IC Library Print & Media Resources

Individual Philosophers: Works about

      Begin by running a Subject search on the philosopher.  For example, a Subject search on Mill, John Stuart in the IC Library catalog retrieves--

# Titles  Headings  
34       Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873
3         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873--Contributions in political science
1         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873--Ethics
2         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873--Marriage
7         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873. On liberty
1         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873--Political and social views
1         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873--Religion
3         Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873. Utilitarianism

Note that general criticism is assigned no subheading.  Also note that critical studies of a single work will take the title as a subheading--separated by a period instead of double dashes.

Individual Philosophers: Works by

     Since you will usually have the texts you are writing about, running an Author search might seem unnecessary.   But Author searches often uncover critical editions, letters, and wide-ranging essays that shed light on both the philosopher and the work. An Author search on Mill, John Stuart retrieves--

Autobiography of John Stuart Mill / Published from the original manuscript
Autobiographywith an appendix of hitherto unpublished speeches
Collected works
Essays on literature and society
Essays on poetry
Essays on sex equality [by] John Stuart Mill & Harriet Taylor Mill
John Mill’s boyhood visit to France; being a Journal and Notebook 
John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, their correspondence
Mill on Bentham and Coleridge
On liberty / John Stuart Mill ; annotated text, sources and background, criticism
The Subjugation of women [electronic resource] 
A system of logic, ratiocinative and inductive

Cultural Context of Philosophy

     Any country, state, or city, past or present, will probably be available as a Subject Heading and these Subject Headings can all potentially be assigned the subheadings "Civilization" and "Intellectual life." Both these subheadings can be further subdivided by time period.  For example:

Greece--Civilization--To 146 B.C.
Greece--Intellectual life
Athens (Greece)--Civilization
Athens (Greece)--Intellectual life
Rome--Civilization--Greek influences
Italy--Intellectual life--1268-1559
Alexandria (Egypt)--Civilization
France--Civilization--18th century
France--Intellectual life--18th century
Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century
England--Intellectual life--17th century
Great Britain--Civilization--18th century
Germany--Intellectual life--19th century
China--Intellectual life
United States--Intellectual life--1783-1865
United States--Civilization--1783-1865

     Countries, states, and cities also take standard subheadings such as --History (further subdivided by period), --Politics and government (further subdivided by period), --Social aspects (further subdivided by period), and --Social life and customs (further subdivided by period).

Not in the IC Library??

     WorldCat via FirstSearch  is a "union catalog" that allows you to search the holdings of over 10,000 libraries from accross the country and around the world. Check WorldCat to discover what the entire universe of possible resources looks like for your topic. 
User Advisory:
  • Because this is such an enormous database you need to choose a "Limit Type to" before you begin. Most commonly you will be looking for "Books," "Visual Materials" (for example DVDs), or "Sound Recordings."
  • I recommend you avoid the "Author phrase," "Title phrase," and "Subject phrase" search fields and use "Author," "Title," or "Subject" instead. The "phrase" searches must be exact and are unforgiving.
  • If your topic is time-sensitive, try focusing on a recent time span under Year.
  • When you find an item you want you can request an interlibrary loan by opening the WorldCat record and clicking on "ILL (order via interlibrary loan)," which you'll find toward the top of the record under "External Resources." This will connect you to Ithaca College Library interlibrary loan, where you log in using your usual Netpass name and password. Logging in opens a form where all the identifying data will have automatically been transferred from the WorldCat record. All you have to do is click "Submit."

Recommended Sites

  • Intute: Philosophy: Outstanding U.K. gateway.  Search by Keyword or use the "Browse Philosophy" links on the left.
  • Philosophy Around the Web: A gateway to internet resources with searching by individual philosopher or topic and with links to relevant university departments, societies, and journals.
  • Ethics Updates: Gateway to resources for both ethical theory and applied ethics.
  • World Values Survey: Political, social, and cultural data on the values and beliefs of over 80 societies worldwide--including the United States--since 1981. A great site, but it can be a challenge to navigate.  To get started try my World Values Survey: User Guide.
  • American Philosophical Association:  Web site of the main professional organization for philosophers in the United States. Information on the profession, conferences, department Web sites, and online resources.

