Research Help is still available during remote instruction!
Email or chat your subject librarian using the contact information on the right of this page. We can provide remote research assistance via Zoom (which allows for screensharing), chat, email, and phone.
To search for books, you need to use the library catalog for either keyword or subject searches. Depending on how much time you have, there are additional options beyond our holdings within the University Library.
Books at Cal State San Marcos
Search our local collection of about 250,000 books. Some possible subject headings and subdivisions are listed here. Note Philosophy can be both main subject and a subdivision of another topic.
- Philosophy (general subject area which can include historical thought, general overviews, and much more)
- Philosophy, African (subdivision by a large geographic area)
- Philosophy, Ancient (subdivision by time period)
- Philosophy And Religion (focused on a specific application of philosophy)
- Civilization, Western--Philosophy (philosophy as subdivision of a larger topic)
- Crow Indians--Philosophy
- Education, Higher--Philosophy
- Philosophy--Dictionaries (particular type of reference work)
- Philosophy In Literature
- Philosophy, Marxist
- Philosophy Of Mind
- Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831 (note lastname, firstname format for either an author in philosophy or individual philosopher as a subject)
- Blake, William, 1757-1827 -- Philosophy (philosophical thinking of a particular person including someone not known as a philosopher)
Some examples of related areas of study are ethics, applied ethics, aesthetics, religion, theology, logic, and metaphysics. The following are titles found in our Reference Collection which can help you get started:
Encyclopedia of Philosophy REF B41 .E5 1972
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy REF B 51 .R68 1998
Encyclopedia of Aesthetics REF BH56 .E53 1998
Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics REF BJ63 .E44 1998
Encyclopedia of Ethics REF BJ63 .E45 2001
Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen REF BL1005 .L4813 1989
Encyclopedia of Bioethics REF QH332 .E52 1995 (note the QH location as it deals with bioscience)
Browse the Book Stacks
Sometimes, just looking through the shelves can turn up works you would not have considered otherwise. Using the Library of Congress subject system, Philosophy is generally shelved in the B call number area with other related fields in BC-BJ. The Library of Congress provides a detailed online list of the subclasses in these areas so you can see how this is organized. Traditional philosophy and related topics can be found primarily in the following call number areas:
B -- General Philosophy, including history
BC--Logic, formal and informal
BD--Metaphysics and epistemology
BF--Philosophy of mind (known as psychology)
Circuit (1-3 day delivery)
Search the collections of other San Diego area libraries -- about 3,000,000 books. Find and request books directly online; pick them up at our Library in 1-3 days.
WorldCat (5-10 day delivery)
Search the collections of libraries world-wide -- about 52,000,000 books. Find a book in this database, and fill-out an Interlibrary Loan delivery request. Book will be delivered to Library for pickup.
Special Collections in Other Libraries
You may find a catalog entry or finding list online that tells you that an item or collection exists, but it may not have been digitized and if rare or fragile will be held 'Special Collections'. This means you might not be able to borrow the materials, but have to visit the collection for access. To locate archive and manuscript collections, use NUCMC (National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.)
To look for articles in journals, you will need to start with a research database. The following databases provide abstracts of articles from thousands of journals and other sources, often providing full-text. You can also browse a list of electronic journals for philosophy available through our catalog.
Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the button to check our other resources for full text.
Philosopher's Index A bibliographic database with informative, author-written abstracts covering scholarly research in all areas of philosophy. Coverage: 1940 - current
Full-text coverage for hundreds of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics
Contains (EXCEPT for the latest five years) core scholarly journals in sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American & Asian studies, literature, humanities, music, and biological, health & general sciences.
Includes more than 1,100 peer-reviewed journals in science, medicine, and technology.
Academic Search Premier
This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.
Available via EbscoHost: A comprehensive international database of psychology, covering the academic, research, and practice literature in psychology from over 45 countries in more than 30 languages.
Search nearly 9,000 journals covering a wide range of topics.
Dissertations and Theses Database
Dissertations and Theses Database includes digitized dissertations in a variety of subject areas including Art, Communications, Education, History, Linguistics, Literature, and Social Sciences.
Listservs & Forums
- H-Net Discussion List on Philosophy of History
- Society for Women in Philosophy Information and Discussion List
- Sophia (Ancient Philosophy)
- Others are available at L-Soft Listserv list, just search on the word 'Philosophy'
One-stop shopping for quality resources on the web.
- Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Individual Philosophers (personal site maintained at Oxford University, the links lead to material about and by individuals)
- Guide to Philosophy on the Internet (mega list by Peter Suber, Earlham College, no longer updated)
- Philosophy of Cyberworld (extensive link lists, well sub-divided)
- Voice of the Shuttle: Philosophy (individuals, movements, sub-areas and much more)
- DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals (open-access scholarly journals, not all materials are available in full-text; browse by subject)
- Mission: Critical (Critical Thinking Web Page)
- Critical Thinking Community
- Your Logical Fallacy Is
- PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers (covers employment world-wide)
Tutorials & Help
MLA Citations for Students
As you write your paper, you'll need to cite passages and ideas from the sources you've found. In order to cite your resources properly, you need to follow the style guide used by for this class, the MLA Handbook.
Sites with examples of in-text citations and works cited pages (supplement the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers)
- MLA Quick Citation Guide (Penn State University)
- Cite Source (Trinity College)
Offers help on citations, quotations, and intellectual property
Citation generator--be sure you choose the MLA format!
In the library:
MLA handbook for writers of research papers.
7th ed. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009.
APA: American Psychological Association
Chicago/Turabian Style & Citations
The Chicago Manual of Style is the preference for most history researchers, but always check with your professor before proceeding on both citation style and which version. The Notes-Bibliography system is generally preferred in Chicago-style citations, but there is also an Author-Date system. These systems use different formatting, so be sure which your professor prefers.
IMPORTANT! Late 2010, University of Chicago Press issued a new edition for this style guide. Check your resources to make sure you are being given the latest information based on the 16th edition as not all sites have updated yet. Notable changes are listed here.
Chicago may be referred to as Turabian, after Kate Turabian, who wrote a manual for students for research, writing and citing sources based on the Chicago citation style. The current version is titled A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. The CSUSM library keeps a copy at the Research Help Desk at LB2369 .T8 2007 and a copy on permanent Reserves (Checkout Desk.)
Some helpful web sites:
Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide (University of Chicago, the publishers of the Manual, this is based on the 16th edition)
Citing Electronic Information in History Papers (U of Memphis, varies slightly from the guidelines of the 16th edition.)