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Philosophy Study Guide: Introductory Works, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias

Contents of this section

The purpose of the section "Study Guides to Western Philosophy" is to give both the beginner and the more experienced reader a brief guide to the introductory literature on general philosophy, Bibliography of Philosophy and Manuals of Style, history of philosophy, metaphysics, ontology, Philosophical Logic and Philosophy of Logic.

In its initial form the pages will contain a selection of introductory readings, with brief annotations on the content (for the most important books, also the index will be included); subsequently these will be expanded to include more specific essays on selected problems; in the sections for beginners, preference will be given to those books more readily available.

With the exception of the section " Philosophical Bibliographies" only works in English will be cited (for the studies in French, Italian and German, separated pages are in preparation).

Introductory Works

If you want a first introduction to philosophy you will find useful:

  1. Craig, Edward. 2002. Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Contents: List of illustrations IX; 1. Philosophy 1; 2. What should I do? 11; 3. How do we know? 24; 4. What am I? 35; 5. Some themes 45 6. Of 'isms' 6; 7. Some more high spots 74; 8. What's in it for whom? 100; Bibliography 119; Index 127.

    "We may be standing in the water, but why try to swim? In other words, what is philosophy for? There is far too much philosophy, composed under far too wide a range of conditions, for there to be a general answer to that question. But it can certainly be said that a great deal of philosophy has been intended as (understanding the words very broadly) a means to salvation, though what we are to understand by salvation, and salvation from what, has varied as widely as the philosophies themselves. A Buddhist will tell you that the purpose of philosophy is the relief of human suffering and the attainment of 'enlightenment'; a Hindu will say something similar, if in slightly different terminology; both will speak of escape from a supposed cycle of death and rebirth in which one's moral deserts determine one's future forms. An Epicurean (if you can find one nowadays) will pooh-pooh all the stuff about rebirth, but offer you a recipe for maximizing pleasure and minimizing suffering in this your one and only life.


    The reader will notice that I haven't made any attempt to define philosophy, but have just implied that it is an extremely broad term covering a very wide range of intellectual activities. Some think that nothing is to be gained from trying to define it. I can sympathize with that thought, since most attempts strike me as much too restrictive, and therefore harmful rather than helpful in so far as they have any effect at all. But I will at least have a shot at saying what philosophy is; whether what I have to offer counts as a definition or not is something about which we needn't, indeed positively shouldn't, bother too much." (pp. 4-5).

  2. Margolis, Joseph. 2006. Introduction to Philosophical Problems. London: Continuum.

    Second edition with a new Preface (First edition with the title Knowledge and Existence: An Introduction to Philosophical Problems, New York: Oxford University Press, 1973).

    Contents: Preface (2006) IX; Preface to the First Edition XIII-XX; I. Knowledge and Belief 1; II. Perception and Sensation 33; III. Doubt and Certainty 66; IV. Existence and Reality 84; V. Identity and Individuation 110; VI. Actions and Events 137; VII. Language and Truth 169; VIII. Mind and Body 203; IX. Facts and Values 240; Epilogue 262-288.

    "Finally, I must say again that I have been very forcefully impressed, in preparing this account, with the way in which an unfolding problem simply drives one to explore topics that had not initially seemed so sensitively linked with one's opening concern. I have, in fact, deliberately tried to convey a clear sense of this developing linkage. I begin with an analysis of knowledge, that forces us at once to anticipate the need to admit a public world, our principal access to it, the nature of creatures capable of knowledge, and their primary way of expressing what they know. Hence, it seemed fair to proceed from a general account of knowledge (contrasted with belief) to perception (contrasted with other forms of sentience) to the boundaries of doubt and certainty regarding what we may know. In the interests of an enlarging coherence, I found myself obliged to distinguish between what is linguistically expressed and what we may convey by way of linguistic models without supposing an ability to use language (as in speaking of animal beliefs and expectations) or an actual use of language (as when beliefs are implied by one's actions); to distinguish between determining what is true (against the backdrop of a public world) and determining that there is a public world (given which, questions of truth and falsity arise); and to coordinate our analysis of perception (our principal access to the external world) with the admission of such a world, as by the use of the critical term 'exists'.

    Hence, the first three chapters afford a provisional sense of closure respecting knowledge - on the condition, that is, that the essential features of the world of which, presumably, we have knowledge would be disclosed. Accordingly, the fourth and fifth chapters explore the difference between what we can talk about and what, within that range, we say exists. There, we are forced to notice a threatening gap between what we admit exists (in accord with our principal means of access to the external world) and what we judge to be the nature of whatever there is in the world (the vexed question of the nature of metaphysics); and, since whatever there is is identical with itself, we are obliged to sort out the large variety of senses in which the verb 'to be' is used (including, now, the 'is' of existence and the 'is' of reference) in order to facilitate whatever we may say about whatever exists (distinguishing, say, the 'is' of identity, of spatiotemporal continuity, of present time, of composition, and of predication).

    These distinctions raise further problems, oblige us for instance to decide whether we can refer to what does not exist and why it is that we cannot always say the same thing, under given linguistic circumstances, of what is self-identical. Here, we come to see the respect in which questions of identity, particularly where discontinuity and decomposition obtain, are resolved in informal ways and the sense in which the very meaning of identity is made difficult to explicate.

    Also, recognizing that the enterprise of pursuing knowledge is essentially the activity of men, chiefly by means of language, the next three chapters provide a natural sequel. There, we are drawn to examine the general nature of actions (contrasted with physical events), the nature of language (with emphasis on meaning and truth), and the nature of persons and creatures that have minds (contrasted with physical bodies)." (from the Preface to the First Edition).

  3. Honer, Stanley M., Hunt, Thomas C., and Okholm, Dennis L. 2005. Invitation to Philosophy. Issues and Options. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

    Tenth Edition (First edition: 1973).

    Contents: Preface; Prologue; 1. What is Philosophy?; 2. Philosophical Thinking; 3. Perception and Truth; 4. Epistemology: How We Know; 5. Metaphysics: What is Real?; 6. Freedom and Determinism; 7.Philosophy and Religion; 8.Philosophy and Ethics; 9.Philosophy and Esthetics; 10.Philosophy and Human Nature; 11.Philosophy in Politics; Epilogue; Appendix: Writing Philosophy Papers; Glossary; Index.

    "Honer (philosophy emeritus, Mt. San Antonio College) and his co- authors provide an introduction to the basic questions of philosophy for undergraduates and lay readers. The authors have substantially updated several chapters, including their case studies, and have also added significantly to their glossary. General topics include definitions of "philosophy" and philosophical thinking. Other topics include perception and truth, epistemology, metaphysics, freedom and determinism, and philosophy's relationships with religion, ethics, aesthetics, human nature, and politics. Chapters include study and discussion questions, and online and print resources."

  4. Creel, Richard E. 2001. Thinking Philosophically. An Introduction to Critical Reflection and Rational Dialogue. Malden: Blackwell.

