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 Maarten Maartensz:  Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek

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Sites - General

Under the above heading I give a series of links to sites that concern philosophy in general.

It should be noted that - in spite of this general aim - my general perspective and background is Western, non-religious and non-political.

These limitations are in part due to my own background (I am Dutch), limitations (I only read Western languages) and interests (I am neither religious nor a volontary member of any political organization); and in part due to the fact that either more philosophy was done in the West or more was published and researched in universities.

For non-Western, or religiously or politically motivated philosopy see Sites - Special. And note there are no clear, simple and clean divisions here: Western Medieval philosophy was Christian; published philosophy in 20th Century socialist countries was Marxist. Also, there are no value-judgements: Very interesting and valuable work was done in Christian, Islamic, Hinduistic, Buddhistic and Chinese backgrounds.

The other entries in the left panel - Ancient, Medieval, Modern and 20thC - all concern Western philosophy.

And here is a link to books concerned with philosophy in general.

Known limitation: Finally, it should be said that though I have access to the internet since 1996 I have not spend much time on it, or at least far less than many others, and I do not plan to have many links to other sites on my own site, though among the sites I will refer the reader to there will be some sites made by persons who seemed to have spend a lot of time on the internet. And I also cannot give any guarantee the links will work - all I am certain of is that they did work at some time in the past, and I have visited the sites I provide links to.


A. Encyclopedias of philosophy on the net

Both are useful, though neither is as good or as complete as the paper Encyclopedia of Philosphy edited by Paul Edwards (1967). The Stanford EoP is more academical and longer than the Internet EoP, and probably was inspired by the Encyclopedia of Philosphy.

B. Sites with many philosophical links

This is not necessarily the same as (indeed: usually different from) sites with interesting philosophical content.

  • Philosophical time-line: This is a site where philosophers and philosophies get an explicit date. This is often helpful to help compare them and have some basic context for them.
  • Tel Aviv University: This is a good basic site with many links to al manner of philosophical subjects and philosophers, and also with the pleasing property that most links worked when I tried them. (I have visited quite a few philosophy sites with many links, many of which didn't work.)
  • Wikipedia: This is a free encyclopedia made by people on the internet. It is supposed to be quite good, and contains many articles on many subjects.
  • Squashed Philosophers: This is by Glyn Hughes and has this purpose, to quote the opening of the site: "Their own ideas, in their own words, neatly honed into little half-hour or so reads." This it does quite well.
  • The Internet Classics Archive
  • The Great Books of Western Civilization

C. Sites of philosophical interest

The listing of sites of philosophical interest is rather difficult for three related reasons plus an extra one that is obvious when stated:

(1) I disagree with most philosophy and most philosophers I read, whether in bookform or on the internet, and often my disagreements are deep.
(2) I dislike the largest part of academic philosophy for various reasons, and the fact that it is mostly not serious philosophy but an easy way to make a career.
(3) Even so, the approaches to philosophy I like best (and think are the best approximations of the truth) are scientific, logical and realistic.
(4) In any case I have not much health and not much money  and have found since I am on the internet since 1996 that it takes a lot of time and trouble to find a site that is more than superficially interesting in content.

So here are a few sites that I found interesting, including some ot the reasons why I think so. Two reasons that apply to all sites I list is that they contain a lot of text and links and that their authors write at least a tolerably clear English:

  • David Chalmers: This is actually an academic philosopher. He studied mathematics but works mostly in philosophy of mind. Apparently, he spends a lot of time on the internet, and his site contains many useful links, especially related to his own specialism.
  • Roger Bishop Jones: This is someone who worked in the field of proofchecking by computer. He has a large site called 'Factasia' which has a lot of material related to logic and much about philosophy besides.
  • John McCarthy: This is the inventor of the programming language Lisp, and is a computer scientist, who is presently professor  emeritus of Stanford University. His site is especially interesting if you are concerned with logic, articial intelligence or computing, but has some stuff that is also of general interest.
  • Commens Peirce site: This is a very well done Finnish site with lots of well chosen quotations from Peirce, that give descriptions and definitions in Peirce's own words of his most important terms, concepts and ideas.
  • The Online Library of Liberty: I do not know what sort of liberty this library is dedicated to, though I agree with their self-stated end "...to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals", but I do know that they present a fine collection of 1046 classical texts in good html or pdf-editions that may be hard to find elsewhere, and that are in many cases also fine scholarly editions.
  • The Skeptic's Dictionary: This is by Robert Todd Carroll, and contains nearly 500 lemmas, mostly relating to superstitions of many kinds. The first statement of its Introduction says: "The Skepticís Dictionary provides definitions, arguments, and essays on subjects supernatural, occult, paranormal, and pseudoscientific." It is fun, well done, clearly written, and contains a lot of information on the subjects it is concerned with.
  • Edge: To quote from their "About" item: "The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society." There is an interesting series with responses by many well-known scientists, mostly American and English "What you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"

 

 

 Last edited: 12 Dec 2011.   Top.