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Title: Philosophy

Philosophy Philosophy Sources
  • LIS413 Brendan Rapple
  • Simmons College 30 June, 2009

What is Philosophy?
  • Its a study that seeks to understand the
    mysteries of existence and reality.
  • It tries to discover the nature of truth and
    knowledge and to find what is of basic value and
    importance in life.
  • Philosophy is thus a form of inquiry a process
    of analysis, criticism, interpretation, and

What Do Philosophers Study?
  • Biology deals with living beings.
  • Philosophy asks what being means.
  • Political science examines societies and
    political systems.
  • Philosophy asks what is justice.
  • Artists create art.
  • Philosophy asks what is beauty.
  • Thus philosophy examines more fundamental beliefs
    and assumptions.

Origin of Term
  • Ancient Greeks were the first known western
    philosophers -- about 500 BC.
  • They sought answers about the nature of the world
    and reality.
  • Formerly, people had largely relied on magic,
    superstition, religion, tradition, or authority.
  • The term philosophy itself comes from the Greek
    philosophia, which means love of wisdom.

  • Non-Western Philosophy long history in China and
  • Western philosophy generally developed
    independently of Eastern philosophy.

Philosophy in Everyday Lives
  • Every institution of society is based on
    philosophic ideas
  • the law
  • government
  • religion
  • the family
  • marriage
  • industry
  • business
  • education.

Branches of Philosophy
  • Logic
  • Logic is the study of the principles and methods
    of reasoning.
  • Studies what rules a person must follow in order
    to think correctly.

  • The study of the fundamental nature of reality
    and existence and of the essences of things.
  • Often divided into two areas ontology and
  • Ontology the study of being.
  • Cosmology the study of the physical universe, or
    the cosmos, taken as a whole.

Metaphysics Deals With Such Questions As
  • What is reality?
  • What is the distinction between appearance and
  • What are the most general principles and concepts
    by which our experiences can be interpreted and
  • Do we possess free will or are our actions
    determined by causes over which we have no

  • Epistemology aims to determine the nature, basis,
    and extent of knowledge.
  • Epistemology asks such questions as
  • What are the features of genuine knowledge as
    distinct from what appears to be knowledge?
  • What is truth, and how can we know what is true
    and what is false?
  • Are there different kinds of knowledge, with
    different grounds and characteristics?

Philosophical Theology
  • Is there a God?
  • If there is, what is He/She/It like?
  • Is man immortal?
  • Is Gods goodness a factor in the direction of
    nature and of human life?
  • If God does direct mans life, in what sense is
    man free?
  • Why is there evil in the world?

Philosophical Psychology
  • What exactly is mans mind?
  • Is mind basically a soul or spirit?
  • Or is mind a process that depends on the body?
  • How are mind and body related?
  • Philosophical Psychology also addresses the many
    concepts having an essential mental element
  • belief, desire, emotion, feeling, sensation,
    passion, will, personality, and others.

  • What makes right actions right and wrong actions
  • What is good and what is bad?
  • What are the proper values of life?

Three Views of Ethics
  • Relativism
  • Objectivism
  • Subjectivism

Some Subfields of Ethics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Examines the nature and possible arguments for
    various competing forms of political
    organization, such as
  • laissez-faire capitalism,
  • welfare democracy (capitalistic and socialistic),
  • anarchism,
  • communism,
  • fascism, etc.
  • Business Ethics
  • Explores such questions as
  • how moral obligations may conflict with the
    profit motive and how these conflicts may be
  • the nature and scope of the social
    responsibilities of corporations, their rights in
    a free society, and their relations to other

Social Philosophy
  • Treats such moral problems with large-scale
    social dimensions as
  • the basis of compulsory education,
  • the possible grounds for preferential treatment
    of minorities,
  • the justice of taxation,
  • the appropriate limits, if any, on free
    expression in the arts.

Philosophy of Law
  • Explores such topics as
  • what law is
  • what kinds of laws there are
  • how law is or should be related to morality
  • what sorts of principles should govern punishment
    and criminal justice in general.

Medical Ethics
  • Examines such question as
  • standards applying to physician-patient
  • moral questions raised by special procedures,
    such as abortion and ceasing of life-support for
    terminal patients
  • ethical standards for medical research, for
    instance genetic engineering and experimentation
    using human subjects.

