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Gould Library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

Political Philosophy

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Where Do Books Fit In?

Turn to reference and scholarly books when you start to:

  1. get an overview of a topic,
  2. establish the history of an author's work over time,
  3. locate critical sources and authors to investigate,
  4. define terms and identify all the synonyms.

As you move through your research, books help you:

  1. to clarify concepts,
  2. understand methodology.

It can be easy to get lost in narrow research articles and overwhelmed on the internet.  Don't overlook scholarly and reference books.

Call Numbers

Find more books by browsing in these call numbers of the reference room:

  • B790-5802 - Philosophy - Modern
  • JA71-80 - Political Science, General - Theory
  • JC- Political Science - Theory
  • PN80-99 - Literature - Criticism

(This list is partial; a complete list of Library of Congress call numbers is here.)

Search Reference

Both Credo and Reference Universe let you search across our reference collection.

Background on Philosophers

Many of these books feature biographies, bibliographies, historical context, scholarly and personal relations with other theorists, timelines, and more.  This list is just to get you started. You can find more books like these in the rest of the library: search Catalyst for the theorist, film, topic, etc.

Political Philosophy

These reference books have entries on the concepts you are encountering in this class and the critical scholars contributing to political philosophy.  You will also find bibliographies to help further your research.