Contact Us

picture of Lisabeth Chabot

Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
(607) 274-3182


 "I search, therefore I am."  
Rene Descartes (updated)

Search Argos

Reference Resources

Selected Print Reference

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Journals by Title

Note: The databases below allow you to search by topic for articles in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals. You can also use the following link to browse available full-text journals in Philosophy.

Philosopher's Index

Philosopher's Index
     As an alternative to keyword searching, try a Subject search.  Standardized Subject Headings allow you to retrieve articles regardless of different words and phrases used to discuss the same topic.
   Begin by checking what Subjects are used by Philosopher's Index to describe your topic. Above the search slots you will find an Indexes link.  Open this and choose Subjects to browse what terms match your topic.  For example, you would discover here that articles on "physician assisted suicide" are assigned "Assisted Suicide" as a Subject Heading, and articles on "skepticism" are assigned a Subject with the variant spelling "Scepticism."

General OneFile

General OneFile :
     Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).
     After finding the best Subject term, use the “Subdivisions” link below it for focus.  These allow you to target articles on a particular aspect of the topic, including “Ethical Aspects,” “Political Aspects,” "Religious Aspects," and “Social Aspects.”


ProQuest Research Library :
     As an alternative to keyword searching try the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.
. And for most topicss you can add "Ethics" as a second Subject Heading. 

Academic Search Premier

Academic Search Premier  
     Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.


    This provides 100% full text access to scholarly articles from the present back to the late 19th century.  

     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart.  So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tick the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.  
     Also note the "Date Range" limit, which in a database with an archive this deep can be very useful.

Project Muse

Project Muse ,
     Although a smaller database, Project Muse complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides keyword searching of 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, This broad approach to searching tends to generate large retrievals, so it's best to be as specific as possible.  


ATLA religion database with ATLASerials :
    Our religion and theology database. To browse the Subject Headings available here, click on "Indexes" above the search slots  and select "Subjects"  from the drop-down menu.  

Science Direct

ScienceDirect :
     Because it’s a large database with a great deal of full text, the absence of Subject searching means that your Keyword searches will often retrieve large sets of articles, many of which mention but don’t discuss your search term(s). One way around this is to limit your initial search to the “Abstract Title Keyword” field. 

     Adding--ethic* or moral*-- to your search will help focus on the articles that are concerned with the ethics of the topic (* is a truncation symbol and ethic* will retrieve ethic, ethics, ethical, and ethically).
     User Advisory: Uncheck "books," if you're looking for articles; the IC subscription does not include full-text access to the books.  And if you open the "Dates" drop-down menu you'll find a much wider range of options than the default 10 year span.


PsycINFO :  
    The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary (called "Descriptors"), so a visit to the "Thesaurus" below the search slots is a good idea. In addition to whatever Descriptors you find for your topic, be aware that you can always add "Ethics," "Morality," "Bioethics," or "Business Ethics" as descriptors, if appropriate.  And If you find an article on exactly what you want, be sure to check the assigned "Descriptors" on the right of the citation for more ideas about useful search terms.  


SocINDEX with Full Text :
    As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here. Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms.  

LexisNexis: Law Reviews

LexisNexis Academic  
Law Reviews: Offering a keyword search of 100% full text law reviews (publishers of scholarly articles on legal issues), this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed by articles in which your search terms are mentioned in passing but are not the prime focus, use the atleast command to target articles in which your topic words are required to appear at least a certain number of times. For example, atleast5(“gun control”) or atleast7(genes and patents) will retrieve only the articles in which those terms are used repeatedly. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.


    This health literature database offers excellent resources and a very helpful search interface--if you know how to approach it. Whatever your topic, first find the "CINAHL Headings" for it--the link is at the top left. When you've found the right heading--whether Alzheimer's Disease, Obesity, or Doping in Sports--click on "Explode" to the right for a list of subheadings--among them Ethical Issues and Psychosocial Factors.  By ticking any of these boxes you can add them to the main Subject search, which you can then run by clicking "Search Database" at the top right.   

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for the GETIT icon.
  • "GETIT" will frequently find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to IC Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.