  • Aesthetics deals with the creation and principles
    of art and beauty.
  • Its wider than Philosophy of Art as it involves
    both works of art created by human beings and the
    beauty found in nature.

Philosophy of Language
  • The nature of language
  • The nature of meaning
  • The relations between words and things
  • The various theories of language learning

Philosophy and Science
  • Science studies natural phenomena and the
    phenomena of society. It does not study itself.
    When science does reflect on itself, it becomes
    the philosophy of science and examines a number
    of philosophic questions, e.g.
  • What is science?
  • What is scientific method?
  • Does scientific truth provide us with the truth
    about the universe and reality?
  • What is the value of science?

  • Until the 1700s, no distinction was made between
    science and philosophy. For example, physics was
    called natural philosophy.
  • Psychology was part of what was called moral
  • Logic has always been considered a branch of
    philosophy. However, logic has now developed to
    the point where it is also a branch of

Other Subfields of Philosophy
  • Philosophy of History
  • Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Philosophy of Feminism
  • Philosophy of Linguistics
  • Philosophy of Criticism
  • Philosophy of Culture
  • Philosophy of Film

Non Western Philosophies
  • Especially eastern and southern Asia
  • Also the Middle East
  • Africa -- indigenous philosophies
  • Perhaps unfortunately, "non-Western philosophy"
    has often been used interchangeably with Eastern
  • Some major movements include
  • Buddhism, Jainism, Hindu philosophies,
    Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, the
    Chinese Yin-Yang School, Islamic philosophy

Islamic Philosophy
  • Most non-western philosophies have up till
    recently had little connection with that of the
  • However, Islamic philosophy played a crucial role
    in the transmission of Greek thought and Greek
    philosophical texts to Medieval Christendom.

Western and non-Western Philosophy
  • The line between the two is less clear now than
    it once was. Western philosophies have penetrated
    deeply into the non-Western world.
  • Marxism may have been for a time the most
  • Though great interest in non-Western thought
    (often in association with religious interests),
    very few philosophers in the West have come to
    "do philosophy" in a non-Western mode.

The Study of Philosophy at College/University
  • Historical Model
  • Field Model
  • Problems Model
  • Activity Model

Historical Model
  • Emphasizes the history of philosophy -- often
    with attention to the wider cultural setting.

Field Model
  • Stresses coverage of central fields and various
    subfields of philosophical inquiry.

Problems Model
  • Its emphasis is on understanding major
    philosophical issues.

Activity Model
  • Here, "doing philosophy" is primary.
  • The process of inquiry is considered more
    important than the results or particular
    conclusions reached.

Typical Introductory Courses in College
  • Perhaps a general introduction to the field
  • Maybe an intro. to a subfield, e.g. ethics,
    logic, philosophy of religion.
  • Many courses are built around important
    philosophical problems.
  • Such courses are often concerned with such topics
  • the theory of knowledge, with emphasis on the
    nature and sources of knowledge
  • the mind-body problem, with a focus on the nature
    of our mental life in relation to the brain
  • the nature of moral obligation, with stress on
    alternative ways of determining what one ought to
  • the philosophy of religion, with emphasis on how
    belief in God might be understood and justified.
  • General introductions to philosophy may also be
    built around major texts, especially writings by
    great philosophers.
  • American Philosophical Association

History of Philosophy
  • Major figures and periods

Philosophy and Libraries
  • A Caveat Interdisciplinary Nature of
  • A cohesive body of literature exists that may be
    classified as philosophy." However, philosophy
    attached to other subject areas may be spread
    throughout the library, thereby complicating
    access since all works will not be together

The Literature of Philosophy
  • Primary Sources (also Translations)
  • Most studied Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume,
    Descartes, Hegel, Marx, Wittgenstein, Heidegger,
    Kant, Husserl, Russell, and Dewey.
  • The next most studied are Augustine, Leibniz,
    Locke, Spinoza, Hobbes, Mill, Nietzsche,
    Kierkegaard, James, Freud, Whitehead, Sartre,
    Popper, Quine, Peirce, Moore, Frege, Carnap.

Philosophy a Living Field
  • Philosophers continue to offer new philosophical
  • These works are also primary sources and should
    be represented in the library collection.

