More often than not the idea of an encyclopedia evokes images of the ton of dusty tomes lining a far flung shelf in a study or basement somewhere or perhaps the door to door salesmen selling them back in the day. As for philosophy… the mental images could vary greatly. Regardless of what one might imagine… the reality behind the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is a different story all together & quite concrete.
“It’s an amazing tool.”
While not as comprehensive as say, “Britanica”… what it lacks in size, SEP makes up for in shear quality of content.
From its inception, the SEP was designed so that each entry is maintained and kept up-to-date by an expert or group of experts in the field. All entries & substantive updates are refereed by the members of a distinguished Editorial Board before they are made public. Consequently, dynamic reference work maintains academic standards while evolving & adapting in response to new research.
You can cite fixed editions created on a quarterly basis & stored in the SEP Archives (every entry contains a link to its complete archival history, identifying the fixed edition the reader should cite). Kind of cool, right?
Published by The Center for the Study of Language & Information (CSLI) the project serves Stanford faculty & students who are engaged in research involving computational, logical, & stochastic modeling of cognitive functions & processes concentrating on psychology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, communications, & symbolic systems. The Center’s objective is to facilitate collaborations among researchers, make public their research & serve as a creative catalyst through creating open source tools, such as SEP.