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Guide to Research Resources for Philosophy

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries for Philosophy

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries are wonderful tools for locating background information on a topic and will often direct you to key books and articles on your subject.






The Library Search Box is a great resource for locating encyclopedia articles.  Just limit your search results to Item Type "Reference Entries"

Other Tools to cross search many references works at once:

Credo Reference  - allows you to quickly search over 500 reference works including Gale Virtual Reference Library as well as a large number of databases for journal articles and books on your topic

Brill Online Reference - search all the Brill encyclopedias that the University of Calgary subscribes to.

Gale Virtual Reference Library -  includes many subject encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of Religion

Gale World History in Context -  Links to encyclopedia entries,  journal articles, primary sources, images etc.  Covers religious history and has specific sections for religion including:  BuddhismChristianity Hinduism Islam, Judaism,  and Taoism

Oxford Reference -  limiting to unlocked and free will ensure that material retrieved are items that you have access to. Otherwise will retrieve articles from all Oxford encyclopedias and dictionaries, many of which we do not have access to.

Key Encyclopedias/Dictionaries for Philosophy:

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy - digital version of the major multivolume encyclopedia for Philosophy

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - this refereed scholarly resource provides up-to-date indepth coverage of Philosophy and includes links to scholarly web resources

Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy

Oxford Companion to Philosophy - brief guide to philosophical concepts and philosophers

Dictionary of World Philosophy

Dictionary of Eighteenth Century British Philosophers
Call Number: B1301 .D527 1999 | Location

Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy

Encyclopedia of Ethics

NOTE:  The library has dictionaries focused on specific philosophers such as  Historical Dictionary of Nietzscheanism.

Consult Course Resources for more comprehensive lists of resources in focused areas of Philosophy.


Other Useful Resources:


Dictionary of National Biography - extensive entries for British and Commonwealth philosophers

Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names (open access resources compiled by Garth Kemerling)

Dictionary of Philosophy - edited by Dagobert D. Runes (open accessed version produced by Andrew Chrucky)  - brief definitions of terms and biographical information

Encyclopedia of Bioethics - 5 vols. 

- also available in print: Call Number: QH332 .E52 2004 

Encyclopedia of Religion - digital version of this multivolume key tool for religious studies

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences - very useful for humanities topics

Literature Resource Center - overviews of the life and works of philosophers of every nationality and time period. Also includes extensive listings of critical works

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
- also available in print : CB9 .N49 2005 

- first edition also available open access

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names - brief definitions with links to more indepth discussion in other internet resources




The Library holds many handbooks providing excellent overviews of aspects of Philosophy and of the work of specific philosophers.  Examples include:


             Call Number:B29 .W65 1982 | Location