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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Library Workshops: Philosophy Research for Non-Philosophers

A guide to current and past workshops offered by the Loyola Libraries.

Philosophy Research for Non-Philosophers

The Workshop -

Philosophy is a foundation for study in ethics, theology, history, literature, political science, and other disciplines.  Our library’s print and online collections contain succinct sources you can use to extend your knowledge.  Discover which sources are best suited for your purposes, where to find them, and how to continue your reading as your studies advance by attending this workshop.  Questions may be sent to Jane Currie (

Use the Online Reference Collection

The Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science defines a "reference book" as one that is "designed to be consulted when authoritative information is needed, rather than read cover to cover."  

Reference source content is usually concise but the entries found in them can often provide basic insight into a philosophical movement, theme, or thinker.

Links inserted below provide access to some of our best online reference sources for philosophy.

Supplement it with the Print Reference Collection

Decades of print publishing has yet to be made available online and so our print reference collection continues to be relevant and used.  It contains some highly specialized titles; several examples are listed below with a link to their library catalog record.

Use Abstracts found in Philosopher's Index

The abstract that is a part of every record in Philosopher's Index, a research database, provides a summary of the cited article (or other source type).  Much can be gleaned from these abstracts, even without ever consulting the actual cited item.  The abstracts may also reveal how the discourse about a particular topics has changed over time.

A link to Philosopher's Index is inserted below.  Hovering over the magnifying glass button on the right side of each item in a search result list will display the first 50 words of the abstract.  To see a complete abstract, click on the blue title in the results list to reach the item's detailed record where the abstract appears in its entirety.

Locate Book Reviews

Book reviews provide insight into how a work has been received critically.  Many reviews will compare one work to others published before it.  As with abstracts for scholarly articles, you may find that a review (or a few reviews) provide sufficient context for your purposes.  In addition to Philosopher's Index, three other research databases useful for locating book reviews are linked below.

Read and Join the Conversation in PhilPapers

PhilPapers is a combined research resource and online community.  It serves as an example of the direction research resources may go in the future, blending published scholarship with in-process research and discussions among scholars.

Workshop Instructor: Jane Currie

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Reference Services Department
Loyola University Chicago
773 508 2773
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