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Philosophy

This Research Guide will help you locate, evaluate and use appropriate materials for philosophy research at St. Louis Community College.

Overview

Welcome to the Philosophy Research Guide. In this Guide, you will find general resources on philosophy, research tips and suggestions for maximizing library resources to find the most reliable information for your philosophy research needs.

Philosophy (from the Greek for "love of wisdom") concerns the study of how the world works.  Big questions like "what is the nature of being?" "how is the best way to live in the world?" and "why do good and evil exist?"  are the types of ideas with which philosophers have struggled for centuries.  As you will discover in your coursework, the study of philosophy covers a lot of ground, from ethics and morality (what does it mean to live a "good" life?) to aesthetics ("what is beauty?") to metaphysics ("how do I know I exist?") to religion and spirituality ("what is the nature of God?").  

Like many other disciplines, philosophy relies upon logic and reason to formulate appropriate responses to these questions.  In your readings for your classes, you will likely encounter words like "argument" (statements backed up by facts and/or verifiable observations, usually to demonstrate a thesis or conclusion), "fallacy" (an error in logic/reasoning), "premise" (a starting point in demonstrating something about the world), and "conclusion" (a truth demonstrated through argument).  Arguments are generally the way that philosophical discussions take shape, either written in papers or verbally.  This does not mean that one needs to shout or raise one's voice to participate!  Rather, views are presented and defended through the medium of argument.  

Since Philosophy has been around for about as long as people have lived on Earth, there is considerable variation in different traditions.  Many of your classes at St. Louis Community College may focus upon the Western tradition, which includes a strong basis in Greek and Roman philosophy.  This is often referred to as the "Socratic Tradition" since the ancient philosopher Socrates is frequently credited with laying the foundations of many aspects of Western thought.  You also may encounter different approaches to philosophy from different cultures and time periods, even different disciplines or fields, such as Asian metaphysics, Medieval thought or medical ethics.  More on each of these can be explored from different areas in this Guide.  

Related Guides

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000