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Stanford Encyclopedia

Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy

Internet Encyclopedia

Internet encyclopedia of philosophy

Using the PhiloSophos Knowledge Base

Ask a Philosopher was launched on the Pathways to Philosophy site in July 1999. Over time, the original, the two-monthly pages of questions and answers increased in size from 5,000 words to over 100,000 words.

In 2011 a new page for Ask a Philosopher was launched at Wordpress in order to speed up the process of publishing the latest questions and answers.

The Ask a Philosopher archive can be easily browsed. Click any of the links and then follow the links on each page. For students writing philosophy papers, philosophical terms and theories explained in easy, non-technical language.

A special selection of questions and answers on time travel, artificial intelligence, big bang theory, creation vs. evolution, meaning of life, life after death, extraterrestrial life, cultural relativism, ethical dilemmas, social justice can be found at The Ten Big Questions.

On Geoffrey Klempner's Tentative Answers blog you will find some of his answers to questions sent to Ask a Philosopher, with the opportunity to add your own comments or criticisms. At Electronic Philosopher you can browse or search through hundreds of essay reviews written for students studying with Pathways.

If you are looking for someone to discuss your philosophical studies or debate the problems of philosophy with, you can register at This service is free. As it states on the web page, 'It's all about your mind.' There is also a StudyPartners blog where you can learn study tips or contribute a study tip of your own.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has established itself as one of the primary starting points for students researching philosophy papers, as well as providing a valuable reference for professional philosophers. The main rival to the Stanford philosophy encyclopedia is the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Both of these works are tremendous achievements, involving the collaborative efforts of thousands of philosophers.

We strongly recommend purchasing a good philosophy dictionary. At over 1,000 pages, the Oxford Companion to Philosophy edited by Ted Honderich (Oxford University Press 1995) is a heavyweight philosophy encyclopedia with excellent coverage. Just as comprehensive, but with a slightly less academic tone, is the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy edited by Robert Audi. Or you might choose the wide ranging Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy which is based on the massive eight volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy edited by Edward Craig.

A word of warning. With all these research tools available, it is easy for students to fall into the bad habit of checking every search engine every time they have philosophy papers to write. Getting information from search engines is no substitute for reading, especially reading original texts, and thinking for yourself. Try out the different resources, discover their strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, just a single article is enough to launch you into your own original philosophical investigation.

© Geoffrey Klempner 2001–2018

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