    " Thinking Philosophically consists primarily of the lectures I used to give in my Introduction to Philosophy course - though now they are considerably expanded and polished. By putting into written form a great deal of obligatory, foundational material that I used to deliver by lecture, I have freed in-class time to engage students in discussions of that material and to introduce them to primary sources by way of short handouts that we read, interpret, and discuss in class. I frequently present students with opposed primary source handouts on the topic of the day - for example, Aristotle versus Schopenhauer on happiness, Gorgias versus Hegel on human knowledge, Clifford versus James on the ethics of belief, Bertrand Russell versus Carl Jung on religious experience, Socrates versus Thomas Hobbes on conscience. Sometimes a single handout includes opposed ideas, such as Plato's treatment of The Ring of Gyges or the short debate between Socrates and Thrasymachus on justice. On other occasions a single handout from one point of view can be provocative and illuminating, such as Plato's Allegory of the Cave, with which I always begin my Intro course, and to which I then refer at relevant points as the course goes along. The short dialogues of Plato and some of Descartes' Meditations also work well as in-class supplements to Thinking Philosophically." (From the Preface).

  5. Shand, John, ed. 2003. Fundamentals of Philosophy. New York: Routledge.

    Contents: List of contributors IX; Preface XI; Introduction 1; 1. Alan Goldman: Epistemology 11; 2. Michael Jubien; Metaphysics 36; 3. Greg Restall: Logic 64; 4. Piers Benn: Ethics 94; 5. Suzanne Stern-Gillet: Ancient philosophy: from Thales to Aristotle 122; 6. Dermot Moran: Medieval philosophy: from Augustine to Nicholas of Cusa 155; 7. Richard Franks: Modern philosophy: the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 204; 8. Stephen Burwood: Philosophy of mind 234; 9. Alexander Miller: Philosophy of language 262; 10. Alexander Bird: Philosophy of science; 11: Dudley Knowles: Political philosophy 326; 12. Colin Lyas: Aesthetics 351; 13: W. Jay Wood: Philosophy of religion 377; 14. Simon Glendinning: Continental philosophy 408; Index: 443.

    "This book is an accessible stimulating gateway to the central areas of philosophy. The chapters are carefully arranged to begin with what are usually regarded as the core areas of the subject and then extend out to other important subjects of less generality, not, one should emphasise, of less importance. The prime purpose of the chapters is not to give comprehensive coverage of each subject, but rather to open the door on the subject for the reader and encourage thought about all the ideas within. Someone once said to me that studying philosophy had 'opened doors'; if this book does that, it will have succeeded." (from the Introduction).

  6. Rescher, Nicholas. 2001. Philosophical Reasoning. A Study in the Methodology of Philosophizing. Malden: Blackwell.

    "This is a study in the methodology of philosophical inquiry. It is, accordingly, a venture in metaphilosophy, that rather neglected and nevertheless perhaps most controversial of philosophical disciplines. The aim of the book is to expound and defend the thesis that systematization is the proper instrument of philosophical inquiry and that the effective pursuit of philosophy's mission calls for constructing a doctrinal system that answers our questions in a coherent and comprehensive way. Both of these factors - comprehensiveness and coherence - are indispensable with the adequacy of our philosophizing, since the discipline is concerned with the big picture that emerges from the harmonious coordination of the essential details. Accordingly, philosophy does not reject or other wise conflict with the cognitive materials obtained on other fronts - science and everyday-life experience. Rather, it exploits and coordinates them. Its coherentist methodology requires it to accomplish its question resolving work with a maximum utilization of, and a minimum disruption to, the materials that our other cognitive resources provide.

    Philosophy is caught up in something of a dilemma. On the one hand, its admission as a legitimate and appropriate venture in rational inquiry requires its looking to "the big picture" and striving to counteract the fragmentation that accompanies the specialization that pervades other cognitive domains. On the other hand, it does not and cannot avert division of labor. It remains committed to the quest for unity and coherence in our understanding of the nature of things. But this task is unquestionably difficult in a world where our knowledge is exploding in scope and in complexity, and this has profound implications for how we can pursue philosophy. In the end, however, the fact remains that with this difficult task, as elsewhere, we must and should endeavor to do the best we can." (pp. 1-2).

  7. Daly, Chris. 2010. An Introduction to Philosophical Methods. Buffalo: Broadview Press.

    Contents: Preface; Introduction; 1. Common sense; 2. Analysis; 3. Thought experiment; 4. Simplicity; 5. Explanation; 6. Science; Conclusion; References; Index.

    ""Contemporary analytic philosophers are becoming more and more explicit about methodological issues, from the relevance of intuitions and thought experiments to talk about inference to the best philosophical explanation and the 'cost and benefits' of accepting their philosophical views. This is the first book to survey the discussion of these methods. Daly has separate chapters on common sense, analysis, thought experiments, simplicity, explanations and naturalism. While aimed at upper level undergraduates, this book can be profitably studied by graduate students and researchers in philosophy who will learn about their own perhaps unconscious methodological preferences. Case studies illustrating each method also serve as an overview of the latest trends in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, and early analytic philosophy." Bernard Linsky, University of Alberta.

  8. Grayling, Anthony C., ed. 1995. Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Reprinted 1999.

    Contents: List of Contributors VIII; Editor's Introduction 1; 1. Epistemology by Scott Sturgeon, M. G. F. Martin, A. C. Grayling 7; 2. Philosophical logic by Mark Sainsbury 61; 3. Methodology the elements of the philosophy of science by David Papineau 123; 4. Metaphysics by Tim Crane and David Wiggins 181; 5. The philosophy of mind by Martin Davies 250; 6. Ancient Greek philosophy I: The Pre-Socratics and Plato by Christopher Janaway 336; 7. Ancient Greek philosophy II: Aristotle by Hugh Lawson-Tancred 398. 8. Modern philosophy I: The rationalists and Kant by Roger Scruton 440; 9. Modern philosophy II: The empiricists by A. C. Grayling 484; 10. Ethics by Bernard Williams 525; 11. Aesthetics by Sebastian Gardner 583; Index 629.

    "Each of the chapters that follow is devoted to a major area of philosophical endeavour. They are their own introductions to the questions they discuss, and therefore need little supplementary introduction here. But a preliminary note about what each chapter contains will help with orientation, as follows.

    Chapter 1: Epistemology. Epistemology - sometimes called 'theory of knowledge' - concerns the nature and sources of knowledge. The questions asked by epistemologists are, What is knowledge? How do we get it? Are all our means of seeking it equally good? To answer these questions we need to define knowledge if we can, examine the means we employ in seeking it, and confront sceptical challenges to our claims to have it. Each of the three parts of Chapter 1 takes up one of these tasks. The first considers the problem of giving an adequate definition. The second examines one major means to knowledge - sensory perception - and the third surveys sceptical arguments and efforts to counter them.

    Chapter 2: Philosophical Logic. Philosophical logic is in many respects the workshop of philosophy, where a set of related and highly important concepts come in for scrutiny, among them reference, truth, existence, identity, necessity, and quantification. These concepts are fundamental not just to philosophical inquiry but to thought in general. This chapter examines these concepts by focusing upon the question of reference. The first two sections look at what seem to be the most obvious examples of referring devices, names and descriptions. The third concerns a problem about existence; the fourth examines identity statements and the fifth considers the question whether, when true, such statements are 'necessarily' true. The final section examines some views about truth.

    Chapter 3: Methodology. Epistemological discussions of the kind pursued in Chapter 1 concern the concept of knowledge in general. A more particular application of it concerns science, one of the major fields of knowledge acquiring endeavour. Philosophical investigation into the assumptions, claims, concepts, and methods of science raises questions of great philosophical importance. The elementary part of this inquiry, here called Methodology, focuses largely on questions about the concepts and methods used in and its problems; the concept of laws of nature; realism, instrumentalism, and under- determination of theory by evidence; confirmation and probability; and the concept of explanation.