Secondary Sources
  • Histories
  • Biographies
  • Textbooks
  • Critical works

Bibliographic Guides
  • For example
  • Hans E. Bynagle. Philosophy A Guide to the
    Reference Literature. 2nd ed. (1997)
  • A good first step for beginners and advanced
  • Textbook 37

Bibliographic Guides
  • Richard T. De George. The Philosopher's Guide
    to Sources, Research Tools, Professional Life and
    Related Fields (1980)
  • For the more advanced researcher.
  • Textbook p. 30
  • Ruben, Douglas H. Philosophy Journals and
    Serials An Analytical Guide (1985)
  • Annotated, with geographic and subject indexes.
  • Textbook 38

  • GENERAL for example
  • Benjamin Rand. Bibliography of Philosophy,
    Psychology, and Cognate Subjects. 2 vols.
  • Attempts comprehensive coverage of major works
    up to about 1900.
  • Textbook 40

Bibliographies Specialized by Topic, Region, or
  • For example
  • Albert A. Bell and James B. Allis. Resources in
    Ancient Philosophy An Annotated Bibliography of
    Scholarship In English 1965-1989 (1991).
  • Books and articles covering philosophy from
    Thales to Augustine.
  • Textbook 52
  • Luis E. Navia. The Presocratic Philosophers An
    Annotated Bibliography (1993)
  • Describes 2,700 books and articles
  • Textbook 52 note

Online Bibliography
  • Contemporary Philosophy of Mind An Annotated
  • This is a bibliography of work in the philosophy
    of mind, the philosophy of cognitive science, and
    the science of consciousness.
  • It consists of 18460 entries (07/02/2009), and is
    divided into 8 parts, each of which is further
    divided by topic and subtopic.
  • Both online and offline material is included,
    with links wherever possible.

  • Hans Daiber. Bibliography of Islamic Philosophy.
    Brill, 1999.
  • Covers more than 9500 primary and secondary
    sources for the study of Islamic Philosophy.
  • Hans Daiber. Bibliography of Islamic Philosophy.
    Supplement. Brill, 2006.
  • Addition of more than 3000 new books and
    articles in the field of Islamic philosophy, its
    Greek sources and its aftermath in European

  • Meissner, Werner. Western Philosophy in China
    1993-1997 A Bibliography. Lang, 2001.
  • This attempts to compile all Chinese
    publications, books as well as articles, on
    Western philosophy in the People's Republic of
    China published 1993-1997.
  • The number of titles amounts to approximately
  • The figures look even more impressive if one
    bears in mind that titles on Marxism-Leninism
    have not been included.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks
  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Ed. By
    Robert Audi. 2nd Ed. (1999)
  • 381 mostly American contributors and some 4,000
    entries and cross-references. Includes both
    Eastern and Western philosophies, but without
    bibliographies. There are no entries for living
  • Textbook 59
  • A Dictionary of Philosophy. 2d ed. Anthony Flew
    and Jennifer Speake (1984)
  • A standard one volume resource.
  • Textbook 60

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks
  • The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Paul Edwards,
    (1967 repr. 1996) 8v. in 4.
  • Textbook 66
  • Dictionary of Marxist Thought. 2nd ed. (1991)
  • Textbook 77
  • Bell, Albert A., Jr., and Allis, James B.
    Resources in Ancient Philosophy An Annotated
    Bibliography of Scholarship in English,
    1965-1989. (1991)

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, And Handbooks
  • Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber et al. The Encyclopedia
    of Eastern Philosophy and Religion Buddhism,
    Hinduism, Taoism, Zen (1989)
  • 4,000 definitions and biographical sketches.
  • Textbook 80
  • Vere Chappel. Essays on Early Modern
    Philosophers From Descartes and Hobbes to Newton
    and Leibniz. 1992. 12v.
  • 300 essays on 17th cent. philosophers
  • Textbook 85 note

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks
  • Historical Dictionary of Medieval Philosophy and
    Theology. Stephen F. Brown and Juan Carlos
    Flores. Scarecrow, 2007.
  • Presents the philosophy of the Christian West
    from the 9th to the early 17th century. This is
    accomplished through a chronology, an
    introduction, appendixes, a bibliography, and
    hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries
    on the philosophers, concepts, issues,
    institutions, and events.
  • Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek
    Philosophy. Anthony Preus. Scarecrow, 2007.
  • Presents the history of Greek philosophy. This
    is accomplished through a chronology, an
    introduction, a glossary, a bibliography, and
    hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries
    on important philosophers, concepts, issues, and

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks
  • Handbook of World Philosophy Contemporary
    Developments since 1945. John R. Burr, ed. (1980)
  • Short essays, organized by country. With short
  • Textbook 84
  • Dictionary of the History of Ideas Studies of
    Selected Pivotal Ideas. 5 vols. Philip P. Wiener,
    ed. (1973-74)
  • Interdisciplinary, great variety of subjects.
  • Textbook 64

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy
  • Entries cover the entire span of philosophy, from
    the Vedas to the most recent technical
    terminology, with ample coverage of important
    themes from Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Jewish
  • The dictionary also includes biographies of
    nearly 500 individuals.
  • Also covers relevant terms from disciplines such
    as mathematics, physics, biology, artificial
    intelligence, and linguistics.

