Philosophy Summaries

Alexander Dietz, a graduate student at the University of Southern California, has been working on a project called Philosophy Summaries. It features “hierarchical summaries” of philosophy texts with an interface that allows you to drill down into the summaries of each section. Here’s how he describes it:

Philosophy books are usually divided into chapters, which are divided into sections. As I read a book, I write a brief summary of what each section is arguing or doing, then use these to summarize each chapter and then the whole book. On the website, these are hierarchically organized – you can “expand” or “zoom into” a book to see its chapters, and so on. That way you can quickly get or recall the general gist of a book, then drill down to find particular parts that might be of interest.

For an example, here’s his entry on Sidgwick’s The Methods of Ethics

Others are welcome to submit their own summaries on the site, and critical feedback on the summaries is welcome. You can follow Philosophy Summaries on Facebook to receive updates about new entries.

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