    Chapter 4: Metaphysics. All the foregoing branches of philosophy share certain problems about what ultimately exists in the universe. These problems are the province of Metaphysics. Its primary questions are, What is where, and what is its nature? These questions immediately prompt others, so many indeed - and so important - that some of them have now come to constitute branches of philosophy in their own right, for example, philosophy of mind and philosophical theology. In addressing questions about the nature of reality, the metaphysician has to examine concepts of time, free will, appearance and reality, causality, universals, substance, and a number of others besides. Here four of these topics are considered: causation, time, universals, and substance. Note that questions about causality also come up in the chapters on Methodology and Mind, and the discussion of substance connects with the discussion of Aristotle in the chapter on Greek philosophy (see below) - thus exemplifying the interconnectedness of philosophical inquiry.

    Chapter 5: The Philosophy of Mind. Questions about the nature of mind were once usually included in metaphysics, but their great importance has led to so much debate, and to such significant use of materials from the neighbouring fields of psychology and brain physiology, that the philosophy of mind is now treated separately. Chief among the points requiring discussion are the relation of mind and brain, the nature of phenomena have casual powers or are merely in some sense by-products of brain activity. The sections in this chapter take up each point in turn.

    Chapter 6-9: The History of Philosophy. Because the problems of philosophy are ancient and persistent, studying the history of philosophy is an important part of a philosophical education. It is not simply, or even very largely, that this study is interesting for its own sake - although it certainly is - but rather, it is that the outstanding philosophers of the past made contributions to philosophy which we must grasp in the interests of our current work. To study the history of philosophy is to study philosophy, for almost all the great questions were formulated and explored by our predecessors. Two main periods of the history of Western thought are discussed in this volume: Greek philosophy from about 600 BC until 322 BC (the date of Aristotle's death), and Modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries AD). The Greeks initiated all of philosophy's major fields, and identified their basic questions. Two of them, Plato and Aristotle, are especially important. They and their forerunners, known as the Pre-Socratics, are the subject of Chapters 6 and 7. The philosophers of the Modern period who have done so much to shape philosophical discussion since their day are Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant (discussed in Chapter 8) and Locke, Berkeley, and Hume (discussed in Chapter 9). They are grouped in this way because the first three are usually described as 'Rationalists' and the last three 'Empiricists' (Kant occupies a position apart), some important differences between rationalism and empiricism being at stake. But perhaps the best order in which to read them, and to read about them, is: Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant.

    Chapter 10: Ethics. The supreme importance of critical reflection on the values by which we live is unquestionable. Our values are the basis of our judgements about others, and of our decisions about how to act and live. Ethics is the study of theories about moral values, and of the concepts we use in identifying and asserting them. An important distinction is required here: a theory which prescribes how we should live is called a 'first-order' or 'normative' morality. Reflective enquiry into the assumptions, concepts, and claims of such first-order moralities is often called 'metaethics'. Both are of crucial interest in the study of ethics, as this chapter shows. It discusses theories of ethics, examines some of the most important ethical concepts, and investigates aspects of 'moral psychology'.

    Chapter 11: Aesthetics. Aesthetics in contemporary philosophy concentrates upon discussion of the experience of appreciating artistic and natural beauty, and investigates whether there is an underlying unity in the nature of such experience. In this chapter the three sections successively examine aesthetic experience and judgement. fundamental concepts of the philosophy of art, and theories about the nature of art." (from the Editor's Introduction).

  9. ———, ed. 1998. Philosophy 2: Further through the Subject. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Contents: Notes on the Contributors VII; Editor's Introduction 1; 1. The philosophy of psychology by Ned Block 4; 2. The philosophy of language by Christopher Peacocke 72; 3. The philosophy of mathematics by Michael Dummett 122; 4. Philosophy and natural sciences by John Worrall 197; 5. The philosophy of religion by M. W. F. Stone 267; 6. Political philosophy by Alan Ryan 351; 7. The philosophy of social sciences by David-Hillel Ruben 420; 8. Later ancient philosophy by David Mitchell 470; 9. Medieval philosophy by Christopher Hughes 517; 10. Kant by Sebastian Gardner 574; 11. Continental philosophy from Hegel by Michael Rosen 663; 12. Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein by A. C. Grayling and Bernhard Weiss 705; 13. Indian philosophy by Paul Williams 793; Index 849.

    "The subjects introduced in this volume are various, and each of the chapters is independent of the others. The only unifying theme throughout is the approach: each chapter assumes that its readers have some grounding in the basics of philosophy, and (without attempting to be exhaustive: the Bibliographies point the way to further study) offers an account of some of the key questions in the field under discussion. No area of philosophy is entirely free of connections to and overlaps with other areas, however, so it will be found that debate in one chapter throws light on debate in others in a variety of ways - as to which, more below.

    Six chapters have as their titles 'The Philosophy of.....'. In its more advanced regions philosophy often consists in reflection on the assumptions, methods, and claims of an important area of intellectual endeavour. The 'philosophy of' chapters focus on crucial subjects: science mathematics, social science in general and psychology in particular, language, and religion.

    Two chapters extend the study of Philosophy's history into periods often neglected in undergraduate study, the 'post-Aristotelian' period of later ancient philosophy, and medieval philosophy. Each is rich in intrinsic interest, and in importance for developments in later philosophy.

    The high importance of political philosophy demands that it have a chapter to itself, which it gets here.

    I have already mentioned the chapters that respectively survey Indian philosophy and Continental philosophy; as with the others in this volume, they are intended to be prefaces to the further study invited by their Bibliographies, but this is a point worth iterating in their case because of their range.

    The remaining two chapters discuss the work of individuals. One is devoted to a single individual, Immanuel Kant; the other introduces themes in the thought of three of the principal founders of twentieth-century analytic philosophy: Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Kant chapter surveys the work of a seminal modern thinker whose views have been influential in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics across several traditions of philosophical debate. The chapter on Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein introduces a number of the most central questions of contemporary philosophy." (from the Editor's Introduction).

  10. Cahn, Steven M. 2002. Philosophy for the 21st Century. A Comprehensive Reader. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "Introductory anthologies typically reflect the philosophical viewpoints of one or more senior scholars, each of whom makes editorial decisions in a variety of fields. This collection draws on the judgments of a new generation of scholars, each of whom has chosen the selections and provided introductions in one area of expertise: David Sosa (epistemology), L. A. Paul (philosophy of science), Delia Graff (metaphysics). Jesse J. Prinz (philosophy of mind), Robin Jeshion (philosophy of language), Stuart Rachels (ethics), Cynthia A. Stark (political philosophy), and Gabriela Sakamoto (philosophy of art). While the choice of associate editors, the structure of the book, and the contents of the first section are the responsibility of the editor, the rest of the work has been done by the associate editors. These philosophers are in the vanguard of 21 st-century philosophy, and the choices they have made reflect their views of the most important materials that should be mastered by 21st-century students.

    Those who wish to learn more about a particular philosopher or a specific philosophical issue are urged to consult the Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge, 1999), ed. Edward Craig. It contains detailed entries with Bibliographies on every significant topic in the field.

