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John M. Kelly Library

Research Guide to Philosophy

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This research guide is maintained by Noel S. McFerran. It was last updated July 2011.

Multi-Volume Encyclopedias

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Edited by Edward Craig. London: Routledge, 1998. 10 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[Print version: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 51 .R68 1998]
The definitive English-language philosophy encyclopedia. Over 2,000 articles - thematic, biographical, and national - ranging from 500 to 15,000 words in length, written by over 1,200 renowned authors from around the world. In addition to covering the core of most Anglo-American philosophy - the metaphysical, epistemological, and logical questions, REP also provides thorough, expert treatments of world philosophies, including the philosophies and major thinkers of India, Africa, and Latin America, as well as Chinese, Arabic, and Jewish philosophy.

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

2nd edition. Edited by Donald M. Borchert. Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2006. 10 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[Victoria Pratt and Trinity Graham, Reference Area — B 41 .E53 2006]
Over 2100 lengthy articles with extensive bibliographies on every aspect of Eastern and Western philosophy, ancient, medieval, and modern.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

[Available free online.]
Almost 500 peer-reviewed articles contributed by professional philosophers or graduate students.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

[Available free online.]
Peer-reviewed articles contributed by professional philosophers.

New Catholic Encyclopedia

New Catholic Encyclopedia.

2nd edition. Washington, DC: Gale, 2003. 15 volumes + annual supplements.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — BX 841 .N44 2003]
The major English-language encyclopedia on Catholic topics, this work contains some 17,000 articles, each with a bibliography. There is an article entitled "Philosophy, Articles on" which provides an overview of the encyclopedia's philosophical content and identifies several hundred entries relating to philosophy. Unfortunately many of the articles in the 2003/online edition are reprints from the 1967 edition without any updating.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas.

Edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005. 6 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — CB 9 .N49 2005]
Essay-length articles on the history of ideas in a wide range of topics, including the natural sciences, anthropology, religion, history, economics, and law.

Enciclopedia Filosofica

Enciclopedia Filosofica.

Venice: Istituto per la Collaborazione Culturale, 1957. 4 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 44 .I8]
Before the advent of The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, this Italian work was the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia of philosophy in any language. There are over 12,000 articles, ranging from brief definitional ones to very lengthy ones with bibliographies. This work is still useful particularly for continental and religious philosophy and for its bibliographies.

Historisches Wrterbuch der Philosophie

Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie

Edited by Joachim Ritter. Basel: Schwabe, 1971-2004. 13 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 43 .R56]
The major German-language encyclopedia of philosophy. Scholarly articles with bibliographies on philosophical concepts and terms. Does not include biographical articles. Of first importance in advanced work.

General Dictionaries and Handbooks

Most of these works have short articles (usually without long bibliographies) on individual philosophers, philosophical concepts, and terms.

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

Edited by Ted Honderich. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[Print version: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 51 .O94 2005]
Considered by many to be the premier work in its class.

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.

Edited by Simon Blackburn. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[Print version: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 41 .B53 1994]

The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy

The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy.

2nd edition. Edited by Robert Audi. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 41 .C35 1999]

A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names.

Edited by Garth Kemerling.
[Available online for free.]

A Companion to Philosophers

A Companion to the Philosophers.

Edited by Robert L. Arrington. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 72 .C595 1999]

A Dictionary of Philosophy

A Dictionary of Philosophy.

Edited by Antony Flew. Revised 2nd edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 41 .D52 1984]

The Dictionary of Philosophy

The Dictionary of Philosophy.

Edited by Dagobert D. Runes. New York: Philosophical Library, 1960.
[Available online for free.]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 41 .D5 1960]

Greek Philosophical Terms

Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon.

Edited by F.E. Peters. New York: New York University Press, 1967.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 49 .P4]
Lengthy definitions of particular Greek words showing how they are used in the writings of Plato and Aristotle, as well as other ancient philosophers.

A Ready Reference to Philosophy East and West

A Ready Reference to Philosophy East and West.

By Eugene F. Bales. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 72 .B34 1987]
A manual for the history of philosophy with brief introductions to major thinkers and schools. Very readable for the undergraduate.

Branches of Philosophy - Dictionaries and Handbooks

The Handbook of Western Philosophy.

Edited by G.H.R. Parkinson. New York: Macmillan, 1988.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor Stacks — B 804 .H17 1988]
A systematic (rather than alphabetical) arrangement of the major topics of interest in western (primarily Anglo-American) philosophy. Each of the thirty-seven chapters provides an overview of one of these topics (e.g. the existence of God, the will, philosophy of history, aesthetics).

Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy

Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy.

Edited by Donald J. Zeyl. New York: Greenwood Press, 1997.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 163 .E53 1997]
Over 270 articles with bibliographies on ancient philosophers (e.g. Anaximander, Origen), concepts (e.g. The Infinite, The Problem of Change), and themes (e.g. Classical Aesthetics, Greek Science).

Medieval Philosophers

Medieval Philosophers.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, v. 115. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 721 .M45 1992]
Articles on the life and works of over fifty medieval philosophers.

A Dictionary of Scholastic Philosophy.

Edited by Bernard Wuellner. 2nd edition. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce, 1966.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 50 .S35 W8]
Brief definitions of words and phrases as used particularly by Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Dictionnaire europen des Lumires

Dictionnaire européen des lumières.

By Michel Delon. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1997.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — DB 286 .D54 1997]
Articles about topics of interest in the Enlightenment (e.g. censorship, inspiration, travel).

Dictionary of Asian Philosophies

Dictionary of Asian Philosophies.