Selected More Recent Dictionaries, Encyclopedias,
and Handbooks
  • Bretzke, James T. Bibliography on East Asian
    religion and philosophy. Mellen, 2001.
  • Wittgenstein religion A bibliography of
    articles, books, and theses in the twentieth
    century that relate the philosophy of Ludwig
    Wittgenstein to the study of religion and
    theology. Ateneo de Manila University, c2001.
  • Bunnin, Nicholas. The Blackwell dictionary of
    Western philosophy. Blackwell Pub., 2004.
  • Richter, Duncan. Historical dictionary of
    Wittgenstein's philosophy. Duncan Richter.
    Scarecrow, 2004.
  • Historical dictionary of Descartes and Cartesian
    philosophy. Scarecrow, 2003.
  • Burbidge, John W. Historical dictionary of
    Hegelian philosophy. Scarecrow Press, 2001
  • Iannone, A. Pablo. Dictionary of world
    philosophy. Routledge, 2001.
  • Denker, Alfred. Historical dictionary of
    Heidegger's philosophy. Scarecrow Press, 2000.

Selected More Recent Dictionaries, Encyclopedias,
and Handbooks
  • Ellis, B. D. The philosophy of nature A guide to
    the new essentialism. Brian Ellis. McGill-Queen's
    U P, c2002.
  • Kupperman, Joel. Classic Asian philosophy A
    guide to the essential texts. Oxford U P,
  • Mansfield, Harvey Claflin. A student's guide to
    political philosophy. ISI, c2001.
  • The Blackwell guide to continental philosophy.
    ed. by Robert C. Solomon and David Sherman.
    Blackwell, 2003.
  • The Blackwell guide to philosophy of mind. ed. by
    Stephen P. Stich and Ted A. Warfield. Blackwell,
  • The Blackwell guide to social and political
    philosophy. ed. by Robert L. Simon. Blackwell,

Selected More Recent Dictionaries, Encyclopedias,
and Handbooks
  • The Blackwell guide to the philosophy of
    religion. ed. by William E. Mann. Blackwell,
  • The Blackwell guide to American philosophy. ed.
    by Armen T. Marsoobian and John Ryder. Blackwell,
  • Western philosophy an illustrated guide. Ed. by
    David Papineau. Oxford U P, 2004.                
  • The Oxford handbook of philosophy of biology. Ed.
    by Michael Ruse. Oxford U P, 2008.
  • The Oxford handbook of the philosophy of
    language. Ed. by Ernest Lepore and Barry C.
    Smith. Oxford U P, 2006.
  • The Oxford handbook of philosophy of religion.
    Ed. by William J. Wainwright. Oxford U P, 2005.
  • Phenomenological approaches to moral philosophy
    A handbook. John J. Drummond and Lester Embree.
    Kluwer, c2002.
  • Handbook of phenomenology and medicine. Ed. by S.
    Kay Toombs. Kluwer, c2001.

  • Blackwell Reference Online
  • This web resource comprises over 350 full-text
    reference titles in the disciplines of Business
    Economics, History, Language Linguistics,
    Literature Cultural Studies, Philosophy
    Religion, and Sociology and Psychology.
  • Titles include the Blackwell companions,
    handbooks, guides, dictionaries, encyclopedias
    and concise companions.
  • Some examples of companions and guides in
    philosophy are The Blackwell Guide to Continental
    Philosophy, A Companion to Kant, and A Companion
    to Philosophy in the Middle Ages.

