Why Study Philosophy?
Most important, it is of enormous and enduring interest. All of us have to answer, for ourselves, the questions asked by philosophers. Philosophy is a far-reaching field. It develops our ability to:
- reason clearly
- distinguish between good and bad arguments
- sort out complicated questions
- evaluate our own beliefs.
If you plan to pursue business, medicine, science, religion, law, literature, human service, education, or a mindful, meaningful life, philosophy will help you get there.
Philosophy and Your Reasoning
Understand how our beliefs interact with other philosophical perspectives; how different theories are appropriate in different contexts. We learn how to gain objectivity, consider consequences for others, act on reason, and advance toward objective truth.
[From “Introduction to Philosophy: Values Assessment.” Films On Demand, Films Media Group, 2012.]
Encyclopedias and dictionaries
These sources are good for pre-research: to introduce you to the landscape of your topic.A Dictionary of Philosophical Logic
Introduction to the main problems in philosophical logic, including positions, terminology, people, their debates, and logic in related disciplines. Focus on mathematics. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy
A well-cross-referenced collection of entries for philosophers, philosophical concepts, and related sacred, political-legal, mathematic, social, cultural, and commonly-used terms and ideas.
Critical thinking web
Free tutorials on aspects of thinking skills. [University of Hong Kong]
Timeline of Western Philosophers
The study of philosophy is an ongoing conversation, and philosophers influence one another. Here they are sequenced by era and year ranges. [Wikipedia]
Especially relevant to WCC’s philosophy courses.
An index and online community of philosophy research. No clue what to do a paper on? “Browse By Topic” tool both informs immediately and encourages drilling down. Research content in journals, books, open access archives, and academics’ personal pages. [Centre for Digital Philosophy, Philosophy Documentation Center]
Browse the Stacks
Wander through relevant sections of the library’s physical book collection, to discover what it is that you find interesting.
FilmsOnDemand: Philosophy & Religion
An academic resource with hundreds of videos in their Philosophy & Religion category.
A video series on philosophy project created by Yale and MIT. Funny and informative.
History of Philosophy without any gaps
Excellent podcast series. The series looks at the ideas, lives and historical context of the major philosophers as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition, with continuous coverage.
A running show (~40 episodes so far) that weaves stories into big philosophical ideas.
Stanford University philosophers Ken Taylor and John Perry have founded a podcast series dedicated to reasoned conversation driven by human curiosity. Accessible, intellectually stimulating, and fun.
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
Cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of events worldwide in the ever-changing religious world. This series examines religion’s role and the ethical dimensions behind news headlines. [PBS]
The Stone (New York Times)
A blog featuring the writing of contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless. Here’s a sampling.
- What Pop Stoicism Misses About Ancient Philosophy
- Humans Are Animals. Let’s Get Over It.
- Death Has Many Names
- What Would David Bowie Do?
- Are We the Cows of the Future?
American Philosophical Society. The oldest learned society in the U.S., founded by Benjamin Franklin, to promote useful knowledge through intellectual fellowship, support of discovery, research library.
American Philosophical Association. Promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy. Website includes an exhaustive list of philosophy-related organizations as well as podcasts, publications, news, courses, teaching resources, and so on.
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Brings the traditions of ethical thinking to real world problems. Source of articles, blogs, podcasts, events, and videos on many applied ethics topics in fields like business, professionalism, medicine, journalism, media, and law. Focus on current ethical issues. [Santa Clara University]
A Few Video Clips
The Importance of Philosophy in Today’s World
The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay
The African American Philosophers