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Links, Tips and Resources about Philosophy


Links, Tips, and Resources

Video and Audio

Philosophy TV: A Video Website Devoted to Philosophical Thinking is here www.philostv.com

A large number of resources, including audio and video about American philosophy is here: http://american-philosophy.org/resources.htm

University of Colorado Denver Lecture Series Video Archive: coming soon!

Resources for Writing and Critiquing Philosophical Texts

10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly is from the Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/10-Tips-on-How-to-Write-Less/124268/

Some other tips on reading, writing, and study of philosophy are here: http://www.davidhildebrand.org/teaching/tips-hints/

Adler, Mortimer and Van Doren, Charles. How to Read a Book. Touchstone (Simon and Schuster), New York, NY. 1972.

A little old fashioned, but many sections are simple and useful descriptions of different dimensions of reading, with strategies to approach each one. There is a section on reading philosophy texts, especially, but the sections on inspectional and analytical reading may be of even more use.

Graybosch, Anthony, Gregory M. Scott and Stephen Garrison. The Philosophy Student Writer's Manual. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.

Designed to serve as either as a writing guide or as a primary textbook for teaching philosophy through writing, the Manual is an excellent resource for students new to philosophy. Like other books in this area, the Manual contains sections on grammar, writing strategies, introductory informal logic and the different types of writing encountered in various areas of philosophy. Of particular note, however, is the section on conducting research in philosophy. The research strategies and sources of information described there are very much up-to-date, including not only directories and periodical indexes, but also research institutes, interest groups and Internet resources.

Martinich, A.P. Philosophical Writing: An Introduction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989.

An excellent introduction to the peculiarities of philosophical writing, ranging in difficulty from elementary to moderately advanced. Martinich maintains that half of good philosophy is good grammar and the other half is good thinking, and his book is geared toward helping students to write clear, precise and concise philosophical prose. The book includes a crash course on basic concepts in logic, a catalogue of the types of arguments typically found in philosophical writing, and an examination of the structure of a philosophical essay. Of particular interest is Martinich's discussion of the concepts of author and audience as they apply to academic writing.

Rosenberg, Jay F. The Practice of Philosophy: A Handbook for Beginners, 2nd Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1984.

Intended as a general-purpose introduction to the practice of philosophy in the "analytic" style, Rosenberg's book includes quite a lot on philosophical writing. In effect, Rosenberg divides the class of philosophical essays into four main types: critical, adjudicatory, problem-solving and essays expositing an original thesis. A variety of critical and argumentative strategies are provided in connection with the first three types.

Reference Works in Philosophy

There are an enormous number of reference works in philosophy. Those listed below are clear and intelligent starting points.

Dictionaries/Bibliographies

Anthony Flew (Editor) A Dictionary of Philosophy. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1984.

The Philosopher's Index. An International Index to Philosophical Materials. Bowling Green, OH: Philosophy Documentation Center, Bowling Green University, 1967-. Abstracts 450 U.S. and European journals; author, subject, and book review indexes; books included since 1980; non-English language books since 1984. Two companion, retrospective sets by the same publisher: The Philosopher's Index: A Retrospective Index to Non-U.S. Publications from 1940 (books to 1978, journals to 1966); The Philosophers Index: A Retrospective Index to U.S. Publications from 1940 (books to 1976, journals to 1960).

Historical

Passmore, John. A Hundred Years of Philosophy. Basic Books (June, 1967)

First published in 1957, this is a remarkable work of scholarship displaying an encyclopedic knowledge of the major philosophical movements of the preceding 100 years, combined with an intimidating understanding of their historical origins. It is common to meet people who cannot quite believe that it was written by one person.

Copleston, Frederick. A History of Western Philosophy. Image (Doubleday). 1962 republished 1993. In Haber Library.

W.T. Jones. A History of Western Philosophy. Five volumes. Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, 1969-1975.

Jones' five-volume survey of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to the mid-20th century is a good overview of the subject.

The Cambridge Companions. Cambridge University Press.

Cambridge University Press puts out a series called The Cambridge Companions. There are a number of these devoted to specific philosophers across the span of the tradition, from the ancients, such as Plato and Aristotle, to medieval philosophers, like Aquinas and Augustine, to modern thinkers, such as Kant and Kierkegaard, to contemporary figures, such as Foucault and Rawls. Experts and scholars who study each figure generally contribute an essay discussing some aspect of that particular philosopher's work. The Cambridge Companions are good places for introductory essays and bibliographies about a philosopher's work.

Encyclopedias and Companions

Paul Edwards (Editor). The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 8 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1967.

Anglo-American and analytic slant. Scholarly, readable, good cross references. Good bibliographies. The only work of its kind in English. In Haber Library.

Edward Craig (Editor). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge Keegan Paul, 1998. Ten volumes.

In many entries more current than The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, above.

Ted Honderich (Editor) The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 1995.

This book is a single-volume dictionary of philosophy. There are roughly 2,000 entries, with maps, a chronology, an index and short bibliographies.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online)

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an electronic encyclopedia of philosophy, with entries on philosophers and philosophical topics written by prominent scholars in the field. Entries are signed and dated, and include bibliographies, Internet resources (where applicable), and cross-references to related entries.

Islamic Philosophy Online

This site is devoted to Islamic philosophy, and presents many full-text books, articles and other resources for those interested in researching this field. 

Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This site compares the treatment of subjects and topics in six philosophy encyclopedias on the Internet. In other words, it lists subjects and topics alphabetically, and marks on a grid if and where various Internet philosophy encyclopedias cover these. There is no indication as to when or how often the site owner updates the information. 

Perseus Digital Library

The Perseus Digital Library is one of the premier sites to find texts from and resources for doing research in the Classical era. In addition to primary texts, users will find dictionaries, commentaries, maps and art.

Philosophical Lexicon

The Philosophical Lexicon is a humorous dictionary of "philosophical" terms. (Please note that this dictionary is for entertainment purposes only!)