    Shorter entries, but informative and reliable, are to be found in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford and New York, 1994). ed. Simon Blackburn and The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Second Edition (Cambridge and New York. 1999), ed. Robert Audi." (from the Preface).

  11. Cottingham, John, ed. 2008. Western Philosophy. An Anthology. Malden: Blackwell.

    Second edition (First edition 1996).

    "There are many ways into Philosophy, and no good reason why one particular branch of the subject should always form the chosen route. One of the objects of this book is to provide, within the compass of a single volume, a set of key introductory materials for the widest possible range of courses, covering all the main branches of the subject (or at least all those suitable for teaching at a basic undergraduate level). Fundamental issues in epistemology are dealt with in Part I ('Knowledge and Certainty'). Part II ('Being and Reality') is concerned with general metaphysics and ontology, while the philosophy of mind is covered in Part III ('Mind and Body'). The important issues of personal identity and the freedom of the will receive separate treatment in Part IV ('The Self and Freedom'). The philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science are dealt with in Pan V ('God and Religion') and Part VI ('Science and Method') respectively. The next two parts deal with moral philosophy: Part VII ('Morality and the Good Life') tackles theoretical and systematic issues in normative ethics, while Pan VIII ('Problems in Ethics') covers a selection of key issues in applied moral philosophy. Finally, Pan IX ('Authority and the State') and Pan X ('Beauty and Art') deal respectively with political philosophy and aesthetics.

    Although the first two parts of the volume are devoted to epistemology and metaphysics, traditionally considered as having a 'foundational' role in philosophy, the issues raised here are among the most demanding in the book, and there is no compelling reason why any given introductory course should have to begin with them. Each pan of the volume is intended to be self-contained, and students and teachers are invited to work on the various parts of the book in any order they see fit, or indeed to concentrate on any particular part or parts in isolation. That said, given the nature of philosophy there is inevitably a fair amount of overlap between the topics raised in various parts; where this happens footnotes are provided to draw attention to connections with relevant texts or commentary in other parts of the volume." (from the Preface, XIV-XV).

  12. Perry, John R., Bratman, Michael E., and Fischer, John Martin. 2010. Introduction to Philosophy. Classical and Contemporary Readings. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Fifth edition (First edition 1986).

    "In this anthology we have collected a variety of readings for use in a course or sequence of counts designed to introduce students to philosophy. We have based the selection on two courses we have taught numerous times at Stanford University: "God, Self, and World" and "Value and Obligation." The first is an introduction to metaphysics and epistemology, the second to ethics. These are one-quarter courses, usually taught in sequence, with a fair number of students taking both.

    These courses are built around classic texts supplemented by shorter selections from the past and present. We have included in this anthology not only texts that we have found successful but also others that a survey of colleagues at Stanford and other institutions have identified as suitable. Thus, the total number of selections is larger than can be reasonably covered in even a two-quarter sequence, and instructors will want to pick those that fit their approach. We have included some footnotes from the original selections but have eliminated others. In some cases footnotes were eliminated because they could not be understood in the context of the selection; in other cases this was done simply to save space. The remaining footnotes have been renumbered." (from the Preface to the First edition).

  13. Solomon, Robert C. 2009. Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Ninth edition (First edition 1989).

    "This book derives from thirty years of teaching in very different schools in various cities and states. It is based on the belief that philosophy is a genuinely exciting subject, accessible not only to specialists and a few gifted undergraduate majors but to everyone. Everyone is a philosopher, whether enrolled in a philosophy course or not. Most of us are concerned with the same basic problems and use the same essential arguments. The difference is that someone who has studied philosophy has the advantage of having encountered stronger and more varied arguments than might have been available otherwise. In this book, the views of the major philosophers of the past twenty-five hundred years are used to give students these various arguments.

    This approach offers introductory students direct contact with substantial readings from significant works in the history of philosophy, but removes the unreasonable demand that they confront these often difficult works in full and without commentary or editing, as they would in the originals or in most anthologies. This book is not, however, a historical introduction but rather an introduction to the problems of philosophy and the various ways in which they have been answered. The history of philosophy thus serves to illuminate these problems and replies, not the other way around." (from the Preface).


  1. Audi, Robert, ed. 1999. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Second expanded edition; the first edition was published in 1995.

    "In the first half of this century, the major philosophical dictionary published in English was James Mark Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, a multi-author work published by Peter Smith of Gloucester, Massachusetts; it appeared in 1901 in two volumes (followed by a Bibliography in 1905) and was reprinted with revisions in 1925. In the second half of the century, dictionaries of philosophy in English have been much smaller than Baldwin's and either written by a single author or, occasionally, prepared by a group of writers rarely much larger than a dozen working within the confines of a small space. Few of the entries in these books are longer than 500 words; the most typical have been sketches of 150 words or less. This dictionary by contrast, is the work of an international team that includes 381 carefully selected contributors representing the major subfields of philosophy and many philosophical traditions. It contains substantial treatments of major philosophers, many of these entries running to several thousand words. It has hundreds of entries, often of 500 to 1,000 words, on other significant thinkers, and thousands of brief definitions of philosophically important terms. In addition, it provides detailed overviews, some more than 6,000 words, of the subfields of philosophy, such as epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. It supplies numerous cross-references to help readers in comprehending philosophical ideas, in understanding the terminology of the discipline, and in appreciating philosophers themselves. There are hundreds of entries on important terms and thinkers from non-Western philosophy, for instance from the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean traditions. The dictionary also covers a number of philosophically significant thinkers and terms from fields closely related to philosophy, including computer science, economics, law, linguistics, literature, mathematics, psychology and other behavioral sciences, and religion. The Appendix defines logical symbols and identifies other special symbols used in philosophy." (from the Preface to the Firs Edition, XXVII-XXVIII).

    "The widespread positive reception of the First Edition has been gratifying, and a number of translations are proceeding, into Chinese, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish at this writing. The field of philosophy has expanded, however, and even apart from that I have become aware of several respects in which the Dictionary can better serve its readers. The result is a multitude of expansions in standing entries and the addition of some four hundred new entries. This extended coverage required sixty new authors, nearly half of them from outside North America.

    The new entries range across the entire field of philosophy. We have made a special effort to increase our coverage of Continental philosophy and of subfields where growth is exceptionally rapid, such as ethics, philosophy of mind, and political philosophy. We have also added numerous cross-references. The cross-references are an element in the volume that many readers have said they found not only valuable in enhancing their initial understanding of an entry, but also welcome as a source of intriguing connections and as an invitation to browse.

    In addition to citations of many living philosophers in the Index of Names, there is now selective coverage of a number of living philosophers in separate entries. With very few exceptions, this (quite small) group includes only thinkers in their mid-sixties or older. This constraint on inclusion is in part dictated by the difficulty of providing an adequate portrait of philosophers still actively advancing their positions, and it has required omitting a number of distinguished younger philosophers still making major changes in their views. Even with much older thinkers we do presuppose that there will be no significant developments, but only a greater likelihood of discerning a rounded position that is unlikely to be abandoned.

