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Philosophy: Obtaining Background Material

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Philosophy

Using Reference Books

Use Reference books to:

♦  Obtain background material to help familiarize yourself with your topic

♦  Locate definitions of terms and concepts

♦  Find bibliographies suggesting additional resources on your topic


Reference books are on the first floor of Simpson Library

Don't forget!  If you need assistance, stop at the Information Desk (located to the right as you enter Simpson Library's front door).

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

General Reference Books

Dictionary of Philosophy
REFB BF 31 .C64 2001

Dictionary of World Philosophy
REFB B 41 .I26 2001
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
REFB B41 .E5 2006
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
REFB B 802 .E53 2003
Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek Philosophy
REFB B 111 .P74 2007
New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
REFB CB 9 .N49 2005
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
REFB B 51 .O94 1995
Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature
REFB B 72 .B97 2006
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
REFB B 51 .R68 1998
A World of Ideas: A Dictionary of Important Theories, Concepts, Beliefs, & Thinkers
REFB B 41 .R64 1999

Biographical Reference Books

Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers
REFB B 804 .B52 1996
A Companion to the Philosophers
REFB B 72 .C595 1999
Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century British Philosophers
REFB B 1301 .D527 1999
Dictionary of Seventeenth-Century British Philosophers
REFB B 1131 .D537 2000
One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers
REFB B 804 .O55 1998
World Philosophers and Their Works
REFB B 104 .W67 2000