The 'PHILOSOPHY IDEAS' database
Search for single idea - suitable for small screen or window
- This site contains a searchable catalogue of philosophical ideas, mostly in the western analytical tradition.
It is compiled
by Peter Gibson, and implemented as a website by Martin Berry
- It provides philosophical quotations for anyone who has to write a philosophy essay, or who wishes to digest quickly
some key ideas on a topic.
The database is strongest in the areas of Mind, Knowledge and Morality, but it will gradually expand to fill gaps.
- The quickest way to get started is to use "Ideas by Theme". You can browse up and down the thematic tree,
and view groups of ideas
- You can download and print out every single idea in the database (an Acrobat file, with each idea in ‘brief’,
plus its number).
This is intended to be a useful document on its own, if you are searching for ideas. You can use the idea number to get fuller
details from the website.
- The key to the database is its theme structure. There are thirty major 'Areas', each one containing some
'Themes', and ‘SubThemes’, and occasionally ‘SubSubThemes’. You can download an Acrobat file of the theme structure, for critical inspection.
Every idea has been assigned to just one theme.
- Every idea has a primary source, possibly a secondary source, and a reference to an actual book.
- Each idea exists as a reasonably accurate full quotation, but this has often been compressed. There is also a 'Gist',
and a very short 'Brief' summary. Technical terms in quotations are usually explained in 'Clarification', and the majority of ideas have
a 'Response' from the database author.
- Beginners in philosophy should focus on the 'Gist' field, which tries to present each idea as clearly and simply
Any comments to PeterMAGibson@gmail.com
would be appreciated. New contributions to the database will be welcomed,
especially in weak areas (e.g. Society and Aesthetics). Check first to see what
exact information is required. Of course, the editor reserves the right