophy, and many in related fields informed by logic. Works translated, being translated, or linked to, are cataloged from Aristotle, Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas, Scotus and Ockham.
- ManyBooks Philosophy
Over 400 philosophy books are downloadable in different formats, including PDF, EPUB, AZW, MOBI, and TXT. The general catalog contains over 33,000 free books, most available on eReaders. Search topics are by genre, title, author, language, recommended books, or popular books.
- The Online Books Page
Over 2 million free books can be accessed on this site hosted by University of Pennsylvania library and edited by John Mark Ockerbloom. Books are listed according to the Library of Congress call numbers and are also browsed by subject term — books in the subject of philosophy alone are listed on 27 pages. If you are seeking a philosophy book online, this site may well be the best site currently on the web. All books are free, in full text, and in a standard format.
- Oxford Text Archive
Access to this archive of digital resources for higher education is by Search and by Browse in the main catalog for over 3000 text works and over 3000 legacy format works (with some duplications) for download. Many if not most texts are from the 1700s and 1800s.
- Perseus Digital Library Project
The Perseus Digital Library, directed by editor-in-chief Gregory R. Crane at Tufts University, is the premier site for studying the Classics: especially the history, literature, and culture of the Greco-Roman world. Recently the site is expanding to include other projects such as works in ethics as well. The site is somewhat difficult to navigate, but well worth the effort. Browse by Authors or Browse by Catalog using title, language, subject, or other fields. A User Guide: Searching the Catalog and the Quick Start Guide are especially helpful for locating specific works.
- Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg provides over 57,000 open source works in several formats and in many different languages for reading online or for reading after download. Search for books or Browse the Online Book Catalog by author, title, or language. Project Gutenberg Australia lists over 500 classics linked to related Wikipedia entries on their Western World's Greatest Books page.
- The Sophia Project
This free online resource in philosophy, ethics, and religion is sponsored by SopiaOmni Press, an independent publisher concentrating in works that “add to the sum total of human wisdom.” The site provides numerous texts in Western and Eastern Philosophy to be downloaded or printed for personal or educational use. Main categories include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of education, personal identity, philosophy of mind, freedom and determinism.,and aesthetics.
VIII. Philosophy Writing Resources
- A Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper
This 7-page guide from Harvard College is an excellent source, with examples, for writing a structured argumentative paper. The guide explains how to structure the paper and illustrates essential aspects of content.
- A Guide to Philosophical Writing
This 52-page book by Eliah Chudnoff covers the five main features of a philosophical paper: the purpose, the audience, the argumentation, the narrative, and the style. Its clear explanations and examples make this a valuable source for the university student.
- Guidelines on Writing a Paper
Jim Pryor provides an excellent guide for the main steps of writing together with a list of criteria for assessment of the work.
- Tips on Writing a Philosophy Paper
Douglas W. Portmore (Arizona State University essays strategies, steps, and main aspects for writing an argumentative paper.
- Writing and Research Guides
- University of Canterbury Philosophy: Assignment Research
This useful step-by-step guide for students to do basic assignment research in depth includes recommended links to dictionaries and encyclopedias, catalog searching, searching for articles, critically analyzing information, and other writing guides.
- University of Cambridge Tackling the Philosophy Essay: A Student Guide
This handbook explains the basics of writing philosophy with examples by focusing on these essay skills: how to analyze a question, how to write a thesis statement, how to construct an outline, and how to use an essay template. The 35 page booklet also contains an annotated model essay. Formats available include PDF, DOC, MOBI, and EPUB.
IX. Notable Philosophy Links
- Aeon Philosophy
Aeon is a digital magazine, founded by Paul and Brigid Hains, providing essays, short creative commons editorials, and short documentary-type videos, often in conjunction with cultural institutions and university research groups. Aeon Philosophy includes specialized topics on all areas of philosophical inquiry.
- Philosophy on Stack Exchange
Philosophy on Stack Exchange is an online community to learn and share knowledge by asking and answering tagged questions in separate philosophical categories. Answers are crowdsourced, ordinarily with one answer deemed best.
- The London Philosophy Study Guide
The study guide offers help to undergraduates and graduates on reading philosophy, writing essays, constructing a bibliography and locating resources. Published through many iterations, lastly by the Philosophy Subject Panel of the University of London, it was intended for use by those students for university programs. The guide offers instruction in many areas of the history of Western philosophy, Indian philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion and logic. A short description of topics and subtopics is accompanied by key readings published mostly from 1970 to 2005; so readings in many areas require supplementation. Nevertheless, this guide is a blessing for anyone attempting to obtain a grasp of much of the field of academic philosophy who has access to a major university library.
The Philosophy Pages
The Philosophy Pages includes a dictionary of philosophical terms and names, a survey of the history of Western philosophy, a timeline for key figures, discussion of several major philosophers, a summary treatment of the elementary principles of logic, study guide for students of philosophy, and links to other philosophy sites on the Internet. The site is developed by Garth Kemerling, is widely cited, and has reliable information.
X. Philosophy Course Links
More specialized links can be found on the main pages for philosophy courses on this website: