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PHIL 106: Language, Knowledge, and Power: Research Resources

Using Subject Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias and other reference resources are excellent places to start your research! Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. The articles are typically longer and more detailed than those found in general encyclopedias. The background information provides a good starting point as you begin the research process. You usually can expect to find the following important information in articles in subject encyclopedias:

  • An overview of the topic, with key individuals and events identified, and often some mention of how the topic has been studied 
  • Cross references to give you a sense of the boundaries of the topic and its relationship to other topics
    • Look for "see also" at the beginning or end of the article
    • Some encyclopedias highlight words in the text of the article to indicate that there is a separate entry on that topic
  • Bibliographies of key secondary literature (books and articles) on the topic
  • Scholarly editions of primary sources may be listed in the bibliography
    • The main body of the article may mention key primary source writings and their author(s)
    • Some encyclopedias include excerpts of primary source materials

The resources listed on this page are of particular value to Philosophy students, as definitions and overviews found in general works may not always fit the philosophical meaning or lens.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a dynamic, online scholarly encyclopedia in which entries are kept up to date by an expert or groups of experts in the field.

Featured Reference Resources

You'll find it helpful to consult these reference materials as you work through the course readings and work on your research projects.  Look for the bibliographies at the end of entries to identify more scholarly sources.

Online Subject Encyclopedia Collections

Continue your research by consulting these collections of subject encyclopedias.  If you have any difficulties at all, please email Katy Curtis for assistance and recommendations.

Using Primo

Primo is a library search tool for finding materials in the Collins Library and Summit libraries.  You can search for books, selected articles and more in a single search box.

Search Primo

General Primo Search Tips

  • Use the pull-down scoping options to search Collins, Summit and Articles OR Collins and Summit, OR just Collins.
  • Use quotes to search for "exact titles".
  • Use the filters on the right side to quickly narrow your search.
  • Sign in with your Puget Sound username and password to gain access to online resources and request items from other libraries.

Reading a Call Number

Collins Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize books on the shelves. Follow these tips to find the book you need.

Example:

  • Start with the top line. It is in alphabetical order. Ex. P
  • The second line is a whole number.  Ex. 107
  • The third line is  a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg. Y.23, Y.34, Y.344, Y.4, etc. Ex. .P5474 (*Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.)
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order. Ex. 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015, etc. Ex. 2011

 

Use the library location chart and map to find where the book is located.

Databases for Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

Selected articles subscribed to by Collins Library are available in Primo, but you'll want to search individual databases for more comprehensive results. These subject databases are especially useful for philosophical topics.

Need Help?

This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you.  If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!


Katherine "Katy" Curtis, Humanities Librarian
email: kcurtis@pugetsound.edu
Schedule an appointment
tel: (253) 879-3672
office:  Collins Library 140

If you can't find Katy, remember there are several ways to get help with your research

And don't forget about the Ask a Librarian 24/7 service: Anytime, anywhere! This instant messaging reference service lets you chat with a librarian no matter what time it is. Puget Sound librarians can email you to follow up if you leave your email address.