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The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) Hardcover – 10 Mar 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1100 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (10 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199264791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199264797
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 5.1 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Magisterial and unrivalled... the new edition remains the definitive reference guide to the world of philosophy. (Library Journal)

A reference work of both great value and pleasurable reading. (Booklist)

Philosophy students in search of a crisp (or comparatively crisp) summary are certainly spoilt for choice. Lively. (Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Times)

that rarest of things: a philosophical work that is genuinely entertaining ... by far the best - and best value - philosophical reference book on the market.' (Observer)

About the Author

Ted Honderich is Emeritus Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London. He was born in Canada and educated in Toronto and London. His major work is A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes, published by the Clarendon Press in 1988 and subsequently issued in two paperback volumes. He addresses the same subject for a more general readership in How Free are You? (1993). He is also known for his writings on political philosophy, and for the widely successful philosophy readers which he has edited.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By "ttammatt" on 26 Jan 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am studying philosophy at University and cannot recommend this book more highly. It is an extraordinarily erudite and lucid exploration of ideas. One of the great successes of the book I believe is that it provides first a brief historic overview and outline of the intellectual contribution of the thinker/or school of thought and then discusses some of the more detailed ideas in relative depth and relates and compares them to both contemporary opinions and more recent developments in analytic philosophy (at least this is what happens in the more extensive entries). Therefore it is equally useful as both a quick reference guide and as a tool for finding out about more specific and detailed dare I say technical components of ideas. One of the great highpoints of the book is the treatment of the philosophy of science; the topic is very clearly explained without the excessive and misleading jargon that dominantes so many books that attempt to explore this subject. Oxford University have, however, thankfully not just restricted themselves to Plato, Kant, Russel and Wittgenstein... they also have covered a huge selection of thinkers from almost every conceivable culture. A number of extracts are dedicated to the exploration of even obscure African and Asian thinkers. I was recently delighted to find that the 19th century philosopher and poet Solovyov is included, having encountered one of his poems by chance I was pleasantly surprised that my faithful Oxford companion could provide a point of reference yet again! At the back of the edition there is also a series of maps of philosophy that explore how different facets of the subject inter-relate to one another. These maps are very useful for people new to the subject. I would recommend this over the Cambridge Dictionnary to philosophy which I also own, although find much less extensive and informative. In conclusion: A great buy!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. James G. Boakes on 2 Aug 2007
Format: Hardcover
Speaking as a layperson I found this book gave an extremely wide coverage of recent, & past, philosophy. The varied entries are easy enough for an intelligent layperson to understand, yet they had the depth that would be useful for undergrad philosophy students.

As well as covering the greats, and different branches of philosophy, there was good coverage of contemporary philosophers - something lacking other encyclopaedias/Dictionaries. Also, an eye-opener, was the coverage of some [possibly] curious problems [e.g. death] which, again, are not found in many other works of reference.

In contrast to another recent popular tome [the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy] this book is definitely NOT dry and boring. This is important, as it combats the image of the philosopher as a dull academic with nothing of interest to say about life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Featherstone on 29 Dec 2005
Format: Hardcover
At once detailed and insightful, this book truly is the best out there as a reference guide for Philosophy. One of its many strengths lies in the recognition that Philosophy is a broad encompassing field of study, and this is made clear by the many contributors from different Academic Institutions and contexts. One complaint might be the disproportionate time and space devoted to some subjects, with others receiving not much more than a passing reference. However, the subjects at the two ends of this spectrum are usually there for good reasons. Its very nature makes sure that there a no real common bias slants, even if the examinations of each topic occasionally stray beyond just description.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Blackburn on 15 Sep 2010
Format: Hardcover
This volume sits somewhere in-between an introduction to philosophy and a more comprehensive dictionary of philosophy such as Audi's Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Its not as hard going as the latter, whilst providing an often in depth look into many philosophical topics, if not all. Really good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Thomas on 5 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
My Philosophy days at the University of Sydney in 1965 were fascinating but have faded! With this solid gem from OUP I can quickly dip into the column on Epiphenomenalism or settle back to read the fourteen columns on Metaphysics - all without one tap of a computer key. It's proving to be a priceless reminder of what's slipped my sexagenarian memory and an excellent way of catching up on the last four decades in a fascinating field of human thought. An excellent Prince Consort for the Queen of the Sciences!
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