    In the difficult -- and in a sense impossible -- task of determining entries on living thinkers, advice was sought from both the Board and many other sources. We were also guided in part by the extent to which contributors to the First Edition relied on references to certain living thinkers. Given the Dictionary's overall purposes and its wide audience, which includes many readers outside philosophy, selection was weighted toward writers whom many non-philosophers may want to look up, and some weight was also given to considerations of diversity. In keeping with the overall purposes of the volume and the diversity of its readers, we have also decided not to undertake the large task of covering either living contributors to highly specialized subfields -- such as logic or computer theory or much of philosophy of science -- or philosophers whose main contributions are to the history philosophy. There are, however, many important philosophers in these fields.

    A number are cited in the Index, which also lists many of the thinkers who are mentioned by one or more contributors but are not subjects of separate entries." (from the Preface to the Second Edition, XXXIII).

  2. Honderich, Ted, ed. 2005. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. New Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Second edition (First edition 1993).

    "The brave, large aim of this book is to bring philosophy together between two covers better than ever before. That is not a job for one man, or one woman, or a few, or a team, although it is tried often enough. So 249 of us have joined forces. The philosophy brought together includes, first of all, the work of the great philosophers. As that term is commonly used, there are perhaps twenty of them. By anyone's reckoning, this pantheon of philosophy includes Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, the blessed Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. These, together with others who stand a bit less solidly in the pantheon, are the subjects of long essays in this book. Philosophy as this book conceives it, secondly, includes all of its history in the English language, a history mainly of British and American thinkers. In this history there are many figures not so monumental as Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Among them, if they are not admitted to the pantheon, are John Stuart Mill, Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, and, if an Austrian can be counted in this particular history, Ludwig Wittgenstein. They also include Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Reid, William James, and F. H. Bradley. Thirdly, if the book cannot include all of the histories of philosophy in other languages than English, it does attend to them. It attends to more than the great leaders of the philosophies in these languages. Thus Descartes is joined by such of his countrymen and countrywomen as Simone de Beauvoir, Henri Bergson, and Auguste Comte. Kant and Hegel are joined by J. G. Fichte, Jurgen Habermas, and Karl Jaspers. There are also general entries on each of the national philosophies, from Australian to Croat to Japanese to Russian. A fourth part of the book, not an insignificant one, consists in about 150 entries on contemporary philosophers, the largest groups being American and British. It would have been an omission to leave out contemporaries, and faint-hearted. Philosophy thrives. Its past must not be allowed to exclude its present. It is true, too, that one of these contemporaries may one day stand in the pantheon. What has now been said of four subject-matters within philosophy as the book conceives it can be said differently. These subject-matters can be regarded less in terms of individual thinkers and more in terms of ideas, arguments, theories, doctrines, world-views, schools, movements, and traditions. This contributes to another characterization of the book, more complete and at least as enlightening, perhaps more enlightening. In particular, it brings out more of the great extent to which the book is about contemporary philosophy rather than the subject's history. There are perhaps a dozen established parts of philosophy: epistemology, metaphysics, moral philosophy, political philosophy, philosophical logic, logic, the philosophy of mind, aesthetics, and so on. In the case of each of these, the book contains a long essay on its history and another on its problems as they now are, by contributors not at all new to them. In the case of each of these established parts of philosophy, more light is shed by very many additional entries -- for a start, by the aforementioned entries on the great philosophers, on their lesser companions in English-language history and other-language histories, and on contemporaries now carrying on the struggle. In the case of each of the established parts of philosophy, there are also very many subordinate entries not about individual philosophers." (from the Preface to the First edition).

    "In one way there is little need for an entry in this book to contain cross-references to other entries. This is so since the reader can safely assume that almost every philosophical term which is used for an idea or doctrine or whatever also has an entry to itself. The same is true of almost every philosopher who is mentioned. That is not all. Entries can be counted on for very many subjects which fall under such common terms as 'beauty', 'causation', 'democracy', 'guilt', 'knowledge', 'mind', and 'time'-all such subjects which get philosophical attention.

    Still, it seems a good idea to provide occasional reminders of the general possibility of having more lights shed on something by turning elsewhere. And there is often a good reason for prompting or directing a reader to look elsewhere, a reason of which a reader may be unaware.

    So occasionally a term in an entry is preceded by an asterisk, indicating that it is the heading or the first word of the heading of another entry. For the same reason an asterisked term or terms may appear on a line at the end of an entry. In some cases the latter references are to related or opposed ideas or the like. In order not to have the book littered with asterisks, they have very rarely been put on the names of philosophers. But it is always a good idea to turn to the entries on the mentioned philosophers.

    The cross-references are more intended for the browsing reader than the reader at work. For the reader at work, there is an Index and List of Entries at the back of the book. The Index and List of Entries usually gives references to more related entries than are given by cross-references in and at the end of an entry. It is also possible to look up all the entries on, say, aesthetics or American philosophy or applied ethics.

    The book is alphabetized by the whole headings of entries, as distinct from the first word of a heading. Hence, for example, abandonment comes before a priori and a posteriori. It is wise to look elsewhere if something seems to be missing." ( On Using the Book).

    At the end of the book there is also a useful appendix on Logical Symbols as well as the appendices A Chronological Table of Philosophy and Maps of Philosophy."

  3. Bunnin, Nicholas, and Yu, Jiyuan, eds. 2004. The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell.

    "Although the Dictionary covers a wide historical range and explores many subject areas, it focuses on terms and individuals at the center of current philosophical discussion. Many readers will consult the Dictionary for help in understanding individual terms and the contributions of individual philosophers, but others will explore a given philosophical issue or area by reading a range of related entries. A philosopher browsing through the text will learn much about the history and structure of Western philosophy and its sources of creative dispute. We hope that the Dictionary will be an invitation to further thought and that it will not be taken as the last word on any topic.

    Entries for philosophical terms are intended to provide clear and challenging expositions that give access to major philosophical issues. Queries and objections are often included to capture the perplexity arising from philosophical questions and to encourage readers to be active and critical in their response to the Dictionary as a whole.

    Many entries give the derivations from Greek, Latin, French, or German. Entries for terms state the areas of philosophy in which the terms have their main use, provide cross-references to entries on philosophers and other terms, and conclude with illustrative quotations from a classical or modern source. The reference section at the end of the book gives details of the works cited in these quotations. Biographical entries discuss the philosophical contributions and list at least some of the major works of their subjects." (from the Preface).

  4. Blackburn, Simon, ed. 2008. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Second revised edition (First edition 1994).

    "It is now eleven years since the first edition of this Dictionary was published, and time moves on. When I was writing the original edition there were few comparable works to help the job of compilation and selection. In the intervening years, a great many have appeared, some of admirable weight and authority. Now, as well, the resources of the web are everywhere, and bring both a blessing and a curse: the blessing of instant access to information which, only little more than a decade ago, required ferreting out of patchy libraries and archives, but the corresponding curse of overload. A good curator, it is said, knows what to destroy, but it is hard for a dictionary writer to opt out of the arms race of adding the obscure and the marginal, the exotic and the antiquarian, when there is so little cost to doing so. My own criteria remain roughly as they did for the first edition, although I have allowed myself a fair amount of expansion where I became persuaded that the original was a little too sparse. But I have tried to keep the likely needs of the user in mind, and at least some of those needs are better met with reasonable brevity than massive prolixity. The historian Macaulay says of some unfortunate that the great weight of his learning had quite extinguished his slender faculties, but as before I have been more concerned to light up the faculties than to add to the learning. And, as before, this is my excuse for refracting so much through my own interests and judgments, rather than packaging the entries of others." (from the Preface to the Second Edition).

