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Best Online Philosophy Sources I: Encyclopedias, Radios, and TVs


Since the advent of internet, philosophy sources on the web have grown steadily both in number and varieties. Nowadays, having an online profile and being up to date with regard to the latest debates, trends, and news on the subject has become a (almost obligatory) routine for professional philosophers, aspiring ones, and amateurs. Here we shall trace a map of philosophical encyclopedias as well as philosophy radios and TVs. Philosophy blogs, journals, and bibliographies will be treated separately.

Philosophy Encyclopedias
First of all we shall start from the most basic and complete sources to gain acquaintance with general philosophical problems: encyclopedias.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy contains the most in-depth and thorough entries on the subject. The project for the encyclopedia started in 1995 at the Center for the Study of Language and Information, an independent research center founded in 1983. Under the editorial direction of professor Edward N. Zalta, and thanks to the help of Colin Allen and Uri Nodelman, the encyclopedia has then become a key tool for the latest waves of philosophy students. Also because of its rigor and in-depth level scrutiny, the Stanford Encyclopedia could so far cover only so many topics; luckily, more sources are available.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, also an open access encyclopedia hosted by the University of Tennessee, Martin. With approximately 25 editors and 200 authors, it is a useful instrument to start off research on a topic.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online, which features more digestible entries in comparison to the Stanford Encyclopedia. Not all content, however, is open access.

Finally, the Wikipedia portal for philosophy is a quite useful too for quick references and searches. Always better to double-check with other sources, though.

Philosophy Radios
The most innovative form of philosophical content that the web has recently started providing us with are philosophy radios and TVs. A few places by now contain cutting edge debates on a vast array of philosophical topics, whose utility for both research and pedagogical ends is just beginning to be explored.

Philosophy Talk is a radio that has taken up philosophical questions of interest to a broad public. It is broadcasted both online and on air through a number of stations, and it is produced by Ben Manila Productions, Inc. on behalf of Stanford University.

The Guerrilla Radio show addresses philosophical issues that are germane to most philosophical courses - such as: What is the nature of time? What is beauty? What's the problem of evil and is there a solution to it? The show is "committed to 'waging war against idiocy' and 'bringing philosophy to the masses.'"

Hosted by Jack Russell Weinstein, Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life "may be the world's first call-in philosophy show", whose "mission is to create a large-scale conversation between philosophical professionals and the general public." It is broadcasted both online and on air.

BBC Radio 4 has hosted some fascinatingepisodes on a wide variety of philosophical themes.

The Philosopher's Zone is an Australian radio show hosted by Alan Saunders and produced by Kyla Slaven for ABC Radio National.

Finally, here you can also find a useful list of radio shows of philosophical content.

Philosophy TVs
Philosophy TV. A Video Website Devoted to Philosophical Thinking is a very promising project started off in 2010 from an idea of four graduate students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It features primarily debates between leading philosophers on topics of particular significance for both researchers in the field as well as the wider public.

The Institute of Art and Ideas is a not for profit organization focussed on making a range of stimulating philosophical debates accessible to the public. The Institute runs a philosophy and music festival called How The Light Gets In. All debates and talks at the festival are recorded and released over the year on IAI TV, while interviews with contributors are posted as articles on IAI News.

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