Valuable Online Resources for Students of Philosophy

Need help researching? Stuck on a difficult text? Studying for an exam?

This list of academic tips, online dictionaries, encyclopedias, timelines, forums, and resource centers will help you find what you are looking for. Also included are links to primary and secondary texts on Western and Eastern Philosophies. So get thinking!

Academic Tips

  • Guide to the Study of Philosophy includes tips for reading philosophy texts on and off the internet, a guide to philosophical dialogue on the internet, and advice for writing research papers.
  • Guide to Writing offers tips on source materials, standards of evidence, footnotes, and what to avoid when writing an essay for a philosophy class. Be sure to look at the sample undergraduate philosophy paper at the bottom of the site.
  • How to Read a Philosophy Paper is written by a professor at Thompson Rivers University. This web page is a three-part text which encompasses reading, planning, and writing a philosophy paper.
  • Taking Notes on Philosophical Texts is a great source for students who need helping doing the reading for a philosophy course. Tips from a professor at Earlham College provide ideas for taking notes on difficult texts.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Timelines

  • Guide to the Study of Philosophy includes tips for reading philosophy texts on and off the internet, a guide to philosophical dialogue on the internet, and advice for writing research papers.
  • Guide to Writing offers tips on source materials, standards of evidence, footnotes, and what to avoid when writing an essay for a philosophy class. Be sure to look at the sample undergraduate philosophy paper at the bottom of the site.
  • How to Read a Philosophy Paper is written by a professor at Thompson Rivers University. This web page is a three-part text which encompasses reading, planning, and writing a philosophy paper.
  • Taking Notes on Philosophical Texts is a great source for students who need helping doing the reading for a philosophy course. Tips from a professor at Earlham College provide ideas for taking notes on difficult texts.
  • Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a peer-reviewed academic resource founded in 1995 as a non-profit company dedicated to improving public scholarly information. The site is clean and easy to read as well as academically detailed.
  • Ismbook is a dictionary of “ism”s. Students may search for definitions of concepts such as Aristotelianism, Buddhism, consequentialism, deism, and Manicheism. Definitions also include the origins of terms.
  • Meta-Encyclopedia compiles entries from seven different online encyclopedias to give users philosophy definitions from several sources at once. This site is edited by Andrew Chrucky from Fordham University.
  • Radical Academy Glossary offers one-sentence definitions of hundreds of philosophical terms as defined by the “commonsense philosophical realism of Aristotle or Aquinas.”

Forums and Associations

  • Ask A Philosopher provides a forum for the public to ask and answer philosophical questions and to peruse an archive of these dialogues. This site is run by Pathways School of Philosophy.
  • Intute Internet for Philosophy allows students to access a free, interactive online tutorial to increase their internet research skills. This site is made possible by lecturers and librarians from the United Kingdom.
  • Philosopher’s Net is run by The Philosophers’ Magazine. This interactive magazine includes philosophy blog updates, philosophical experiments, and other interactive quizzes. Good for those interested in current philosophical debates.
  • Society for Women in Philosophy is useful for finding online articles relating to women in philosophy and feminist theory resources. This site also provides a biographical list of women philosophers.
  • The Argument Clinic is a one-of-a-kind interactive site on which anyone can submit a philosophic argument and have it examined by an academic. Run by professors at the University of Northern Colorado, this site is a great place to pick an expert’s brain or to read previous submissions and the witty responses that accompany them.

General Resources

  • Divisions of Philosophy provides charts of Aristotelian, Thomistic, and Wolffian divisions of philosophy. The charts offered here are simple outlines and do not link to further information. The diagrams might be useful for powerpoint presentations.
  • EServer Philosophy is a resource for primary canonical texts, critical articles, and philosophy humor.
  • History of Philosophy includes links to many secondary sources of both Western (Ancient Medieval, and Modern) and Eastern (Indian, Chinese and Buddhist) philosophies. This site was compiled by Dr. Kelley Ross from Los Angeles Valley College and has been active since 1996.
  • Miniature Courses provides “mini” explanations of the development of philosophy as well as answers to logical, epistemological, and ontological questions. Each text is approximately six pages long and is broken down into an outline format with succinct summary sections at the end of each article.
  • Philosophical Quotations is organized alphabetically by philosophers’ last names. Choose a historical figure and find lots of great quotations for academic papers or everyday amusement. This site offers quotes from hundreds of philosophers.
  • Philosophos contains a history of Western Philosophy itemized by year from 600 BC to the present. Within each time period is a list of philosophers and how they were connected to their peers.
  • Philosophy in Culture and Ethnicity provides texts from diverse philosophies all across the globe – Arabic, Australian, Brazilian, Czech, Japanese, Maori, Peruvian and more. Full primary texts are available online from each of these disciplines.
  • Philosophy Resource Center is a sprawling, comprehensive website which offers a glossary of philosophical terms, a list of philosophical issues, and philosophical quotations. For students interested in visuals, this site includes a miniature “philosophy art gallery.”
  • Philosophy Since the Enlightenment includes descriptions of Romanticism, Analytic Philosophy, Existentialism, Poststructuralism and Moral Philosophy. This is a great resource for students looking for simple introductory texts.

Comparative Philosophy

  • China verses the West describes the methods and ethics of comparative philosophy. Included is a great bibliography for students looking for more resources on this topic.
  • Theory of Ontology discusses the study of the nature of existence by comparing African, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic philosophies. Each section of this site includes a brief introduction to these culture’s theories and then includes extensive bibliographies of more detailed texts.
  • West Approaches East, written by Dr. Charles Ess of Drury University, was a text presented at the ASIANetwork conference comparing western and eastern thought and the dangers of contrasting them too greatly. This text includes a chart of side-by-side comparisons of similar western and eastern philosophers.
  • Western Concepts of God includes a detailed historical overview of Western concepts of divinity as well as divine attributes of the Western god. This article is located on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Western Philosophy

  • 16th to 18th Century Philosophers includes links to biographies on philosophers from Spain, Italy, England, France, Holland and Germany. Each mini biography includes a timeline on the philosopher’s life.
  • American Timeline spans from 1600 to 1950 and includes names and lifespans of American philosophers with accompanying historical notes which detail the creation of prominent universities and important inventions.
  • Analytic Philosophy is a Powerpoint presentation from a professor at the University of San Diego which defines Analytic Philosophy, offers a Western Philosophy timeline and introductions to other subfields of philosophy, including perception questions, thought experiments and mind-body problems.
  • Classics of Western Philosophy is a list of short classic texts compiled by Andreas Teuber of Brandeis University. Selected philosophers include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Decartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza. This list is a mixture of primary sources, summary and commentary.
  • Contemporary Western Philosophy offers an online text copyright by Eiichi Shimomissé. It includes introductions to Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.
  • Greek Timeline is good for identifying a historical background to Greek philosophic thought. It spans from 3000 BCE to 0 CE. This text is part of “Exploring Ancient World Cultures” from the University of Evansville.
  • Kant on the Web offers English translations of Kant’s texts as well as their German originals. Secondary texts on Kant are also available here, organized by type of resource. All are scholarly sources.
  • Marx and Engel offers thirty-nine primary, full-length texts or speeches delivered by Marx and Engel and published between 1837 and 1895.
  • Philosophy Pages provides definitions and explanations of the key components of Ancient and Medieval, Early Modern, Recent Modern and Contemporary Philosophy. Text on this site is detailed and clear – a great introductory resource.
  • Recent Philosophy offers resources on Pragmatism, American Transcendentalism, Neo-Positivism, Existentialism, and Objectivism. This site includes links to many full-length online texts.
  • Studio Spinoziana is a compilation of data all relating to Baruch Spinoza, who lived from 1632-1677. This site also includes links to Spinoza’s 17th and 18th century contemporaries.
  • Value of Knowledge: Western Philosophy was developed by the Marxists’ Internet Archive, a volunteer non-profit public library. This site takes students through categories of western philosophy such as Greek philosophy, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and British, French and German philosophy. Each miniature article includes numerous links to biographical resources.

Eastern and Other Philosophies

  • African Philosophy Resource offers students many different types of resources – from lists of African philosophers to online texts to discussions of Afrocentrism and Panafricanism to email discussion lists.
  • Chinese E-text Archive includes links to texts from the Pre-Qin to Later Qing periods. Beware, some text is in Chinese.
  • Chinese Philosophy Pages is a site maintained and updated by a professor at the University of Hong Kong. It contains Chad Hansen’s writings on Confucianism, Legalism, Mohism and Daoism.
  • Essential Chinese Philosophy is a bibliography on English texts of Chinese philosophy through the ages. A professor from Vassar provides commentary and suggestions on which texts would be useful to students.
  • Guide to Eastern Philosophy is a Powerpoint presentation developed by a professor at Miami Dade College. It offers short descriptions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islamic Philosophy, Taoism and Confucianism.
  • Islamic Philosophy is an encyclopedia entry from the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy which is broken down into sections on the early years of Islamic Philosophy, Philosophy in Spain and North Africa, Mystical Philosophy, and Islamic Philosophy.

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