  5. Ayer, Alfred Julius, and O'Grady, Jane, eds. 1992. A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations. Malden: Blackwell.

    "A. J. Ayer's suggestion that he should compile a dictionary of philosophical quotations was one of those ideas the excellence of which is attested by puzzlement that it has never been thought of before. In this case, however, there is some reason why, if it had been previously conceived, the idea had not been put into practice. The sort of thing readers expect from a book of quotations is a set of aphoristic utterances which trigger an immediate response of pleasure, agreement, amusement or awe, and which seem 'deep' without requiring to be sounded. But, though incidentally full of stylishness and wit, philosophical thought is not essentially aphoristic, and cannot easily be boiled down into resonant sayings. It consists mainly in intricate, often lengthy, argument, which usually invokes or assumes understanding of the philosophical positions it opposes.

    The compiler of philosophical quotations is therefore in a difficult position. To reproduce too many long closely argued passages runs the risk of boring the reader; to produce only the conclusions to such arguments would be baffling and frustrating; and it is often misleading, distorting, or impossible to convey an argument in small chunks or in passages full of ellipses. Or where this can be done, there is the danger of imposing a certain homogeneousness of quotability, and of replacing ponderousness with pithiness at the cost of losing philosophers' distinctiveness and style. Merely to reproduce their peripheral witticisms would not do justice to them either.

    I have used a combination of these various risk-involving methods of quotation, trying to avoid the pitfalls of each. Where possible, in order to supply the necessary presupposed background to the arguments, I have selected quotations which effectively cross-refer to, and complement, one another (Reid attempting to refute Hume, Condillac appreciatively criticizing Locke). This also, 1 hope, conveys a sense of philosophy as shared and cumulative dispute, rather than just the solitary musing it is often taken to be, and of how philosophers constantly both build on and demolish one another. For readers unused to philosophy there is a Glossary, in which I have aimed not merely to define the philosophical terms used in the book, but, given the limited space, to set them in the context of the disputes in which they feature, and thus make clear their significance." (from the Introduction).

General Encyclopedias

  1. Edwards, Paul, ed. 1967. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York: Macmillan.

    Eight volumes, plus a supplement edited by D. M. Borchert in 1996. This edition is now superseded by the new edition published in 2005, but some articles are still of valuable interest.

    "The last and, in fact, the only previous major philosophical reference work in the English language, J. M. Baldwin's Dictionary of Psychology and Philosophy, appeared in 1901. While it was in many ways an admirable work (it numbered among its contributors men of such caliber as Charles Peirce and C. E. Moore), the scope of Baldwin's Dictionary was quite limited. The great majority of articles were exceedingly brief, providing concise definitions of technical terms sometimes accompanied by additional information of a historical nature. Since then, especially in the light of the revolutionary developments in philosophy and related fields, the need for a truly encyclopedic presentation of philosophical theories and concepts has become increasingly acute. The present encyclopedia is intended to fill this need. It has been our aim to cover the whole of philosophy as well as many of the points of contact between philosophy and other disciplines. The Encyclopedia treats Eastern and Western philosophy; it deals with ancient, medieval, and modern philosophy; and it discusses the theories of mathematicians, physicists, biologists, sociologists, psychologists, moral reformers, and religious thinkers where these have had an impact on philosophy. The Encyclopedia contains nearly 1,500 articles of ample length which can be of value to the specialist, while most of them are sufficiently explicit to be read with pleasure and profit by the intelligent nonspecialist. Some of the longer articles, such as those dealing with the history of the various fields of philosophical investigation or the work of the most influential philosophers, are in effect small books, and even the shorter articles are usually long enough to allow a reasonably comprehensive treatment of the subject under discussion. We believe that there is no philosophical concept or theory of any importance that is not identified and discussed in the Encyclopedia, although not every concept or theory has a separate article devoted to it. In apportioning the space at our disposal, we were guided by the thought that the majority of readers would derive more benefit from, a smaller number of long and integrated articles than from a multitude of shorter entries. Throughout we have aimed at presentations which are authoritative, clear, comprehensive, and interesting." (from the Introduction).

  2. Borchert, Donald M., ed. 2006. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Second Edition. New York: Thomson Gale.

    "Our strategy of building the Second Edition on the foundation of the First Edition and the Supplement requires a few additional comments.

    Carefully and judiciously our editorial team selected those entries from the First Edition and the Supplement that were so well done that they merited retention. To virtually all of these entries we added bibliographical updates and to many of them we added substantive addenda. We prized these entries because, appearing together with the new entries, they enabled the reader to view high quality philosophizing over the course of almost a half century thereby adding a measure of historical gravitas to our project.

    Notwithstanding our respect for the First Edition and the Supplement, we added 450 entries on new topics, and nearly 300 completely fresh and newly authored treatments of important topics that were originally covered within the First Edition or Supplement. The presence of all of this new material is a clear indication of the vigorous and innovative philosophical activity that has occurred within the discipline since the Encyclopedia made its debut almost four decades ago. Entirely new subfields have appeared such as feminist philosophy, the philosophy of sex and love, and applied ethics. New

    important topics in virtually every subfield have been explored ranging from artificial intelligence to animal rights. New scholars, whose distinctive contributions to the discipline needed description in substantive personal entries, have appeared on the philosophical landscape.

    Among such individuals are Karl-Otto Apel, Mohammed Arkoun, Nancy Cartwright, Daniel Dennett, Fred Dretske, Ronald Dworkin, John Earman, Hassan Hanafi, Virginia Held, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, John McDowell, Ruth Millikan, Richard Montague, Thomas Nagel, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Martha Nussbaum, Derek Parfit, Hilary Putnam, Peter Singer, Gregory Vlastos, Richard Wollheim, and many, many more.

    We also added updates to 90 articles, with those updates provided by their original authors. Additionally, 150 scholarly updates to existing articles have been included by means of "addenda," with each addendum compiled by an author other than the original writer, thus allowing for a fresh perspective that augments discussion of the topic at hand. Approximately 430 of the almost 1,200 classic First Edition or Supplement articles that appear in the Second Edition have been strengthened further by the inclusion of new bibliographic citations. Classic articles from the First Edition and Supplement are

    clearly identifiable via specific dates in the author bylines that follow each article. Author bylines followed by "(1967)" indicate that the article originally appeared in the First Edition, while bylines followed by "(1996)" indicate first publication within the Supplement. The designation "(2005)" denotes first publication within the Second Edition.

    We have modified and expanded the philosophical inclusiveness of the First Edition in several ways. Both the analytic and continental philosophical traditions are well represented in the new topics and new personal entries, as well as in the style of presentation offered by our authors.

    In addition, enhanced cultural diversity is evident in the major space we have provided for topics relating to Buddhist philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Islamic philosophy, and Indian philosophy. Because of space limitations a number of First Edition entries devoted to national philosophies (such as American, British, and German) were not retained. The major figures from those countries and their contributions to philosophy have, however, been included in the Second Edition via personal and topical entries. Importantly, we have retained and expanded the entries on Japanese philosophy, Latin

    American philosophy, and Russian philosophy, and have added entries on African philosophy and Korean philosophy.

