Research Design

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Finding the Writings of Philosophers

It is important, in doing philosophical research, to read and use primary sources - the actual writings of philosophers - rather than just secondary sources - studies about philosophers. The works of some philosophers, however, may be difficult to locate. Here are some options:

1. A Library OneSearch author search

In many cases most works of philosophers will appear in books, though philosophers from that past 100 years may have published journal articles. Go to OneSearch and set up these parameters:

If you want to find journal articles, change the upper tab to "Articles."

2. Finding Ancient Philosophers' Writings

While Library OneSearch will locate most writings, it will not find all of them. For ancient writings, here are some options:

   a. Loeb Classical Library - Click on the Databases tab in One Search and go to our databases. Click on:

Find Loeb Classical Library:


Or simply Google the author and work. The translation may not be as scholarly as in Loeb, but you will find most ancient works through Google.

3. Finding Pre-Twentieth Century Philosophical Works

Pre-Twentieth Century works are generally out of copyright. Two sites are great for finding such publications:

     a. Hathi Trust

Set it up like this:

    b. Internet Archive


On the results page, click on any book image. You can read the book on screen or download a PDF, ePub, etc. copy.


Using Philosophical Research Databases