May 26 2024 20:38 EDT

Larry A. Jackson Library, Lander University

Larry A. Jackson Library Lander University

since 01.01.10

Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry

Abstract: This page is the index page for access to course notes, readings, and related materials for a beginning study of philosophy. course.


Getting Started

ReadMe 1: Summary notes on getting started with your study.

ReadMe 2: Suggestions for beginning the study of philosophy of religion.

ReadMe 3: Suggestions for beginning the study of philosophical ethics.

Online Syllabus HTML: HTML syllabus for the online course listing course information, requirements, and procedures. Designed for online access with hyperlinked analytical table of contents and index page.

Online Syllabus PDF: PDF syllabus for the online course listing course information, requirements, and procedures. Designed for printing out a hardcopy.

Online Course Assignment Schedule: Listing by date with hyperlinks for the readings, notes, and assignments.

Textbook: Reading for Philosophical Inquiry: Listing by chapter in the HTML and the PDF online textbook

Course Tests

Test 1 (HTML): The Nature of Philosophy

Test 1 (PDF): The Nature of Philosophy

Test 2 (HTML): Philosophy of Religion

Test 2 (PDF): Philosophy of Religion

Test 3 (HTML): Philosophical Ethics

Test 3 (PDF): Philosophical Ethics


Where to Go for Help

larchie at
(Convert the "at" to "@" in the above address)

Example Evaluations of Test Essay Question on Paley's Design Argument and James' Significance of Life. How essay questions are evaluated is shown by the evaluation of student essay answers.

Tutorials: A separate list of the tutorials and/or outline notes for the readings in the ebook Reading for Philosophical Inquiry and etext open source articles Philosophy Readings.

See also the useful online sources recommended below under Further Reading below.

Further Reading: These sources provide reliable and helpful explanations of the philosophies introduced in this course. You are especially encouraged to consult these important references not only for your reading and but also in preparation for essays.
  • Dictionary 
		of the History of Ideas
    Dictionary of the History of Ideas: (1) "Abstraction ..." to "Design Arguments;" (2) "Despotism" to "Law, Common;" (3) "Law, Concept of" to "Protest Movements;" (4)"Psychological ..." to "Zeitgeist." Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas, edited by Philip P. Wiener, was published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, in 1973-74. Now out of print, the Dictionary is published online with the help of Scribner's and the Electric Text Center at the University of Virginia. The dictionary includes articles on the historical development of a broad spectrum of ideas in philosophy, religion, politics, literature, and the biological, physical, and social sciences.
  • FOLDOP stands for the Free On Line Dictionary Of Philosophy, edited by the SWIF (Sito Web Italiano per la Filosofia). This resource contains about 2500 entries as of 01.01.05 contributed by qualified volunteers. The entire database is downloadable offline. The terms are searchable by name, list of entries, or on the entire database. The current definitions are somewhat uneven in this rapidly improving philosophical dictionary.  Although the definitions provided by Garth Kemerling's dictionary of philosophical terms on his Philosophy Pages are a bit more reliable for some  philosophical terms, Foldop is well worth consulting for many common academic terms.
  • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (subtitled "A Field Guide to the Nomenclature of Philosophy") consists of regularly updated original articles by fifteen editors, one hundred academic specialists, and technical advisors. The articles are authoritative, peer-reviewed, and available for personal and classroom use. The general editors are James Fieser and Bradley Dowden. The site is most useful for students in obtaining secondary source information on the key terms and personages of philosophy. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy can also be recommended for obtaining an overview of the problems of philosophy for background readings for lectures and papers. In general, the articles are well researched and are accessible by undergraduates. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, its main competitor, is perhaps better suited for more advanced work.
  • The Internet Philosopher is a tutorial on the use of the Internet for studying philosophy. The tutorial covers the prominent Internet sites, how to search, what to trust, and how to maximize information skills. Other features include printer friendly pages, glossary, and a link basket, teaching resources, workbook, slide presentation, handouts, and downloadable poster. The site is authored by Stig Hansen at the University of Leeds and is a tutorial designed for UK higher education by the RDN Virtual Training Suite. For students of philosophy, the Internet Philosopher is most helpful at the beginning of the semester since the visitor quickly learns how to access some of the most useful and authoritative sites on the Internet.
  • Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy—a dynamic resource, by Andrew Chrucky,  accessing the following sources: Dagobert D. Runes (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind, The Ism Book, The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), and A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names. The best single dictionary for just finding a reliable definition of a philosophical term or a brief explanation of a philosophical concept is Dagobert D. Runes (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy.
  • The Philosophy Pages includes a dictionary of philosophical terms and names, a survey of the history of Western philosophy, a timeline for key figures, discussion of several major philosophers, a summary treatment of the elementary principles of logic, study guide for students of philosophy, and links to other philosophy sites on the Internet. The site is developed by a former professor of Newberry College in South Carolina, is widely cited, and the information is brief, but reliable.
  • The World Philosophy Information Gateway is an extensive set of links rivaled only by, although the later site is somewhat better organized. The Internet resources include bibliography, books,journals, mailing lists, news, reference materials, and resource guides. The site includes many of the sub-subjects of philosophy and is fairly comprehensive. The Philosophy Information Gateway is part of the Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG), in turn part of the UK Resource Discovery Network. Visitors can sign up for special accounts with priviliges for utilizing the site. Also available are related extensive links for Philosophy Resources (Europe), and Philosophy Resources (UK).
  • The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a continuously updated reference work and is a publishing project of the Metaphysics Research Lab at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) at Stanford University. The General editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia is Edward N. Zalta.  Authors of subject entries are well-known scholars in their fields; even so, the subjects discussed are authoritative and well balanced. The Encyclopedia is the most scholarly general source for philosophy on the Internet and is essential as a starting point and background research for philosophy term papers.
  • Wikipedia an online free encyclopedia for all subjects, not just philosophy, is licensed under the Gnu Free Documentation License and contains a half-million articles maintained and edited by Wiki according to the philosophy of the free software movement. The project was founded by Jimmy Wales, and its strengths are its decentralization, peer reviews and thousands of contributors from all over the world. Articles on philosophical topics are especially useful in their breadth and variety. The site is especially recommended for an accessible introduction and survey of philosophical topics for review.
Top of Page

“[T]he point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” --Bertrand Russell, “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism” in Logic and Language (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1956), 193.

This page last updated 01/03/10
© 2010 Licensed under GFDL

Valid XHTML 1.1!    Valid CSS!