Philosophy Research Guide

Research Steps

Step One: Use the bibliography entitled Philosophy Sources in Owens Library to locate philosophy reference sources available at Owens Library.

Step Two: Search the Library Catalog using the following search tips:

Subject Searching:
Major subject headings listed in the Library Catalog that relate to philosophy are:

Analysis (Philosophy)
Philosophy and Religion
Psychology and Philosophy
Theory (Philosophy)

Sources about philosophy in specific regions or countries are available in the Library Catalog under the subjects like those shown below:

Philosophy, American
Philosophy, German

Philosophical subjects may also include the terms used to refer to followers of a particular philosophy like those shown below:

Pythagoras and Pythagorean school
Skeptics (Greek philosophy)
Sophists (Greek philosophy)

Subjects about philosophy sometimes begin with the name of the philosophy, followed by another subject or phrase like the examples shown below:

Gnosticism -- History -- Sources
Gnosticism in literature

Keyword Searching:

Sources about philosophy may also be retrieved by words (called keywords) with the operators and, or, not. A sample keyword search is shown below:

philosophy and Aristotle

Truncation allows users to stem words or retrieve words with several endings. The truncation symbol in the Library Catalog is an asterisk (*). The search shown below will locate records in the Library Catalog that include the words Pythagoras or Pythagorean:


Searches may include nesting. Nested terms are enclosed in parentheses. The search shown includes nesting:

(philosoph* and psycholog*) and biograph*

Qualifying a search allows users to look for information in a specific field of a record. The search shown below locates the form of the word philosophy in the su (subject) field of records:

su philosoph*

Read tips about searching in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Library Catalog.

Step Three: Use the bibliographies in sources you read to identify information about your topic. Sources not available in Owens Library may be ordered through Interlibrary Loan.

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or periodical article you need is not owned by Owens Library, click here to complete an online Interlibrary Loan form.

Last Update: 03 Aug 16:40 | Tagged with: Philosophy