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Background Information: Encyclopedia Articles. Handbooks, and Social Networks

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A comprehensive encyclopedia that includes bibliographies and recommended websites; regularly updated.

Gale Virtual Reference Library: Includes the Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006) and works such as the Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Encyclopedia Judaica, and more.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A comprehensive encyclopedia that covers all historical periods, schools and theories. 

Routledge Philosophy Companions: A collection of reference works on major topics in philosophy, such as epistemology, ethics, or social and political philosophy; historical overviews of the 19th and 20st centuries; philosophy of religion, science, or Ppsychology; and  companion to philosophy and music.

Sage Knowledge: Social Sciences focused database of reference works, such as the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience, Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, and Culture, 

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: An Open Access, peer reviewed encyclopedia; regularly updated.

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2008: Covers critical thought on art, culture, and society; surveys major concepts, thinkers, and debates about the meaning, uses, and value of all the arts.

The Encyclopedia of Identity: Presents an overview of the definitions, politics, manifestations, concepts, and ideas related to identity. The entries include short biographies of major thinkers and leaders, as well as discussion of events, personalities, and concepts.

Encyclopedia of Semiotics, 1998: A comprehensive reference guide to concepts in semiotics, sign theory, and cultural studies. Covers anthropology and literary theory, linguistics and philosophy. 

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, 2003: Articles cover intellectual thought and historical movements and events.

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism: Alphabetically arranged entries on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods.

The Routledge Companion to Epistemology, 2011.

Dictionary of Existentialism, 1999.

Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy, 1997:  Two copies in print. 

The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy, 1999.

Encyclopedia of Empiricism, 1997:  Two copies in print.

Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2002: A comprehensive coverage of Greek and Roman philosophy. 

Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance, 2005: Includes comprehensive coverage of the art, literature, science, culture, philosophy, religion, economics, history, and conflict of the period. Nearly half the entries are biographical, covering artists, thinkers, statesman, and reformers.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Edited by Robert E. Bjork. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Covers European history, society, and culture from 500 to 1500 A.D., as well as the Byzantine Empire, Islamic dynasties, and Asiatic peoples of the era. 

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, 2003: Articles cover intellectual thought and historical movements and events.

Cambridge Histories Online: Use the Browse feature to access Philosophy titles: Eighteenth-Century Philosophy; Hellenistic Philosophy; Jewish Philosophy; Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy; Later Medieval Philosophy; Medieval Philosophy; Philosophy, 1870-1945; Renaissance Philosophy; Seventeenth-Century Philosophy.

The Routledge Companion to Nineteenth Century Philosophy, 2010.

The Routledge Companion to Twentieth-Century philosophy, 2008. 

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion, 2007:  Two print copies available.

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film, 2009.

Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, 1998.

Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd ed. 2001:  Two print copies available. 

Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 3rd ed. 2004

Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, 2008.

Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 2005.

An Encyclopedia of War and Ethics, 1996.

Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University: An interdisciplinary and multi-format collection on ethical issues related to health care, biomedical research, biotechnology, and the environment. Explore by Topic for extensive list of additional resources.

Research Social Networks

PhilPapers: Philosophical Research Online


GlobalEthics Network for Applied Ethics

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Reference Sources

Reference works are good sources for gathering background information and filling in gaps in your knowlege.   

Print Reference Collection Ranges for Philosophy

For encyclopedias, dictionaries, guides and other reference works. You can also use these call number ranges for browsing in the book stacks.

  • Bs: Philosophy (excluding the BF's)
  • BHs: Aesthetics
  • BJs: Ethics

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