    To preserve and enhance the detailed record of philosophical Bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and journals contained in the First Edition entries devoted exclusively to these topics, we moved these articles to the last volume of the Second Edition and increased substantially the space that had been allocated to them in the First Edition. The very large number of new philosophical Bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and journals that have been published in a multitude of languages during the last half century testifies not only to the vitality of philosophy but also to the increasing cultural diversity on its landscape." (from the Preface to the Second Edition, pp. XII-XIII).

  3. Craig, Edward, ed. 1998. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London, New York: Routledge.

    "Planning of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy began against the background of a single constraint: the project was to be completable, with available means, within a reasonable time-span. The grounds for this were partly economic, but only partly. Since there was no other reason to offer a successor to the justly famous Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards for Macmillan and The Free Press, other than the fact that it had become in a number of respects out of date, it would have made little sense to replace it by a project of such proportions as to go out of date itself during the period of production. We allowed ourselves a maximum of eight years, later reduced to seven-and-a-half, from appointment of the General Editor to publication. This of course suggested advisable constraints on size. It was the firm intention that within these limits our Encyclopedia should be as inclusive as possible.

    The first thing to be included was full and detailed coverage of philosophy as understood by the Anglo-American academic mainstream. One commercial and one intellectual consideration made this mandatory. First, any project of this size must aim to satisfy its principal market; and second, so much of what belongs to the English-speaking philosophical mainstream belongs to it by well-established right - no encyclopedia of philosophy worthy of the name could possibly fail to cover it extensively. But here the inclusivist policy got off to a good start, for by the 1990s the mainstream itself had become a much broader river than it had been twenty or thirty years before, when a narrowly focused jet might have been a more appropriate image. It was also far less clear where the banks were, and we were glad not to have to concern ourselves with that question. In the 1960s philosophy felt fairly sure of its business and its boundaries; in the 1990s it does not have the same confidence (though it does not lack individual confident voices), and a clear mark of this is a greater tendency to look around, historically and geographically, to see what the others are doing. An editorial policy that was unwilling to reflect the growing pluralism would be widely held to have imposed far too much of itself on the material.

    The clearest beneficiary of this policy has been what is increasingly called 'world' philosophy. Chinese, Japanese and Korean, Indian and Tibetan, Jewish, Arabic and Islamic, Russian, Latin American and African philosophy have between them 400 entries. We believe that the user of the Encyclopedia can gain a thorough grounding in the philosophy of any of these regions. Someone seeking a firm foothold in Buddhist philosophy will find themselves as well served as those looking for philosophical logic. Readers with an interest in Western metaphysics are invited to pursue their interests to India. Back in Europe, but equally suspect to many mainstreamers: the devotee of later twentieth-century French thought will find their interests well catered for. In all these cases, we believe, we have provided more topics, more detail, and more bibliographical information than any previous general encyclopedia of philosophy.

    It is one thing to be inclusive, another to ensure proper treatment for everything one includes. Our strategy was that Subject Editors should provide a perspective on their own area that practitioners within it could at least recognize, and preferably identify with, and therefore that they should have the space, the words and the number of entries to do so. A number of these areas are ones to which the Anglo-American mainstream has assigned little importance. We wanted to minimize the effect of this on the coverage of the outlying areas: the periphery was not to be kept peripheral by being presented as it appears from the centre. By far the main influence on the shaping of each area was to be someone for whom that area was the centre of their academic life. This was one of our reasons for adopting the more complex editorial structure, with a layer of specialist Subject Editors taking decisions about headwords, word-counts and commissioning, though keeping in touch with a General Editor while doing so, rather than having a Chief Editor acting with the help of specialist advisers. Another reason, of course, was the thought that one makes better use of the available expertise by bringing it to bear directly, than by applying it via a less expert intermediary." (from the General Editor's Preface, VI).

  4. ———, ed. 1999. Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London, New York: Routledge.

    An abridged edition in one volume.

    "The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a complete introduction to world philosophy. Its 2,000 plus entries range from the Presocratics, Ancient Egypt and early Chinese philosophy up to the present day, and across the world to include the philosophies of the West, the Arab world, India, East Asia, Latin America and Africa. Subject matter is broad ranging, from aesthetics to mathematics, from philosophy of religion to philosophy of science. Entries fall into three broad types. First, lengthy entries provide introductions to major disciplines within philosophy (epistemology, ethics, metaphysics and so on) and major time periods and regions (ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, Indian and Tibetan philosophy and so on), defining the concepts, movements and topics and summing up the major positions and debates within each. Shorter entries, ranging from a few dozen words to several hundred, then describe more specific concepts in greater detail. Finally, biographical entries provide information on the life, work and thought of hundreds of the world's philosophers, from household names like Plato and Confucius to others who, almost forgotten, none the less made important contributions." (from the Introduction).

  5. ———, ed. 2005. The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London, New York: Routledge.

    " The Shorter REP has emerged out of our experience with Concise REP, the first one-volume distillation of the original ten-volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy published in 1998. Concise REP appearing in 2000, was composed of the initial. introductory or summary sections of each of the 2.054 entries contained in the parent work, which it therefore matched everywhere for breadth, but hardly anywhere for depth. By virtue of its sheer range Concise REP fulfilled a need, but we have heard from users and reviewers who would evidently have preferred more depth -- and would have been willing, we must presume, to sacrifice some breadth to get it. Thinking about this valuable feedback quickly led to a different conception of a single-volume reduction of the encyclopedia that now embodied in Shorter REP. By excising much of the more recondite material we have made it possible for a considerable number of entries on the more central and sought-after topics to be included in their entirety, even though in some cases that meant as much as 15,000 words or more.

    The Shorter REP accordingly contains just 957 entries, but of these 119 are republished here in their full original length. and marked out by hold typeface in the headwords at the top of the page. The reader will find substantial essays on all the major figures of the Western philosophical trait likewise on all major topics and those we judged to be of most help to a student readership. Further, we have reprinted in full all the 'Signpost' entries. in which members of the original team of specialist subject editors surveyed in brief, usually in about 2.000 words, their specialist field. There are twenty-four of these. instantly recognisable from their light-grey background: taken together they offer the reader a highly informative outline sketch of pretty much the whole of philosophy. Latin American. African. Jewish, Arabic, Russian, Indian and East-Asian thought all included. The Shorter REP is unashamedly 'Western' in its emphasis. being designed to suit the needs of undergraduate philosophy students and the courses they are most likely to encounter. But so far as the stringencies of a single volume allow it retains the spirit of inclusivity and comprehensiveness that was such a feature of its ten-volume ancestor. Nowhere is the 'Signpost' the only entry allotted to its area -- in every case there are at least two others.

    The inclusion of so many complete entries has had another welcome effect, that of allowing us to do a little more justice to at least some of the encyclopedia's most eminent authors: Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, Dagfinn Follesdal, Tim Scanlon. Philip Kitcher, Timothy Williamson, Onora O'Neill, Gary Gutting, Anthony Appiah, Frank Jackson, Michael Friedman, Dan Garber, Malcolm Budd, Terry Irwin and the list runs on, though I have to stop, apologetically. somewhere. Entries by all these and many others appear in their original shape, unabridged.

