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Encyclopedias and subject specific encyclopedias are an excellent way to get an overview of a topic with key events, persons and timelines.

Philosophy Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Searchable through the database Oxford Art Online which includes four other reference works related to art. You can just search this database by unclicking the others of the front page. (UM access only)

Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics (UM access only)

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The comprehensive reference resource covering the philosophical canon and philosophy from all continents and all periods. Identical to the 1998 print edition; does not include updates made to the subscription version, REP Online. Print version available in Hatcher Graduate Library Reference and Shapiro Undergraduate Library Reference (call number: B 51 .R681 1998). (UM access only)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. SEP began publication in 1995. Designed from its inception in 1995 as a "dynamic reference work," "each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field." A number of UM faculty have contributed articles.

Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy : Philosophy between 500 and 1500. Henrik Lagerlund, editor. Springer, 2011. (UM authentication)

Encyclopedia of Philosophy.(2nd edition, Macmillan) The classic comprehensive English-language reference source for Western philosophy, updated and expanded to cover all philosophy worldwide.
Online only. Print version of earlier 1967 edition and its 1996 supplement available in Hatcher Graduate Library Reference (call number: B 51 .E56 1972). (UM access only)

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. James Fieser, is general editor, and Bradley Dowden, his assistant. IEP is currently missing articles on important philosophers and philosophical topics, but looking to fill in the gaps in the future.

Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 3rd edition. Stephen Post, Editor. This edition is a complete revision of the Dartmouth Medal-winning set first published in 1995. Covering a wealth of topics on the ethics of health professions, animal research, population control and the environment, the set helps researchers to consider the impact of new scientific knowledge and its potential to harm or benefit present and future generations.

Handbook of Risk Theory: Epistemology, Decision Theory, Ethics, and Social Implications of Risk, by Sabine Roeser, Rafaela Hellerbrand, Per Sandin and Martin Peterson. Springer, 2012.

World Philosophers and Their Works, edited by John K. Roth, Pasadena, CA.: Salem Press, 2000.
Available in print at GL Reference

Cognitive Science

Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, edited by Marc D. Binder, Nobutaka Hirokawa, and Uwe Windhorst. 

Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science (a volume in Handbook of the Philosophy of Science) edited by Paul Thagard. The Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science contains 16 essays by leading philosophers of science that illuminate the nature of the theories and explanations used in the investigation of minds.

Topics discussed include representation, mechanisms, reduction, perception, consciousness, language, emotions, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology.

Political Theory : Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia of Political Theory, edited by Mark Bevir. Sage Reference, 2010.