Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is a free online encyclopedia of philosophy run and maintained by Stanford University. The SEP was initially developed with U.S. public funding from the NEH and NSF. A long term fundraising plan that will preserve open access to the Encyclopedia is being supported by many university libraries and library consortia. These institutions are contributing under a plan devised by the SEP in collaboration with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) and the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET), with matching funding from the NEH. Each entry is written and maintained by an expert in the field, including professors from over 65 academic institutions worldwide. Apart from its online status, the encyclopedia maintains the traditional academic approach, used in most encyclopedias and academic journals, achieving quality by means of:

  • the use of specialist authors;
  • selected by an editor or an editorial committee which is competent (though not necessarily a specialist) in the field covered by the encyclopedia; and
  • the use of peer review.

The Encyclopedia was created in 1995 by Edward N. Zalta, with the explicit aim of providing a dynamic encyclopedia which was updated regularly, and so did not become dated in the manner of print encyclopedias. The charter for the encyclopedia allows for rival articles on a single topic to allow irreconcilable conflicts amongst scholars to be reflected in a scholarly manner.

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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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