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PHIL 213: Philosophy of History & Culture : Home

Course Information

Professor Achim Koeddermann

Librarian Jean-Paul Orgeron (

Overview of the steps in library research

  • Select a topic. (This can be challenging. If your topic is too narrow, you will have difficulty finding enough information; if it is too broad, you will be swamped with information)  See also Tips and examples for writing thesis statements (From Purdue University) 
  • Background information can often be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works. If you decide to use the information, don't forget to cite it in proper fashion.  Remember to paraphrase, use your own language, and don't replace your arguments with quotations.
  • Find books. Books often treat a topic more comprehensively than journal articles. Books can be a good place to find an overview of a topic. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of a chapter. Your paper qualifies as a research paper if it includes at least one primary and one secondary source in book form.
  • Find articles. Journal articles usually have the most up to date information on a topic. Since journal articles are often more focused than books, they may provide more specific information than books. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of an article. Remember to demonstrate the level of your research by quoting from refereed journals
  • Consider supplementary materials (such as internet sites)
  • Organize the findings.
  • Use the information to address the research topic. See also Logic in Argumentative Writing (Purdue Writing Lab)

Selected Reference Works

***Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy***  REF B51.R60 1998
10 volumes. A good place to begin your research.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (link on the Milne Library home page under Databases)
Online version of the print encyclopedia. Provides up-to-date articles on philosophical themes (such as metaphysics, ethics, law); world philosophies (such as African, Japanese, Tibetan); periods; world religions (such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism), individual philosophers. 
Encyclopedia of Philosophy REF B41.E5  1967
Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy REF B41.C35 1995
Great Thinkers of the Western World REF B72.G74 1992
Great Thinkers of the Eastern World REF B5005.G74 1995
Oxford Companion to Philosophy REF B51.O94 1995
Wikipedia. Although Wikipedia can be a good starting point for basic information, it is not necessarily reliable as most articles can be edited by anyone. (Some Wikipedia articles on controversial topics are "locked down" to prevent vandalism.) Make sure you verify the information in Wikipedia with several other sources. Some Wikipedia articles have useful bibliographies. Articles sometimes are written by scholars with a passion for their topic; however, the entries are unsigned. The View History link in Wikipedia lists the revisions.

 Errors in Wikipedia From a conservative viewpoint.

Search (almost) Everything: Philosophy

Search Philosophy
Limit Your Results

Includes print books, ebooks, and articles. Does not include all content from indexes such as PhilPapers.

Finding Print Books

Library Catalog (tab on the Milne Library home page) 

A quick way to find a print book in Milne Library.
To view detailed information about an item, click on the number link on the left of theentry.
Availability is shown by numbers to the right  (e. g. 1/0). The first number is the number owned by the library; the last number is how many are checked out.Subjects are listed at the bottom of the detailed entry. These subjects will link to other materials on the same exact subject.
BASIC SEARCH allows you to search by fields such as (Words Anywhere, Words in Title, Words in Author, Subject begins with)
"Words Anywhere" searches are useful if you do not know the precise subject, title or author. If you are unsure of the ending of a word or wish to search the stem of a word, use the wildcard symbol  * .The ADVANCED SEARCH allows limiting by language, collection, document type, year.

Loeb Classical Library

Primary texts in classical philosophy. Specific texts can be located by using the Advanced Search feature in the Library Catalog.   Enter the subject or author and “Loeb Classical Library” as the series.

Finding Books in Other Libraries

You can check out items at Hartwick College with your SUNY Oneonta ID card.

Locating Articles in Specific Databases

Where to Find the Full-Text of an Article

If there is no full-text link immediately available, click on  or Full Text through LinkSource.   If a full-text version of the article is available in another database, there will be a link connecting to that database. Articles may be also be available in print or microform in Milne Library.  Please ask at the Research Help Desk if you need assistance.

To determine whether a journal is available to Milne Library patrons, enter the title in the search box under the Journals tab on the library home page.

Free Primary Texts

There are many sources of complete (out of copyright, public domain) philosophy texts available online such as:

Recommended Reading

Ortega y Gasset, José.   The dehumanization of art, and other writings on art and culture. BH205 .O717

Ortega y Gasset, José.   History as a system, and other essays toward a philosophy of history.  D16.8 .O72 1961

Ortega y Gasset, José.  Historical reason. B4568.O73 S6213 1983

Ortega y Gasset, José.  Phenomenology and art.  B4568.O72 E5 1975


Some philosophers:

Wittgenstein, Ludwig
Beauvoir, Simone de
Dilthey, Wilhelm
Humboldt, Wilhelm von
Gadamer, Hans Georg
Weber, Max
Habermas, Jurgen
Ranke, Leopold von
Marx, Karl/ Lenin, Vladimir
Marcuse, Herbert
Benjamin, Walter
Cassirer, Ernst
Adorno, Theodor

Web Sites

*Anyone* can publish on the Internet. Therefore, it is important to learn to evaluate any information found on the net.

Google Advanced Search Tips:

By putting double quotes ("") around a set of words, Google will consider the exact words in that exact order.

Domain name registries around the world. It is possible to limit a search to a certain country or type of domain by adding the domain code in Google: Advanced Search. Another method to limit to a certain domain is to use "site:.domain name" as part of the search, e.g. autism

Five points to consider in the evaluation of a web site:

1. AUTHORITY: Who is responsible for creating the page? Does the URL contain .edu (education), .gov (US government), .org (organization) .int (international organization)? Or does the URL contain .com (commercial) or .biz (business)? Is it a personal site (.name)? (Country codes also may be part of a URL. See Domain name registries around the world.)

2. CURRENCY: Is there a date indicating when the page was created or updated? Is the information up to date? Are the links current and functional?

3. COVERAGE: What is the purpose of the site? Does it address your research topic? Is it detailed or broad? What kind of information is it providing: historical? background? statistical? factual? conceptual? a study?

4. OBJECTIVITY: Is the site expressing a slanted point of view or trying to sway your opinion?

5. ACCURACY: Can you verify that the information is correct? Are the facts consistent within the page? Do they match up with what you found in print sources? Are sources for the information cited?


Need More Help?

E-mail a question to a Milne librarian & get a response within 48 hours Monday through Friday.

Schedule a research consultation with a librarian to discuss your research project in depth.

Call the Research Help Desk at Milne Library at 607-436-2722.

Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library.