This Study Guide has been prepared by members of the University of Bristol Department of Philosophy to help undergraduate and postgraduate students studying for degrees at Bristol. It is inspired by the University of London Philosophy Study Guide, and we are very grateful for the inspiration provided by that volume. The Guide aims to help students to find their way around the subject, to identify topics that may be of interest to them, and to assist them with finding reading material on those topics. We envisage that it will be particularly useful to students who are preparing to write ?Finals Essays? in their third year of study, but it should prove of benefit to all. It is not meant to be the final word on any of the topics dealt with, is necessarily incomplete, and, to some extent, refects the strengths and biases of the Bristol Department. We are always open to suggestions for revision and updating.
Many students go through their career at Bristol without a good sense of where to get hold of the necessary reading matter for their course: this is, needless to say, fatal!
Your first port of call for books and ?papers? (which is a term academics often use for articles in journals) is the main Arts and Social Sciences Library in Tyndalls Avenue. Most philosophy books and journals are on the second floor, but you will find some elsewhere (philosophy of mind books are often in the psychology section on the first floor; political philosophy will often be found with politics, also on the first floor). You will also find political philosophy in the Law Library in the Wills Memorial Building. The Department of Philosophy also has its own small library in the basement of 9 Woodland Road (check noticeboards for opening times). You may also find that the public library on College Green is of use to you.
The main university bookshop is Waterstones on Tyndalls Avenue (next to the Computing Service and the Arts and Social Sciences Library). Waterstones also have branches in the Galleries (Broadmead), on College Green and at Cribbs Causeway. There is also a philosophy section at Blackwells on Park Street. Smaller bookshops include the Book Cupboard on Gloucester Road in Horfield.
Waterstones university branch have a smallish selection of second-hand philosophy books. There are often bargains to be found at the Amnesty International bookshop on Gloucester Road. Further up Gloucester Road you will find Bishopston Books. Wellington Books in Clifton Village
Internet shoppers can obtain books very quickly from www.amazon.co.uk. A good source of second-hard books on the internet is www.abebooks.com. The internet is also a good source of primary texts, many of which are available in a variety of formats. The University of Bristol Library web page has a link via which you can access electronic versions of many journals stored in paper form elsewhere in the library (including the Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy and Public Affairs and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research), though the very latest issues are usually unavailable.
Plagiarism is one of the cardinal sins of scholarship. It was not always so, and you will find many great philosophers of the past who closely paraphrase their predecessors or contemporaries without the least acknowledgement. If you do so, however, your essay will fail, you may fail the course and the University may take disciplinary action against you. So don?t! Many students don?t really understand what is permitted or what is not, so here are some guidelines:
Michael Smith, The Moral Problem (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994), p. 68.
Étienne Balibar, 'Man and Citizen: Who's Who'?, Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 2, no. 2 (1994), p. 99.
John E. Roemer, 'The Possibility of Market Socialism', in D. Copp, J. Hampton and J. E. Roemer (eds) The Idea of Democracy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 347.
Subsequent references to the same work could be abbreviated as
Or if that turned out to be ambiguous
The Moral Problem, p. 69.
Often a work will be referred to so often that some kind of standard abbreviation should be devised, e.g. Rousseau's Social Contract.