FINDING RESOURCES IN PHILOSOPHY
Dr. Bryan M. Carson, J.D., M.I.L.S.
There is a wide variety of works on philosophers and philosophy. Some of this material is primary, which means that it is original and is directly dealing with a particular subject. Other books are secondary, and contain explanations or interpretations of the work of others. To locate primary and secondary works, use library catalogs, bibliographies, and indexes, as well as reference lists in encyclopedias, books, and articles. When using a library catalog, look up books by a writer under the author listing; look for books about a philosopher under the subject listing, and look for specific titles under the title listing.
To the greatest extent possible, I have tried to include a wide variety of works. This is not a listing of primary sources, but rather a place for a researcher to begin working. Each of the sources that I have listed give references to more works. By using these materials, you will be able to find much more.
I have tried to include materials on the World Wide Web. One advantage
of the Internet is that anyone can create their own homepage. Unfortunately,
that is also one of the major drawbacks. How do we judge whether the information
is reliable? Reliability is one of the biggest problems with the use of
Internet information. Judging the reliability of Internet information
is a prerequisite for using the information that was found. Luckily there
are factors to consider in evaluating the reliability of Internet information.
These factors include:
By asking a standard set of questions, users can accurately judge the reliability of the information they find on the Internet and the World Wide Web. Analyzing these criteria allow the user to identify and select sites that are accurate and unbiased so that they can use complicated medical, legal, and statistical data from the Internet. These are the criteria that I used in evaluating Internet resources for inclusion in this bibliography.
The overwhelming prevelance of Western philosophy sometimes leads students to the mistaken belief that the thought of other cultures is not relevent or worthy of study. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. For that reason, I have included a separate section of works on the philosophy and thought of non-Western cultures.
One interesting thing about the study of philosophy is that it overlaps with some other fields. For example, no discussion of jurisprudence (philosophy of law) would be complete without examining some basic concepts of political theory. Similarly, some of the great economic theorists, such as John Stuart Mill, David Ricardo, and Adam Smith, are also represented in the annals of philosophy. I have included some basic political theory works in the section on jurisprudence.
This bibliography began as a pathfinder when I was the Philosophy librarian at the New York Public Library's Mid-Manhattan History and Social Sciences Department in 1993. It was also published in Carson & Carson, Mindsearch (Big Rapids, Michigan : Ferris State University, 1993). I am grateful for the assistance given me by Edith Ostrowsky and David Ockene at the New York Public Library, as well as Drs. Herbert and Ada Lou Carson, the authors of Mindsearch.
Here are some of the possible terms that can be used in the catalog as
subject headings. More headings can be found by consulting the Library
of Congress Subject Headings.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me. I will be updating this page periodically and checking the links, but please let me know if you find any "dead" links. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated August 30, 2001