Gustavus Adolphus College Library Library News
Getting Started Library Tutorial Research Guides Ask Us Library Home


This guide is NO LONGER UPDATED as of Fall 2012

Visit our new Research Guides Page at

Back to CourseLib home page
Link to default screen version

Information Resources and Services for:
PHI 399: Philosophy Colloquium

Spring 2010
Research is an adventure. It's open-ended, exploratory, surprising, frustrating, and full of blind alleys and interesting side trips. It doesn't have to be lonely. Compare notes with your colleagues and take advantage of the friendly people sitting at the reference desk. We love to help you find what you're looking for. Feel free to e-mail me (

Librarian: Barbara Fister
Faculty: Doug Huff

Table of Contents:

How to Sound Smarter than You Are
Reference works are helpful at two points in your research: when starting out (by offering overview articles of, say, a writer and her work) or when nailing down unfamiliar terms, concepts, and topics that turn up during your research. Many reference book articles are written by experts and offer not only information but excellent bibliographies for further research.
  • Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    A recent update of a classic source of substantial essays on philosophers and their ideas. All of the articles and references have been updated to reflect current philosophical thought, and many entries have been added for contemporary issues and philosophers.
    • Location(s): Ref B 51 .E53 2006
  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    A vast encyclopedia of the field that extends the classic Encyclopedia of Philosophy by adding both new topics and approaches to philosophy, but also by including new approaches and new research on classical philosophy. New areas covered in this work include philosophical approaches based on feminism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism.
    • Location(s): Ref B 51 .R68 1998
A Resource You Can't Refuse
If you don't use this, you can't call yourself a philosopher.
  • Philosopher's Index
    The most complete index to publications in the field, including books, articles, essays in books, etc. You totally have to use this, even though it's not electronic. Each year, a different set of publications is covered, so you have to not only use it, you have to use it over and over. Consider it your moment of zen.
    • Location(s): Ref B 72 .P49
Getting Your Hands on Books
So you know a book is out there; how do you get it? First try our catalog, then try the rest of world.
  • MnPALS Plus

    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. It looks different this semester. We like to mix it up.
  • WorldCat

    If the book you want isn't in our library, look for it here and use the "find it" button to request a copy. Consider it like Amazon but without the credit card charges. Also, you have to give the books back.
  • . . . or use the serendipity factor by browsing

    Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of philosophy.

    • B Philosophy
    • BC Logic
    • BD Speculative philosophy
      • 10-41 General philosophical works
      • 95-131 Metaphysics
      • 143-236 Epistemology, Theory of knowledge
      • 240-241 Methodology
      • 300-450 Ontology
      • 493-718 Cosmology
    • BH Aesthetics
    • BJ Ethics
    • Q 173 Philosophy of Science
      • 335 Artificial Intelligence
Getting Your Hands on Articles
Admittedly, this is confusing. We have some journals on paper, some electronically, many with only some issues electronically, and some that aren't here at all and have to be ordered through interlibrary loan. Sometimes you can find an article posted for free at a scholar's website or in an institutional repository, but usually not. We can get most things, though. It's just a matter of persistence and a little bit of advanced planning. And the link below. That's the key to what we can get right now.
  • Journal Locator

    Find out if we have access to a particular journal, either online or in print. If the journal is not available in print or full text at Gustavus, you may request copies of articles through interlibrary loan.
Where Philosophers Geek Out
There are some worthwhile websites for philosophers. Here are a few.
  • Philosophy Blogs
    A sampling of what's out there:

    Crooked Timber smart folks, not all philosophers.

    Garden of Forking Paths agency Theory, including related issues in metaphysics, ethics, moral psychology and more.

    PEA Soup philosophy, ethics, and academia. In a rich broth.

    Philosophy etc. by a Princeton grad student who may be avoiding that paper that's due next week.

    The Prosblogian on the philosophy of religion.

Other Useful Geekery
Tools for scholars.
  • Google Books

    Google is in the midst of an ambitious project to digitize books from publishers and in libraries. Those that were published before 1923 are in full text; those still potentially under copyright can be searched, but not viewed in full. It offers an interesting way to locate very specific words, phrases, and citations, particularly in older books. Using the advanced search you can limit a search to books that are full text or published within a range of years.
  • Google Scholar

    This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. If you are using Google Scholar on campus, you will find articles available through the library's subscription databases linked. To view these links when searching off campus, use our Google Scholar Off Campus Link. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through interlibrary loan.
  • Want to Keep Track?
    Delicious is handy to keep track of web links and share them with others. Add tags and descriptions to an item to remind yourself why you thought it was worth saving. You can install buttons on your Firefox toolbar to impulsively add to your annotated collection

    Zotero, a Firefox plugin, lets you save, sort, and cite sources from library catalogs, databases, and the Web. Some assembly required.

  • Chat with a Librarian
    Not in the library? Don't want to leave your laptop and pile of notes? No problem. Use this widget to ask your question.

Page Coordinator: Anna Hulseberg
This URL:
RSS feed of this page

800 West College Avenue     -     St. Peter, MN 56082     -     (507) 933-7556