Resources for Philosophy Students
Resources for Philosophy Students

Hello, I’m Dr. Anadale and I teach
philosophy at Mount St. Mary’s University and Seminary in Emmitsburg,
Maryland. Today I want to talk briefly about resources that philosophy students
should have handy whenever they are reading or writing or thinking about
philosophy. These are things that you should have on hand in addition to the
books that you will be buying for your individual courses. Two additional books
you should pick up are: first, some sort of dictionary of philosophy. This should
be something that is paperback, is handheld, easy to pick up and consult, so
that you won’t have any difficulty or reluctance to pick it up and consult it
when you come across some new thinker or theory or concept that you’re not
familiar with in your reading. One that I can recommend very highly is the Harper
Collins Dictionary of Philosophy. This is the one that I keep by my desk. Entries
are short so you can read them in a matter of 30 seconds and get oriented on
some theory, concept or thinker that’s new to you in some reading that you are
coming across. For students of Catholic philosophy or of neo-scholasticism or neo-Thomism, John Carlson’s Words of Wisdom: A Philosophical Dictionary for the Perennial Tradition is also quite good though much more specialized.
The second book that you should get hold of and keep handy whenever you are
reading or writing or thinking about philosophy is a general history of
philosophy. Now, the most famous is Copleston, which comes in multiple volumes.
That’s good but it’s also fairly long and dense. I would recommend it; it’s a
little weak in the 20th century but the rest of it is very very good. So if you can
get a copy of Copleston’s multi-volume History of Philosophy, that’s just fine.
Another one that I would recommend would be Anthony Kenny’s Oxford History of
Western Philosophy. This is, as you can also see, fairly handy, easy to consult if
you want to get a line on particular historical period. And I’ll also mention
Richard Popkin’s Columbia History of Western Philosophy as a good option in
that regard. So I would say in addition to your dictionary, your style guide, and your thesaurus, keep by your desk a dictionary of philosophy and a history of philosophy. The other resource that philosophy students should
know about and be able to consult when needed are encyclopedias of philosophy.
And of these there are two online and two on paper. I’ll just mention them
briefly and I’ll put information about them and these other books in the
description to this video. The two online encyclopedias of philosophy are the
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Of these two, the Stanford Encyclopedia tends to have entries that are longer,
more detailed, perhaps more technical. Either one of them, I think, is good to
consult, but don’t end with consulting the encyclopedia entry. Don’t ever write
a philosophy paper and then cite an online encyclopedia entry as one
of your sources. What you do after you’ve read the entry is scroll down to the
bottom, take a look at the bibliography: that is your gold mine, especially if the
entry has been updated within the past two years. You want to look at the
sources that the author of that entry has put together. Click through to those,
copy the information to order them through your library. Those are the
sources that you then want to track down, read, and cite in your paper, not the
encyclopedia article body itself. That’s my advice. The two paper encyclopedias of philosophy are published by Macmillan and by Routledge. Macmillan is easier to
find in on paper, in private collections– I have a copy behind me right here–in
eight volumes. It was published in the 1960s so it’s a bit dated from that
perspective, but very good on older things. The most important thing about an encyclopedia is that you’re able to consult it when you need to. The Routledge is a little bit larger, I think it’s in twelve volumes, bound in
white boards last time I saw it; it’s down at the library and should be in your library at your University. I would say do not be hesitant to go to the library to consult
with these or at least browse through, on the particular topic of concern, these
physical encyclopedias of philosophy in addition to the online encyclopedias.
That’s my advice for additional resources for philosophy students. Thanks for watching today; goodbye.

1 thought on “Resources for Philosophy Students”

  1. DAV DAV says:

    Hello from Mexico. I'm studying philosophy and I'm still undergraduete. I was wondering if you can make a video when you talk or explain about how to chose a University to do postgraduate. Or if is important to chose an specific University to do a postgraduate. Or what should I know if I want to do a postgraduate on philosophy. Thanks so much your videos are useful.

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