Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is a freely-accessible online encyclopedia of philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 maintained by Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

. Each entry is written and maintained by an expert in the field, including professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

s from over 65 academic institution
Academic institution
Academic institution is an educational institution dedicated to education and research, which grants academic degrees. See also academy and university.- Types of academic institutions include :...

s worldwide. Authors contributing to the Encyclopedia give Stanford University the permission to publish the articles but retain the copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 to those articles. As of January 20, 2011, the SEP has 1260 published entries. Apart from its online status, the encyclopedia uses the traditional academic approach of most encyclopedias and academic journal
Academic journal
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...

s to achieve quality by means of:
  • specialist authors selected by an editor
    Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information through the processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete...

     or an editorial committee which is competent (though not necessarily a specialist) in the field covered by the encyclopedia; and
  • peer review
    Peer review
    Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...


The encyclopedia was created in 1995 by Edward N. Zalta
Edward N. Zalta
Edward N. Zalta is a Senior research scholar at the Center for the Study of Language and Information. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in 1980. Zalta has taught courses at Stanford University, Rice University, the University of Salzburg, and the...

, with the explicit aim of providing a dynamic encyclopedia which is updated regularly, and so does not become dated in the manner of print encyclopedias. The charter for the encyclopedia allows for rival articles on a single topic to reflect reasoned disagreements amongst scholars. The SEP was initially developed with U.S. public funding from the NEH
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the United States established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is located at...

 and NSF
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

. A long-term fundraising plan to preserve open access to the Encyclopedia is supported by many university libraries and library consortia. These institutions contribute under a plan devised by the SEP in collaboration with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition is an international alliance of academic and research libraries developed by the Association of Research Libraries in 1998 which promotes open access to scholarship. They currently have over 800 institutions in North America, Europe, Japan,...

 (SPARC), the International Coalition of Library Consortia
International Coalition of Library Consortia
The International Coalition of Library Consortia is an informal, self-organized group of primarily higher-education library consortia from around the world for the discussion of issues of common interest among the consortia members....

 (ICOLC) and the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET), with matching funding from the NEH.

See also

  • Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a free online encyclopedia on philosophical topics and philosophers founded by James Fieser in 1995. The current general editors are James Fieser and Bradley Dowden...

  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an encyclopedia of philosophy edited by Edward Craig that was first published by Routledge in 1998 . Originally published in both 10 volumes of print and as a CD-ROM, in 2002 it was made available online on a subscription basis...

  • List of online encyclopedias

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.