How to do research in Philosophy

Library resources for researchers working on analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and the history of philosophy.


Topic-specific keywords will help improve your results in a general multidisciplinary database like Google, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, or Academic Search Premier

Add keywords like these to your search:

  • Philosophy
  • Subdisciplines: epistemology, aesthetics, "philosophy of religion," action theory
  • Time period terms: renaissance, ancient, 17th
  • Thinkers, movements, works: "Vienna Circle," “Bhagavad Gītā,” Aristotle, Nietzsche, Al-Ghazâlî 
  • Concepts: determinism, fact, "common sense," becoming


The best tool for your project may be a specialized search engine, also known as a database. These databases are subject-specific or format-specific search tools:

PhilPapers is a top database for philosophy research. It includes a large corpus of journal research books and articles, with robust indexing and topic guides. It is maintained by the philosophy community and counts the majority of professional philosophers and graduate students among its registered users.

The Philosopher's Index is a bibliographic database designed to help researchers easily find publications of interest in the field of philosophy. It provides indexing and abstracts of journal articles, books, contributions to anthologies, and book reviews published worldwide.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a highly regarded, peer-reviewed reference source for philosophy, with entries on a wide range of topics.

Dig Deeper

Databases for Philosophy - explore the full list of Harvard Library databases in this subject category.


Lee LaFleur, the interim library contact for Philosophy, is available to support researchers via email or in-person consultation.

Department of Philosophy Affiliates

The Robbins Library of Philosophy, located in Emerson Hall, is the Department of Philosophy's library.


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