    The Shorter REP is not just a selective rearrangement of the old material. Admittedly hardly anything has been rewritten specifically for The Shorter REP, just two very short entries in fact. but it nevertheless contains a good deal that is new when compared with the original 1998 publication. Any slight suggestion of paradox is easily dispelled: since October 2000 the Routledge Encyclopedia has been available on the Internet as REP Online, in which form it has seen additions (at present towards 100 new entries) and a number (now approaching thirty) of updates and revisions, concentrating on entries near the top of our list of user-statistics. Some of the revised entries embody only minor changes. perhaps the retention of a recent book or article, others differ much more from their first versions, as for Wittgenstein (by Jane Heal), which as well as various smaller adjustments now has a whole new section on recent interpretative controversy about Wittgenstein's Tractatus. In one absolutely central case, of obvious prime interest to students, we have a completely rewritten replacement entry: this is David Hume. by Don Garrett. All this new material in REP Online was available to us as we made our selections for The Shorter REP and a good deal of it is now to be found here." (from the Introduction, VII).

  6. Parkinson, George Henry Radcliffe, ed. 1988. An Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge.

    American edition titled: The Handbook of Western Philosophy, New York, Macmillan, 1989.

    "This encyclopaedia of philosophy is intended for a very wide audience. It is intended for the general reader, who wants to know what philosophy is; for the sixth-former, who may have experienced for the first time the fascination of the problems of philosophy and who may be thinking about studying the subject at a university; and for university students of philosophy who want a general map of the various regions of philosophy that picks out the important features and relates them to each other. Finally, although this encyclopaedia is not a reference work for the specialist, it is hoped that it may be of some use to teachers of philosophy, who may find it helpful from time to time to see how their own special area of interest is related to other areas.

    An encyclopaedia, by its nature, should aim at being comprehensive; but comprehensiveness has to be weighed against two other factors-size (which also means expense) and intelligibility. A one-volume encyclopaedia, such as this is, could achieve a fair measure of comprehensiveness, but the material that it contained would have to be compressed. Such an encyclopaedia would be useful only to someone who already has some knowledge of the subject, or who wants to pick up bits of information-the exact title of a book, perhaps, or a date. The present encyclopaedia, however, is meant to give its readers some understanding of philosophy, and this means that limits have had to be placed on its scope. It has been decided that it should be an encyclopaedia of contemporary philosophical thought, an account of die current state of philosophical thinking. This does not mean that the history of the subject will be neglected. It is my belief that current philosophical problems have their roots in the past, and can best be understood by tracing them back to those roots. But there will be no discussion of issues that belong wholly to the past.

    There is another restriction on the scope of this encyclopaedia. One of the most striking features of recent Western philosophical thought is the existence within it of two broad traditions, which arc commonly called the continental and the Anglo-Saxon traditions. The continental tradition is by no means confined to the continent of Europe, but has ninny adherents in America; it descends from a method of inquiry known as phenomenology, expounded in the first instance by Brentano and Husserl, and developed by (among others) Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. More recently, some continental philosophers have found inspiration in 'structuralist' methods of inquiry drawn from linguistics; others have moved on from structuralism, though in what direction is not wholly clear. The Anglo-Saxon tradition goes back to the British empiricists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries-to Locke. Berkeley and Hume-but it is not restricted to philosophers of the English-speaking world; it has also taken root in continental Europe, particularly in West Germany and in the Scandinavian countries. Now, there is nothing new in the coexistence of different philosophical traditions; what is new and disturbing is the fact that, in the main, the attitude of these two traditions towards one another is one of mutual incomprehension. Attempts have been made,and are being made, to end this state of affairs, but it cannot be said that they have had much success. Most of the contributors to this book are firmly within the Anglo-Saxon tradition, and it seemed to me that an attempt to deal adequately with the continental tradition would add considerably to the length and difficulty of the encyclopaedia. I have therefore decided, with regret, to omit those parts of the continental tradition that have made little or no impact on the Anglo-Saxon tradition. For similar reasons, no attempt will be made to give an account of oriental philosophy." (from the Preface, IX-X).

  7. Bunnin, Nicholas, and Tsui-James, E.P., eds. 2003. The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell.

    Second edition (First edition 1996).

    "This Companion complements the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series by presenting a new overview of philosophy prepared by thirty-five leading British and American philosophers. Introductory essays by John Searle and Bernard Williams, which assess the changes that have shaped the subject in recent decades, are followed by chapters exploring central problems and debates in the principal subdisciplines of philosophy and in specialized fields, chapters concerning the work of great historical figures and chapters discussing newly developing fields within philosophy. Throughout

    the course of its chapters, the Companion examines the views of many of the most widely influential figures of contemporary philosophy.

    Although wide-ranging, the Companion is not exhaustive, and emphasis is placed on developments in Anglo-American philosophy in the latter part of the twentieth century. A premise underlying the Companion is that major participants in philosophical debate can provide accounts of their own fields that are stimulating, accessible, stylish and authoritative.

    In its primary use, the Companion is an innovative textbook for introductory courses in philosophy. Teachers can use the broad coverage to select chapters in a flexible way to support a variety of courses based on contemporary problems or the historical development of the subject. Specialist chapters can be used selectively to augment standard introductory topics or to prepare students individually for term papers or essays. Chapters include initial summaries, boxed features, cross-references, suggestions for further reading, references and discussion questions. In addition, terms are marked for a common glossary. These features and the problem-setting nature of the discussions encourage students to see the subject as a whole and to gain confidence that explorations within philosophy can lead to unexpected and rewarding insights. In this aspect, the Companion reflects the contributors' experience of small group teaching, in which arguments and perspectives are rigorously tested and in which no solution is imposed.

    In its secondary use, the Companion will accompany students throughout their undergraduate careers and will also serve the general reader wishing to understand the central concepts and debates within philosophy or its constituent disciplines.

    Students are unlikely to read the whole volume in their first year of study, but those continuing with philosophy will find their appreciation of the work deepening over time as they gain insight into the topics of the more advanced chapters. The Companion will help them to formulate questions and to see connections between what they have already studied and new terrain.

    In its final use, the Companion bears a special relationship to the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series. Many readers will wish to read the integrated discussions of the chapters of the present Companion for orientation before turning to the detailed, alphabetically arranged articles of the volumes in the Companion series. Although conceived as a separate volume, the Companion to Philosophy will serve as a useful guide to the other excellent Companions in what amounts to a comprehensive encyclopedia of philosophy.

    The general reader might begin with the introductory essays and turn to chapters on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics and Political and Social Philosophy, or to historical chapters from Ancient Greek Philosophy to Hume. Cross-references and special interests will lead readers to other chapters." (from the Preface to the First Edition).

    "We thank readers for their gratifying response to the first edition of the Companion.

    The second edition provides new chapters on Philosophy of Biology; Bioethics, Genetics and Medical Ethics; Environmental Ethics; Business Ethics; Ethnicity, Culture and Philosophy; Plato and Aristotle; Francis Bacon; Nietzsche; Husserl and Heidegger; and Sartre, Foucault and Derrida. There are significant revisions or extensions to chapters on Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Political and Social Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy and Feminism, and Hobbes. The discussion of Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz is now divided between two chapters, and in a new section Malebranche is considered along with Descartes in the first of these.

    A longer chapter on Medieval Philosophy replaces the chapter by C. F. J. Martin, who was unavailable to extend his work. We welcome our new contributors and hope that readers will continue to be challenged and delighted by the Companion as a whole." (Preface to the Second edition).