Introduction to PhilPapers
PhilPapers is a comprehensive directory of online academic philosophy.
To sample the large number of functions associated with PhilPapers,
we suggest you try the following:
1. Set up a user account. User accounts are not compulsory, and
you can browse PhilPapers listings without one. But creating an account enables
many useful functions, including personal reading lists and
bibliographies, participation in the discussion forums, submission and
editing of items, and much else. Every user has a profile page, which
contains lists of the user's works and their areas of interest, among
other things, and which can be made public or private as the user
2. Browse recent work. Via the "New items" menu above, you can
browse the latest articles from philosophy journals, from personal
websites, from online archives, and from user submissions to the
3. Browse older journals. In our journal archive, you
can browse all online issues of more than 300 journals in philosophy.
If you belong to a university with access to commercial journals but
are currently off-campus, you can set up automatic proxy browsing for
these journals via a box in the right column of most pages.
4. Browse by area.
Philpapers aims to categorize every item into
up to three areas of philosophy, according to a fine-grained taxonomy.
The "Browse by area" menu takes you to pages for about 40 broad areas of philosophy, falling under five major clusters. From here you
can select more fine-grained topics and subtopics. The
categorization project is in its early stages, so many items are as
yet uncategorized, but you can contribute by categorizing some items
yourself, as discussed below.
5. Search for items.
You can search for items containing a given
keyword via the search box at the top of each page. Via the advanced
search page, you can set up much more complex searches. Advanced searches can be saved for later use, can be used to build bibliographies (see below), and can be monitored for new material.
6. Filter displayed items. In most pages of listings,
you can filter what is displayed using boxes in the right column. For
example, you can choose published work only, or freely available work
only. You can also set up your own list of preferred journals and
display only items from those journals.
7. Submit items. You can submit items (papers or books) to the
PhilPapers database using the "Submit" menu. You can submit a link to
an item hosted elsewhere, you can submit information about a published
item, and/or (if you have the right to do so) you can submit a file
containing the item itself. Note that PhilPapers is largely dedicated
to professional-quality work in academic philosophy, and we reserve
the right to reject any submissions.
8. Edit items. If you see mistakes in any PhilPapers entry
(whether regarding author, title, publication information, or
something else), please correct it by clicking "Edit". Most
information in PhilPapers is gathered by the automatic harvesting
of websites, and some errors are to be expected. We particularly
encourage authors to ensure that entries for their own works are
correct. All edits will be monitored by PhilPapers editors.
9. Categorize items. As discussed above, we aim to classify each
item in PhilPapers in up to three areas of philosophy. Users can help
with this process, either by clicking "categorize" under a paper to
select fine-grained categories, or by using the categorization tools
on the browse-by-area pages. For much more information, see the
Categorization Project page.
10. Discuss philosophy. By clicking the "Discuss" button under any
paper, you can discuss that paper in our discussion forums. Every
item can in principle be the subject of its own forum, typically
associated with larger forums devoted to various areas of philosophy.
There are also forums for various other topics, including discussion
of PhilPapers itself, all available at the forums page. These forums
are primarily intended for discussion by professional philosophers and
11. Set up bibliographies. In addition to using the public
categories, you can set up any number of personal bibliographies into
which entries can be filed, by clicking on "File Under" under a given
item. You can make these bibliographies
available publically if you choose. In addition, clicking "to read"
under a given entry will add that entry to your personal reading list.
12. Set up content alerts. You can set up RSS feeds or e-mail alerts for
new items satisfying any criteria you choose. To set up such a feed, simply go
to a page where those criteria are operative (by using search boxes
and/or the filter boxes on the right-hand side of the page), and click
on the relevant link in the "monitor this page" box at the bottom right.
For further information about PhilPapers, see: