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*Philosophy: Subject Guide: Getting Started: Encyclopedias & More

A starting point for research on all aspects of philosophy.

Reference Sources

Use Reference Sources, such as encyclopedias, to get a general overview of your topic, including:

  • Background information about a topic.
  • Brief, factual overviews of topics.
  • Information about important dates, events, and people associated with a topic.
  • Terminology and definitions of terms related to a topic.
  • Articles written by authors with expertise in the subject matter.
  • Bibliographies of sources for further reading.

Types of Sources

Different types of reference sources answer different types of questions.

Listed below are common types of reference sources for research in philosophy and the kind of information contained in each.

Click on the type of source to retrieve a list of titles owned by the Library.

  • Dictionary - definitions of terms, either general or in relation to a specific subject or discipline.
  • Encyclopedia - comprehensive summaries of factual information, providing more detail than a dictionary.
  • Handbook - concise explanatory information on a topic.

Search GILFind, the Library Catalog to find additional reference sources in the Library.

Online Encyclopedias

Online Dictionaries

Online Bibliographies

Print Reference Sources

The following are just a few of the print reference sources you will find in in the Library.