Edited by St. Elmo Nauman, Jr. New York: Philosophical Library, 1978.
[Victoria 1st Floor Reference Area — B 5005 .N38]
Articles on major thinkers, schools of thought, philosophical texts, terms, and concepts from both the Middle East and the Far East.

Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy

Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy.

Edited by Brian Carr and Indira Mahalingam. London: Routledge, 1997.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 121 .C66 1997]
Introductory essays on Persian, Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic philosophy.

Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology

Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology.

Edited by Jans Burkhardt and Barry Smith. Munich: Philosophia, 1991. 2 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — BD 111 .H225 1991]
Over 470 articles on historical and contemporary metaphysicians (e.g. Aristotle, Hegel, Fodor), schools (e.g. Arabic, Encyclopaedists, Port-Royal), periods (e.g. Greek, Renaissance), and concepts (e.g. logic, plenitude).

Dictionary of Cultural Theorists

Dictionary of Cultural Theorists.

Edited by Ellis Cashmore and Chris Rojek. London: Arnold, 1999.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — H 57 .D45 1999]
Articles on over 200 of the leading figures in the study of culture, highlighting their key concepts, main arguments, major works, and formative influences.

Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers

Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers.

Edited by Stuart Brown, Diane Collinson, and Robert Wilkinson. London: Routledge, 1996.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 104 .B56 1996]
Articles on over 1,000 philosophers who have lived all or part of their lives in the twentieth century. Bibliographies include both major publications and critical literature. A "Guide to Schools and Movements" gives brief descriptions or different philosophical schools (e.g. existentialism) and lists associated philosophers.

Women Philosophers

Women Philosophers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook.

Edited by Ethel M. Kersey. New York: Greenwood, 1989.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 105 .W6 K47 1989]
Biographical articles on some 150 women thinkers from ancient times to the twentieth century. Each article includes a bibliography of "works by" and "works about".

Blackwell Companions to Philosophy

Blackwell Companions to Philosophy.

Oxford: Blackwell, 1991-present.
This reference series, centred on analytic philosophy, but also covering important aspects of the continental traditions and of non-Western philosophies, is made up of over fifty volumes each dealing with a particular subject area (e.g. aesthetics, environmental philosophy, philosophy in the Middle Ages) or with a particular philosopher (e.g. Aristotle, Hume). Some volumes are arranged in a dictionary format with entries about people, terms and movements; other volumes are arranged as a collection of essays.


World Philosophy

World Philosophy: Essay-Reviews of 225 Major Works.

Edited by Frank N. Magill. New York: Salem Press, 1982. 5 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 29 .W68 1982]
Summaries of major philosophical classics (e.g. Plato's Apology, Heidegger's Being and Time) arranged chronologically. For each summarized classic work, there are also summaries of at least two secondary studies commenting upon the classic work. Also includes an annotated bibliography for each work. Masterpieces of World Philosophy in Summary Form (St Michael's B 21 .M25) is a shorter version of this set containing only the summaries.

The Philosophy Student Writer's Manual

The Philosophy Student Writer's Manual.

By Anthony J. Graybosch, Gregory M. Scott, and Stephen M. Garrison. 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 52.7 .G73 2003]
This work is designed as a complement to any philosophy textbook. It includes a manual of style for researching and writing philosophy papers, an introduction to the basic principles of argument, information on how to avoid fallacies, and detailed instructions for writing papers usually required in philosophy classes (e.g. issue position papers, ethics papers, history of philosophy papers).

Doing Philosophy

Doing Philosophy: A Guide to the Writing of Philosophy Papers.

By Joel Feinberg. 2nd edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2002.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor — B 52.7 .F45 2002]
This booklet is intended to help college students who are enrolled in an introductory course in philosophy and are required to write a philosophical paper. It includes information on selecting a topic, avoiding plagiarism, and avoiding mistakes in grammar and philosophical diction. It also includes a section on basic logic.

Writing Philosophy

Writing Philosophy: A Students Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays.

By Lewis Vaughn. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 52.7 .V38 2006]
A concise, self-guided manual that covers the basics of argumentative essay writing with step-by-step instructions for each phase of the writing process, including formulating a thesis, creating an outline, and writing a final draft.

Finding Journal Articles
The Philosopher's Index

The Philosopher's Index.

[Available online (1967 - present) for UofT use.]
The major North American index to books and journal articles on philosophical topics. Each entry includes an abstract summarizing the work. The electronic version does not include citations for book reviews which are only present in the print edition.

Rpertoire bibliographique de la philosophie

Repertoire Bibliographique de la Philosophie.

[Robarts 4th Floor Reference Area — Z 7127 .R42 (1949 - present)]
The major European index to books and journal articles on philosophical topics. No abstracts.


Poiesis: Philosophy Online Serials.

[Available online for UofT use.]
The full-text of over forty major philosophy journals online.



[Available online:]
A comprehensive directory of online philosophy articles and books by academic philosophers. An excellent way of keeping aware of current publications.


Philosophy A Guide to the Reference Literature

Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature.

By Hans E. Bynagle. 3rd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 72 .B97 2006]
An annotated list of the most important reference books in philosophy.

Bibliography of Philosophy (Bibliographie de la Philosophie).

[Regis College Library (1954–present)]
Abstracts of philosophical books. The abstracts are written in the same language as the original work.

A Bibliography of Philosophical Bibliographies

A Bibliography of Philosophical Bibliographies.

Edited by Herbert Guerry. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1977.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area — B 35 .G83]
A bibliography listing bibliographies on individual philosophers (e.g. Hume) or philosophical topics (e.g. atheism; Dutch philosophy).

There are dozens of guides to philosophy resources on the web. Among the most useful are the following: