Philosophy Education Resource Guide
From the Greek “philosophia” – “philo” meaning love and “sophia” meaning wisdom – comes the word “philosophy,” which means a love of wisdom. Broadly speaking, philosophical enquiry seeks to understand the fundamental nature of knowledge and answer questions, such as, “What is truth?” “What is reality?” “What is existence?” “What is justice?” And through pursuing answers to these questions, and myriad others, philosophers seek to construct systems for thinking and for living. As an area of study, philosophy is as broad as it is interesting. That’s why we created this guide. With eight separate sections comprising 40+ individual resources, you’re sure to find links to useful information within, no matter your level of expertise. Browse this guide for general resources – including free online philosophy courses – study resources, teaching resources and much more.
General Philosophy Resources
The following general philosophy resources offer something for everyone. Find links to philosophy basics, massive open online courses in philosophy, interviews with philosophers and more.
Philosophy Basics – Quickly get a grasp on the wide-ranging subject of philosophy by visiting this site. You can choose to look at the subject from different perspectives such as doctrine, school, historical period or individual philosopher.
Philosophy and Basic Beliefs – Obtain a concise account of the history of philosophy and an explanation of the basic beliefs within it.
Dictionary of Philosophy Terms and Names – When navigating the at-times murky waters of philosophy, having this guide a click away proves helpful. Find the meanings of the technical terms and personal names in Western philosophy that plague you.
Yale Open Courses – Stream philosophy courses taught at Yale University. Courses include the philosophy of death and the philosophy and the science of human nature.
Ask Philosophers – Have a question that is philosophical or somehow relates to philosophy? Over 89 professional philosophers await your questions. If you ask a question that hasn’t been answered before, your question and an answer may be posted on the site within a few days.
Closer to Truth – A website full of helpful resources, such as over 4,000 video interviews featuring well-known scientists and philosophers exploring profound questions and the search for the ultimate purpose of our existence.
Socrates Argument Clinic – Entertain yourself by matching your wits against Socrates. In this version, users are tasked with completing the argument and avoiding having Socrates drink the hemlock.
Culture and Ethnicity in Philosophy – Links to philosophy resources in various cultures, philosophical anthropology and intercultural and cross-cultural philosophy are the focus of this site.
Philosophy Study Resources
The study of Philosophy can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The resources below offer tips for how to approach philosophical study, how to write philosophy papers and more.
Guide to the Study of Philosophy – Tips, tips and more tips for those who are taking a formal course in philosophy. Whether you’re trying to compose a paper, have success in a discussion or engage with others online, this guide can show you the way.
Guide to Writing Philosophy Papers – An all-in-one guide to writing philosophy papers. Find tips regarding sourcing materials, standards of evidence and including footnotes. There’s even a sample paper to use as a reference.
Taking Notes on Philosophical Texts – Anyone who has trouble wading through the reading in a philosophy course should check out this site. A professor at Earlham College gives his best ideas for taking notes on challenging readings.
Writing a Philosophy Paper – Read some helpful dos and don’ts for writing a philosophy paper. The advice is courtesy of Peter Fraser, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia.
Passing Your First Philosophy Course – From A.D. Irvine, Department of Philosophy, British Columbia, comes this sometimes humorous, more often helpful, page of advice about passing your first philosophy course.
Guide to taking Philosophy Classes – Dubbed “The Pink Guide,” this informative piece walks you through the myths of philosophy classes and offers helpful advice regarding reading, writing and revising philosophy papers.
Philosophy Teaching Resources
Students sometimes view the subject of philosophy as a tangled web of knowledge. As a teacher, it’s your task to help students sort it all out. Use the following resources to guide your students to appreciate, understand and enjoy the study of philosophy.
Using International Star Wars Day as a Teaching Source – This is a link to a lesson that uses clips from the classic Star Wars movies to provide students with an understanding of the basics of Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Legalism within an entertaining format.
PLATO Philosopher’s Toolkit – Philosophy Learner and Teacher’s Association (PLATO) offers plenty of age-appropriate philosophy lessons for K-12 students. In addition, they are looking for submissions to consider for addition to the toolkit.
Center for Philosophy for Children – Find lessons for teaching philosophy through the use of children’s books. Lessons are most appropriate for elementary school-aged children. However, the lesson questions can be adapted for middle and high school students.
Philosophy Resources for Educators – Developed by the UNC-Chapel Hill philosophy department, this helpful list of resources for teachers offers detailed lesson plans, pedagogical advice and more. Resources are geared for students in grades K-12.
Philosophy Experiments – For teachers who want to give their students philosophical thought problems, such as one based on the Newcomb paradox, this site is perfect. Discover over 25 mind-bending problems to philosophically challenge your students.
American Association of Philosophy Teachers – If you’re interested in joining an association that is committed the advancement of the art of teaching philosophy, consider the AAPT. With membership, enjoy a biennial conference, seminars, workshops and additional programs.
The Critical Thinking Community – The mission of this organization is to bring change to education and society with the promotion of fair-minded critical thinking to aid us in developing reasonable solutions to the problems that face us.
Western Philosophy Resources
Use the resources below to learn more about Western philosophy concepts, works and figures, such as philosophy heavyweights like Plato, Nietzsche, Sartre and others.
Western Concepts of God – Interested in a resource for the Western philosophy of religion? Link to this article which includes sections such as Western concepts of God, a historical overview of Western philosophy of religion and divine attributes of God.
Western Philosophy Timeline – Full of beautiful illustrative photos and drawings, viewing this timeline that extends from the ancient birth of Christianity to today is a must for anyone who is interested in the history of Western philosophy.
Western Philosophers – Find links to extensive biographies of 39 Western philosophers such as Plato, John-Paul Sartre and Friedrich Nietzsche. Once you click through, you’ll find links to online editions of their works and other helpful related resources.
Marxists.org – Visit this site developed by the Marxists’ Internet Archive, a non-profit public library, which is organized into categories of Western philosophy. Categories include the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, British philosophy and more. Additional links to biographical resources are also available.
Classics of Western Philosophy – A convenient page full of links to the works of Western philosophers. From Plato to Sartre, find the primary sources you’re seeking with ease.
History of Contemporary Western Philosophy – This page is short and to the point. Links included here offer introductions to well-known contemporary philosophers such as Kant, Locke, Descartes, and Hume.
Eastern Philosophy Resources
Among these resources of Eastern philosophy, you will discover information on religious traditions, schools of thought, quotes, articles and links to philosophical texts.
Eastern Philosophy Quotes – If you’re interested in quotes that have historical and cultural value, check out this site’s section of Eastern Philosophy quotes. The authors of this site have made it possible to compile a list of your favorite quotes or share a quote you like via social media.
Reason and Meaning: Eastern Philosophy Category – John G. Messerly, PhD, former member of the philosophy department at The University of Texas at Austin, and author of multiple books and articles on the subject, authors this site. Find articles based on the different schools of Eastern thought as well as other interesting musings.
Hansen’s Chinese Philosophy Pages – Chad Hansen, professor of philosophy at the University of Hong Kong, is the creator of these pages that contain Daoism, Monism and Legalism. They also contain some reflections on human rights, rule of law and the Asian value system.
Buddhanet – This site will appeal to anyone who is interested in the ancient tradition of Buddhism, its teachings and the accompanying lifestyle. Buddha Net is a non-profit organization that is affiliated with the Buddha Dharma Education Association.
Sophia Project: Eastern Philosophy Archives – Focused almost exclusively on the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, the Sophia Project’s Eastern Philosophy archives offer a helpful hack for readers by coding the available texts. Whether you have no background in philosophy or you are well versed in the subject, you can easily locate informative and appropriate texts to complement your level of experience.
There are plenty of philosophy blogs out there; these are among the best. Follow these links to find some of the most popular and interesting philosophy blogs in existence.
In Socrates’ Wake – For those interested in or currently teaching philosophy, this blog offers frequent postings on relevant topics, such as “Why Study Philosophy?”
Leiter Reports – For over a decade, this blog has held its rank as the world’s most popular in its subject area. Check it out for topics such as intellectual culture, the academic profession and various news and views about philosophy.
Wisdom’s Haven – Visit this blog, belonging to the Sophia Project, for ponderings in such areas as philosophy, ethics, culture, politics and religion. The blog challenges you to “dare to be wise” by partaking of their content.
Aporia – Simply put by its creators, this is a blog “devoted to skepticism.” Those who subscribe to this philosophical school of thought do not claim the truth is impossible. Instead, they recommend suspending belief as a way to avoid the truth claim.
Need some time to ponder those unanswered questions about life? These philosophy podcasts can give you what you seek. Choose from a variety of different formats and host personalities.
The Partially Examined Life – Each episode of this podcast is focused on a brief reading that focuses on at least one big idea, concern or question in philosophy. Enjoy an informal roundtable discussion format when you tune in.
Philosophy Bites – Top professional, academic philosophers grace listeners with their presence on this long-running podcast. Yet, things don’t become too involved. Instead, the hosts stick to bite-size topics.
The Philosopher’s Zone – No need to try to plow your way through the complexities of ethics, logics and metaphysics alone. Allow this podcast to serve as your guide to discovering the answers to what may seem simple questions.
Philosophy Podcasts – For those who like having a choice about what to listen to, this link delivers. Choose from more than 30 philosophy podcasts in one place.
Philosophy Talk – Dedicated to “reasoned conversation driven by human curiosity,” this podcast is driven by two host philosophers who invite listeners to take an active part in their conversation. Find yourself questioning your assumptions and broadening your intellect if you decide to give it a listen.
Satisfy your desire for academic reading by browsing through this list of online journals. Whether you’re interested in legal philosophy, historical issues or the relationship between philosophy and film, this list has you covered.
Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy – To get your occasional dose of moral, political and/or legal philosophy, check this journal. It’s an online, peer-reviewed publication that offers plenty of full article downloads for free.
Philosophers’ Imprint – No subscription is needed for this journal due to the fact that its editors wish to expand their traditional readership by reaching out to non-academic readers. Find interesting articles that focus on philosophical issues or historical figures within its pages.
Philosophy Now – While not completely free, the engaging and valuable quality of this resource trumps that financial fact. Enjoy four free articles per month without commitment. If you like it and decide to subscribe, gain access to hundreds.
Film-Philosophy – Enjoy free access to the online journal, Film Philosophy, which is dedicated to the engagement between film studies and philosophy at the link above. And be sure to check out the archive, which dates back to 1997.