Philosophy Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco CCSF Library Web Banner Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help

Philosophy Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Examples of Subject searches include: philosophy; ethics; logic; bioethics; existentialism; and free will and determinism.

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject.

Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on philosophy include:

Philosophy B 1-5802
Logic BC 1-199
Speculative Philosophy BD 1-301
Aesthetics BH 1-301
Ethics BJ 1-1725


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in philosophy include:

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy
Simon Blackburn, Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2005.
B41 B53 2005 Rosenberg Reference

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Edward Craig, general editor. London ; New York : Routledge, 1998.
B 51 R68 1998 Vols. 1-10 Rosenberg Reference

Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth Century Philosophers
Stuart Brown, Diane Collison, & Robert Wilkinson, eds. London; New York: Routledge, c1996.
B 104 B5 1996 Rosenberg Reference

World philosophy: Essay-reviews of 225 Major Works
Frank W. Magill, ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, c1982.
B 29 W68 1982 Vols. 1-5 Rosenberg Reference

Encyclopedia of Bioethics
Warren Thomas Reich, editor-in-chief. New York : MacMillan, c1995.
QH 332 E52 1995 Vols. 1-5 Rosenberg Reference

Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy
Donald J. Zayl, ed. Westport , CT : Greenwood Press, 1997.
B 163 E53 1997 Rosenberg Reference

Dictionary of Existentialism
Haim Gordon, ed. Westport , CT : Greenwood Press, 1999.
B 819 D455 1999 Rosenberg Reference


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. Your Student ID comes with a bar code number. More information about your library bar code.

Gale is the vender for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Clicking on PowerSearch allows a combined search of 13 of these databases. You can limit your results to articles from scholarly journals only by checking the box "Refereed titles."

Literature Resource Center
Literature Resource Center has traditional reference works, critical information on authors and their works, and current journal articles. It is valuable for biographical information on philosophers and for critical information on both an individual philosophical work and a philosopher's body of work. (To access click on the Literature Category).

CQ Researcher
CQ provides lengthy research reports written by the editorial staff of the Congressional Quarterly Co. Reports related to philosophy are ones examining moral or ethical issues such as issues of reproductive ethics, teaching values, assisted suicide, designer humans, and the ethics of war. (To access click on the Social Sciences Category)

Proquest Newspapers
Provides full text indexing of the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street journal, and Washington Post -- Time periods vary. Date range includes 1991 to the present. It is useful for popular pieces on philosophers (To access click on the Newspapers Category).

Ethnic Newswatch
Ethnic Newswatch is comprised of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America. Search here for ethnic aspects of philosophy topics. (To access click on the Social Sciences Category)


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites on Philosophy. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Episteme links: Philosophy Sources on the Internet
Search here for material on individual philosophers or philosophy topics, traditions, or time periods. Also has encyclopedias and other reference works.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Has substantial articles on philosophers and their ideas. Also has a timeline of Western philosophy.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
An encyclopedia continually updated by experts in the field of the given entry.

Philosophy Talk
Philosophy Talk is one-hour radio series in which each week two Stanford philosophers, along with a guest expert, discuss a topic. Topics include the lofty (truth, beauty), contemporary issues (terrorism, intelligent design) and everyday (love, happiness). A great site for both entertaining and enlightening talk. Four years of past programs are available for listening.

CITY COLLEGE FACULTY WEB LINKS: Home page of William Graves provides Philosophy, Philosophy in the Bay Area, and Course Specific Links. Home page of Dennis Green provides Philosophy, Ethics, and Logic Links. Home page of Stephan Johnson provides various Philosophy and Course Specific Links.


Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Webpages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask
A UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Developed by Olin-Kroch-Uris Libraries at Cornell University.

Evaluating and Citing Source
A quick and easy check list to use when determining the quality of web documents. Prepared by Librarians at CCSF.


Need More Assistance?

For additional help you may contact the Reference Desk by phone at (415) 452-5543 or stop by the East and West reference desks at the Rosenberg Library.

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.
Library and Web Research Workshops
Fifty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs available!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Manly Horowitz
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5541, 452-7030 (voicemail)

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Last updated November 4, 2008