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Full-Text Reference Books from Literati

Need more background information about Plato but don't have time to go to the library? UMass Lowell Libraries gives you access to these full-text electronic reference books through Literati. Click here for a short tutorial about what else is available through Literati.

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The Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics
An important resource for those needing to understand the key concepts in philosophy and ethics and their relevance to current issues. It covers a wide range of philosophical ideas including often-neglected non-European traditions such as African philosophies and Islamic ethics.

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Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy
The only encyclopedia in English specific to the field of Classical Philosophy, this work presents 270 articles on major and minor figures and on topics of importance to the philosophy of Greek and Roman antiquity.

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Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece
Everything you always wanted to know about Ancient Greek philosophy but didn't know who to ask

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Great Thinkers A-Z
Brings together short, accessible snapshots of the people who have shaped Western thought from the ancient Greeks to today. The snapshots, written by the world's leading experts, describe a major thinker's life and work with suggestions for further reading on each one

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Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
Catalogs the achievements and legacy of more than four millennia of scientific thought in the ancient world of the Mediterranean and the Near East, providing a complete overview of the physical, chemical, life, medical, and social sciences of the classical world.


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General Topics

  • Philosophy: Topic Page
    Study of the ultimate reality, causes, and principles underlying being and thinking. MORE
  • Plato (BCE 427 - 347): Topic Page
    Greek philosopher. Plato's teachings have been among the most influential in the history of Western civilization. MORE
  • Plato
    From Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece: Plato is generally regarded as the father of philosophy. In the middle of the twentieth century two major philosophers, Alfred Whitehead and Bertrand Russell, testified to his abiding influence. MORE
  • Socrates (469-399 BCE): Topic Page
    Greek philosopher of Athens, famous for his view of philosophy as a pursuit proper and necessary to all intelligent men. MORE
  • Aristotle (BCE 384 - 322): Topic Page
    Greek philosopher, b. Stagira. He is sometimes called the Stagirite. MORE
  • Neoplatonism: Topic Page
    Ancient mystical philosophy based on the doctrines of Plato: Plotinus and the Nature of Neoplatonism. Considered the last of the great pagan philosophies, it was developed by Plotinus (3d cent. A.D.). MORE
  • Platonism
    From A Dictionary of Philosophy, Macmillan: As the philosophy deriving directly or indirectly from the work of Plato, Platonism can be seen as a commentary on complexities in Plato's own thought (see also Plato). MORE
  • Greek Dialogue
    From Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy: Dialogos, derived from dialegesthai, “to converse.” Greek literature is characterized by dialogue from its beginning. MORE

Topical Essays

  • Plato and Homer
    From The Homer Encyclopedia: The “exile” of Homer from the polis Socrates founded in the Republic has tarnished the reputation of Plato and given rise to many complaints. If anything, it has enhanced the reputation of Homer. MORE
  • Plato (427–347 BCE)
    From The Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics: Plato was born, studied, taught and died in Athens. His dialogues, apparently recording historical conversations between SOCRATES and various fellow citizens of the city, range widely, from the distinction between MIND and matter (echoed later by DESCARTES), to the strange theory of heavenly ideas, or FORMS, one of which exists for every CONCEPT we have. MORE
  • Plato (429-347 B.C.)
    From Encyclopedia of Philosophers on Religion: At the time of Plato’s birth into an aristocratic Athenian family, Greek life was dominated by a plethora of religious beliefs, rites, festivals, oracles, and temples. MORE
  • Plato (c. 420-340 BC)
    From The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography: Greek mathematician and philosopher who founded an influential school of learning in which the basic precept was not so much one of practical experimentation, as of striving to find mathematical and intellectual harmony. MORE
  • Commentaries on Plato
    From The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy: A term designating the works in the tradition of commentary (hypomnema) on Plato that may go back to the Old Academy (Crantor is attested by Proclus to have been the first to have “commented” on the Timaeus). MORE
  • Aesthetics, Classical
    From Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy: The ancients never developed an autonomous branch of philosophy devoted to the experience of beauty as a distinct faculty or attitude of mind. MORE
  • Classical Theories of Mind
    From Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy: Anaxagoras (500-428 B.C.E.) was the first philosopher to make mind (nous) an important explanatory principle. As the universal principle that set the other elements into motion, nous was itself a material element. MORE

What's a Topic Page?

Topic Pages are a scholarly version of the articles that you find on Wikipedia. The difference is that Topic Pages only include information that's scholarly, citable and verified so you don't have to spend time determining if it is appropriate for use in your academic paper. Literati has nearly 10,000 topic pages so the odds are that you can find one that addresses your topic. Explore the topics on this LibGuide page or use this Literati search box to find others:

Influential Works

  • Plato's Republic
    From The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature: A philosophical dialogue by the Greek philosopher Plato. Socrates discusses with his friends the nature of justice, and the conversation leads to an outline of the ideal state. MORE

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