Directories/Biographical Sources
  • Directory of American Philosophers 24th
    ed.(2008/2009) Bowling Green, Ohio  Philosophy
    Documentation Center, Bowling Green State
  • Includes geographic section of philosophy
    departments and department members by state (and
    Canada by province), and lists of assistantships,
    centers, institutes, and societies.
  • Journal and publisher lists helpful for
    identifying potential publishers of manuscripts.
  • Largest section alphabetic listing of
    philosophers by name /address.
  • Textbook 88

Directories/Biographical Sources
  • International Directory of Philosophy and
    Philosophers 15th ed. (2007/2008)
  • Coverage is world-wide except for the U.S. and
    Canada. Included are lists of universities,
    centers, institutes, societies, and journal and
    publisher information with manuscript submission
    requirements. Largest section alphabetic listing
    of philosophers by name / address. All but the
    individual philosopher listing are organized
    alphabetically by country.
  • Textbook 92

Directories/Biographical Sources
  • Great Thinkers of the Eastern World The Major
    Thinkers and the Philosophical and Religious
    Classics of China, India, Japan, Korea, and the
    World of Islam. Ian P. McGreal, ed. (1995)
  • Furnishes biography, major ideas, major works,
    and bibliography.
  • Excellent undergraduate resource.
  • Textbook 90

  • W. K. C. Guthrie. A History of Greek Philosophy
    (1962-1981). repr. 1986. 6 vols.
  • Pre-Socratics to Aristotle.
  • Textbook 95
  • Frederick Charles Copleston. A History of
    Philosophy (1945--) Multi-volume
  • Textbook 96

  • Bertrand Russell. A History of Western
    Philosophy. 2d ed. 1961 repr. 1995.
  • A very readable, idiosyncratic, and important
    one-volume history of philosophy.
  • Textbook 97 note

Indexes, Abstracts
  • Philosopher's Index (1940--)
  • http//
  • Coverage includes journal articles, books,
    contributions to anthologies, and book reviews.
  • Over 480 journals are cited, from 38 countries.
  • Subjects indexed include aesthetics,
    epistemology, ethics, logic, and metaphysics, as
    well as the philosophical aspects of related
    disciplines like education, political science,
    history, theology, and law.
  • Coverage  1940-present
  • Textbook 57

Indexes, Abstracts
  • International Philosophical Bibliography (1991-)
    quarterly. Continues Repertoire Bibliographique
    de la Philosophie (1949-1990).
  • Useful for finding non-English language books
    not included in the Philosopher's Index. Focuses
    on publications in Catalan, Dutch, English,
    German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
    Each year, issue numbers 1-3 cover articles and
    books number 4 covers book reviews and includes
    an index of names and an index of anonymous
  • Textbook 56

Indexes, Abstracts
  • FRANCIS (1984--)
  • http//
  • FRANCIS covers a wide range of multilingual,
    multidisciplinary information in the humanities
    (67), social sciences (30), and economics (3).
    FRANCIS is strong in religion, the history of
    art, and literature, with particular emphasis on
    current trends in European and world literature.
    Updated monthly.
  • Textbook 55

Online Companions
  • Cambridge Collections Online
  • http//
  • Intended to serve as reference works for an
    inter-disciplinary audience of students and
  • Addressing topics and figures ranging from Plato
    through Kant to Habermas, and philosophical
    movements such as the Scottish Enlightenment and
    German Idealism.
  • Contains over 1100 downloadable essays (more than
    120 volumes related to Philosophy, Religion and

Full Text Databases
  • Augustine
  • http//
  • Primary texts in Latin and English along with
    secondary material. An excellent resource which
    also includes images.

Full Text Databases
  • Past Masters
  • http//
  • A developing collection of electronic texts in
    philosophy (and other disciplines) taken from
    scholarly editions and translations.

Encyclopedias Full Text
  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online)
  • http//
  • The basis for REP Online is the ten volume
    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Including over 2000 original articles from over
    1300 experts across the discipline of philosophy,
    this web version is regularly updated.
  • Over 25,000 hot-linked cross-references between
    articles and new links to other editorially
    reviewed websitesTextbook 70

Encyclopedias Full Text
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Each entry is maintained and kept up to date by
    an expert or group of experts in the field.

LAnnée Philologique
  • An index to 1500 periodicals, essay collections,
    book reviews, and conference proceedings in
    Classical Studies. Subjects covered include
    ancient Greek and Latin language and linguistics,
    Greek and Roman history, literature, philosophy,
    art, archaeology, religion, mythology, music,
    science, early Christian texts, numismatics,
    papyrology, and epigraphy.

Numerous Good WWW Sites
  • See, for example
  • http//