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This Guide provides a starting point for library materials in Philosophy.


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Christine Hoeppner
Centennial Hall | 4C05

Evaluative Guidelines

The purpose of this page is to assist the student and researcher in identifying and distinguishing between information sources that are reliable, and those that are intended to misinform, mislead or propagandize.

Below are principles and guidelines that are useful in assessing the quality of information being presented on websites.

Purpose: Information? Education? Commercial? Persuasion? Advocacy? Personal? Hoax?

Authority: Who are the authors? What are their credentials? Do they have sufficient authority to speak on the subject? Can they be contacted? Is there an organization or sponsor? Are there references to support the claims being made?

Objectivity: Does the content reflect bias? Is it explicit of hidden? Does the identity of the author suggest bias? How does the bias affect the information?

Appropriateness: Is the content appropriate for your assignment? Is the content accurate, complete and well-written? Is it relevant to your purposes? Does it contain potentially offensive content or images?

Currency: Is the page up-to-date? Can you tell when it was last updated? Are there dead links?

Responsibility: Is the information credible? Is the tone of the writing hyperbolic? Are there unverifiable claims? Are the text and layout used to editorialize unnecessarily?

Clarity: Is the information clearly presented? Is it well-written? Well-organized? Are there typos and mistakes in grammar? Do the graphics assist comprehension or do they distract?

Functionality/Accessibility: Does the site load quickly? Is it easy to navigate?

Suggested Web Resources

  • The Open Directory: Philosophy: The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
  • Aesthetics On-line
    Here you'll find articles about aesthetics, philosophy of art, art theory and art criticism, as well as information about aesthetics events worldwide, and links to other aesthetics-related resources on the internet, including the Aesthetics-L email discussion list.
  • Continental Philosophy -
    This site, by Canadian Bruce Janz, concentrating on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, provides an impressive number of links, searchable by areas, people, and resources, which are cross-referenced to one another. The links to e-texts provide citations for the works, offering readers an opportunity to verify their authority.
  • Episteme Links -
    More inclusive than the previous sites, this has links to philosophers and topics in the discipline, and includes sites in which philosophy is part of a larger field of study. Each entry contains links to related subjects, practitioners/authors in the field, and useful brief references articles from standard encyclopedias and dictionaries. Site includes events, publication notices, job listings, philosophy departments, organizations, and humour as well as e-texts, academic papers, links to e-journals and print journals and related material.
  • SOSIG The Social Science Information Gateway is part of the UK Resource Discovery Network. The Philosophy site is divided into the following key areas: Aesthetics, Ethics, Knowledge & Science, Logic, Metaphysics, as well as the Philosophies of Law, Mind, Politics and Religion. Within each of these subject fields, resources are provided by format: Articles/Papers, Reports, Bibliographies, Books, Journals, Discussion Groups, Databases,Educational Materials, Resource Guides, and so on. There is a separate section on 'Women and Philosophy'. Entries in the format categories offer a description of a website with a link to it, as well as providing an opportunity to link to complementary sites through keywords and subject terms.
  • Ethics Update
    Maintained by Lawrence Hinman, University of San Diego, and provides links to various aspects in the philosophical field of ethics, including Moral theory, professional ethics (business, law, medicine), gender, religion, animal rights, poverty and sexual orientation. In addition, there are links to classic texts in ethics and moral philosophy, course syllabi, and other resources.
  • Guide to Philosophy on the Internet -
    an excellent "meta-site" by Peter Suber, Earlham College, it lists guides in several languages. It includes links to sites dedicated to specific philosophers, topics in philosophy, journals, e-texts, bibliographies, dictionaries, mailing lists, course materials, etc., although Suber claims none of the listings is exhaustive. Whether browsing or getting started on an essay, this is a rewarding one-stop guide. At this time (summer 2001) it is in the process of being merged with the two following entries.
    This peer-reviewed search engine consists of a series of hyperlinked sites produced by professionals. The search engine is designed to filter out non-philosophy sites (as defined by the editorial board), and ignore the major search engines when conducting a search -- and the editors claim that at any one time 98% of the links are working sites.
  • Noema: The Collaborative Bibliography of Women in Philosophy -
    This site consists of a bibliography of works by women in all areas of philosophy. The search engine facilitates searching by author, title, subject, keywords, and date. Entries provide citation as well as faculty and biography links for authors (if supplied).
  • Noesis Philosophical Research On-line -
    This site attempts to refine Internet searching for philosophers by linking to sites on which scholars have posted submissions. In addition, it indexes several on-line journals in philosophy and two electronic dictionaries. Search for topics in philosophy, authors of philosophical texts, on-line journals, reference works, and a limited selection of web sites.
  • Philosophy of Mind
    This site, from the University of Rome, offers a set of 'Guided Tours, each being an in depth exploration of a particular topic that includes a current report on the sub-discipline together with a bibliographic guide to relevant literature prepared by practitioners in the fields of philosophy of mind or cognitive science. A second bibliography is available in the section, 'Database'.
  • Philosophy of Religion -
    This site, from Scott Moore, Baylor University, includes reading notes, resources, links to journals and magazines, book reviews and more. Entries on individual philosophers may include biographical material, as well as text excerpts from principle writings.
  • Philosophy of Science -
    This site, maintained by David Banach, St. Anselem's University, contains resources ranging from Ancient Science and Mathematics to Contemporary Philosophy of Science. Developed for his own courses in Philosophy of Science, the general sections include commentary on various issues in science, course resources and supplementary links to sites that elucidate the ideas presented for the course work.
  • Philosophy Research Base - History of Philosophy.
    This metasite provides links to books and online resources for the following areas in the history of philosophy: Ancient Eastern and Western Philosophy; Medieval; Modern; 19th Century; 20th Century and Women in Philosophy. In each area, there are links to online resources which offer criticism, biography, texts and related historical links to provide context for the thinker(s) or period under survey. Some users may be put-off by the excess of commercial tie-ins in the Philosophy Research Base.
  • Voice of the Shuttle: Philosophy Page
    Part of the large humanities site, the VOS Philosophy Page contains general resources, relating to Aesthetics, Ethics, Logic, Phenomenology, Philosophers & works, Sites & projects, Journals, Listservs & Newsgroups, Conferences, Departments, Course syllabi, and related information.

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