Philosophy Guide

Plato and Socrates

Welcome to the Philosophy Research Guide

This guide is designed to assist you in locating resources such as books, videos, articles, websites for use in the study of Philosophy. Start your research by clicking on the information tabs below. Information on the study of Ethics can be found here.

If you need additional help, please contact the Philosophy Librarian or stop by the Reference Desk. You can also get help from our online reference service: Ask A Librarian.

Everything is on the Internet, right? No.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are millions of books and articles whose content is not freely available on the open web.

As we all know the Internet contains an incredible amount of useful information. Conversely, it also has a lot of information that is not credible, reliable or well-informed. Some information on the web are blatant lies, or half-truths published in order to support a particular belief or opinion. (For more information on learning how to distinguish the good, bad and ugly on the Internet, see The CRAP Test.

Using resources available through the Library will save you time and frustration, and undoubtedly will lead you to producing higher-quality work.

Types of Resources:

Reference Materials:

Use reference materials, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries to get background information and a basic understanding of your topic.

Book & Journal Articles:

Books and journal articles provide a more focused examination of the topic. Again, most books and articles found in the Library's databases are written by experts.

  1. Books & Videos
  2. Databases
  3. Websites & Podcasts

Finding Books

Use the COD Library's book catalog to find books & videos. Click on the "keyword" tab to search using multiple search terms and limit your results by material type (book, video), date, or language. You'll need a current library card to check out books.


I-Share allows you to borrow books from over 80 Illinois academic libraries. You must have a current COD library card, and create an account to request books from an I-Share library.

E-book Collections

Most books in these collections can also be located and accessed by searching in the Library's book catalog.

  • ebrary
  • Collection contains several books on Philosophy. Many e-books can be viewed from your computer or downloaded to your e-book reader. You need to create an account to download e-books to your device.

  • EBSCO e-book collection
  • Find 100s of Philosophy-related books . NOTE: Books can be viewed by single page on a computer, or, can be downloaded to an e-book reader. You'll be prompted to create an EBSCO account. The loan period for e-books is four hours. Books can be renewed after the initial loan period expires.

  • Humanities (ACLS) E-book Collection
  • This resource includes over 1500 full-text, cross-searchable books in the humanities selected by scholars for their continuing importance for research and teaching. Pages from this collection can be printed and emailed.

Project Gutenberg E-books

Project Gutenberg provides access to a number of primary and secondary-source philosophy e-books. Many can be read online or downloaded to e-book readers.

Reference Works

Reference works, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful for learning about background information on a topic, as well as how philosophers have interpreted and understood a topic and its evolution.

Please note that print reference books may be used while in the library only. Online reference books may be accessed from any on or off-campus computer. You'll need a library card to access online books and articles from off-campus.
Click on the links below to access the online book/website or record/description of the print book.

Finding Videos

The Library owns many Philosophy-related films in DVD, VHS and streaming formats. Search the library catalog by keyword or subject term. We have a wide range of Philosophy-related films available for checkout and online streaming.

The Library subscribes to many databases that provide access to thousands of popular and credible, scholarly journals. Many databases provide access to full-text articles, while some provide information about the article only (citation). Request (for free!) through Interlibrary Loan copies of articles to which the Library doesn't have full-text access.

Databases are organized collections of information that you can search on a variety of fields, like title and author's name. iTunes is a database and so is Amazon. Even your contacts list in your phone is a type of mini database. The Library has databases of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals. We also have databases of streaming videos, music and e-books. The difference between our databases and iTunes or Amazon is that our stuff is free for you to use. You can browse the library's databases here:


Databases - Best Bets

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Academic OneFile
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Excellent source for credible scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Articles in database were published between the early 1700s and between 1-5 years ago.

  • Project MUSE
  • Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.

  • Issues and Controversies
  • Issues and Controversies helps students understand crucial issues we face today, exploring more than 800 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture.

  • CQ Researcher
  • The CQ Researcher offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of today's most important issues. Each report is on a single topic more than 12,000 words in text and extensive bibliographies. Each weekly issue provides up-to-date information on controversial subjects reported by CQ's staff of experienced reporters.

  • PhilPapers
  • PhilPapers is an online collection of scholarly materials on philosophy topics. This resource includes articles and reviews from 350 journals. Users can try locating full-text articles using Google Scholar or request articles through Interlibrary Loan.


  • American Philosophical Association
  • The American Philosophical Association, founded in 1900 is the premiere philosophical professional association. A number of useful resources are located under Web Resources, including Electronic Texts, Guides to Philosophy, Journals (note not all journals are available in full-text, please contact a librarian for assistance).

  • AskPhilosophers
  • AskPhilosophers is a website where the public is invited to submit questions that are answered by philosophy faculty at colleges and universities located throughout the U.S.

  • Contintental Philosophy
  • Complied by University of Central Florida philosophy professor Bruce B. Janz, this directory of websites provides a wide range of resources associated with various aspects of Continental Philosophy.

  • Women Philosophers
  • Created by Kate Lindemann this site provides links to short articles and biographies of women philosophers organized by time period.


  • History of Philosphy - Without Any Gaps
  • "Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London, takes listeners through the history of Western philosophy, 'without any gaps.' Beginning with the earliest ancient thinkers, the series will look at the ideas and lives of the major philosophers (eventually covering in detail such giants as Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, and Kant) as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition."