Philosophy: An Online Resource Guide
Through the ages, philosophers have grappled with the big questions of existence, consciousness, and reality. Studying philosophy can open the mind to new ways of thinking. Understanding philosophical concepts will make you a more skilled debater, as you will be able to construct rational arguments without falling victim to the usual cognitive pitfalls. Philosophy engages the mind, encourages critical thinking, and puts us in a better position to productively discuss important issues. Whether you’re a bit curious about what philosophy is, a student tasked with writing about philosophy, or someone who works (or would like to work) in the field seeking connections and resources, you’ve come to the right place. This page is full of incredibly valuable – but free to use – materials for philosophers of all kinds.
Beginner Philosophy Resources
If you’re just sticking your toe into the waters of philosophical theories and concepts, visit the sites and pages listed here. You’ll get a basic introduction to philosophy as an idea and as a discipline. You will also get to know the famous philosophers who have influenced societies and systems around the world. Spend some time perusing these pages and sites, and you’ll come away with a much better understanding of philosophy in general.
Philosophy for Beginners — The University of Oxford in England has generously posted several recordings of philosophy lectures by its department faculty. All are aimed at the beginner philosophy student, and explore introductory concepts using easily digestible terms.
History of Western Philosophy — This interactive timeline provides an informal course in Western Philosophy 101. Click on any link and learn more about the important people and ideas of the Western philosophical movement
Philosophy Articles for the Beginner — These easy-to-read articles come from the “For Dummies” collection of publications and will help you understand the fundamentals of philosophy. There’s also plenty of information about notable philosophers and their most influential texts.
What is Philosophy? — While this page was created to prepare students for first-level philosophy classes, it can be extremely helpful to anyone who is just starting to learn about the subject. You’ll learn about the different schools of thought within the lexicon of philosophy, along with other key points. This is a great reference site for the beginner.
Archived Philosophy Texts
In order to really study philosophy, you need to have access to a large body of texts from the discipline. Philosophy is essentially an ongoing conversation, and you need to read as many ideas and theories as possible in order to participate intelligently. If you’re seeking to exercise your mind and inspire some critical ideas of your own – or maybe looking for material to draw from for a presentation or report, you’ll find a treasury of priceless philosophical texts among the collections here, and all are free to use.
Canonical Texts — This page, found in the philosophy section of eServer.org, contains digital versions of some of the most important philosophical texts of all time. From Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” to Rosseau’s “Confessions,” the classics are here – and they are free to read and print out.
Philosophy Paper Archive Page — This page contains a sizable collection of contemporary philosophy texts. Search by category, then narrow by title or author. This page can come in very handy if you’ve been tasked with writing a philosophy paper and need a topic to discuss.
PhilPapers.org — This site is a volunteer-run collection of user-submitted philosophy research papers. You should be able to find excellent ideas to draw from in your own quest for philosophical relevance. You can even submit your own research to the site.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy — Stanford University offers many of its archived texts and resources free to the public in digital form. Search by keyword, name of text, or name of author and enjoy access to a vast library of high quality resources.
More Philosophy Reference Resources
The sites listed here all provide vital reference materials for anyone studying philosophy. You’ll find glossaries, discussion topic ideas, and more archived papers. There are also links to connect you with welcoming communities of philosophers and philosophy students, and a site that focuses exclusively on ancient philosophical texts.
Glossary of Philosophy Vocabulary — If you’re going to write a philosophy paper – or even want to be able to discuss philosophical topics without sounding clueless, you’ll need this glossary. It eloquently defines and discusses the terminology associated with the discipline.
Metaphilosophy Themes and Questions — Looking for a paper topic? This collection is divided into categories and again into subcategories brimming with thought-provoking questions that should cure any case of philosophical writer’s block.
Philosophical Research Online — This searchable research database, as part of the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project, is free for anyone to use. Just search by philosopher name, text, or even concept.
American Philosophical Association — This is the ultimate resource for those working in the field, and for those who aspire to. Join and keep a pulse on philosophy in the country today, including information about conferences, employment opportunities, and lots more.
Ancient Philosophical Society — This group, comprised of esteemed experts, focuses on ancient philosophy. If you are studying ancient philosophy or specialize in that area, bookmark this site to see job listings, interesting articles, and information about meetings and conferences.
Philosophy for Kids
Even very young children can begin to understand and discuss basic philosophical concepts. In fact, many experts believe that it’s beneficial to do so. Kids who are taught to think critically at an early age tend to be more psychologically resilient and have better judgment when they are older. Use the resources listed here for help introducing children to philosophy. You should be able to find plenty of inspiration for creating opportunities to encourage philosophical thinking in kids and teens.
UW Center for Philosophy for Children —The University of Washington offers several free resources you can use to help teach kids about philosophy. There are lesson plans, games, and helpful hints for parents.
Kids Philosophy Slam —This annual program encourages kids to engage higher thinking skills by posing a philosophical question (such as 2014’s “Truth or Beauty, which has a greater impact on society?”) and allowing kids to use visual art, music, and written or spoken word to craft a thoughtful answer.
Ancient Greek Philosophers — This page from kids’ educational site Ducksters contains a good basic explanation of who the major Greek philosophers were, along with a brief discussion of the ideas they introduced to the world.
The Squire Foundation — The foundation is a nonprofit group that supports philosophy education advancement. On their site, you can find great resources – including lesson plans – to help teachers and parents foster enthusiasm for philosophy in kids and teens.