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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Articulate and deeply informative, 26 Jan 2006
This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A good resource for both layperson & academic, 2 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!, 29 Dec 2005
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Mr. J. Featherstone "jonthegreat72" (Tonbridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference work., 15 Sep 2010
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T. Blackburn (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A sexagenarian's sourcebook!, 5 Feb 2010
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David Thomas (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Reference, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (Hardcover)
I am doing an MA and looking to move further as well so is useful as while philosophy is not a key part of my research there are often references and allusions to it in reading or lectures and this keeps me up to date. Fomer library book no problme with this as I got it less than half price!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars General Philosophy, 25 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (Hardcover)
"The Oxford Companion to philosophy" is a great reference book in general philosophy, this revised new edition is so rich and fruitful for any research in all the philosophical topics: first empiricism and philosophy of language, and also metaphysics, morals, politics, philosophy of sciences and epistemology...
A true helpful companion to study and to write in philosophy, and it is also pleasant to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. Raymond L. Hall "TareeDawg" (Taree, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) (Hardcover)
Packed full of the essential directions one needs to explore Philosophy in more detail, this book is a treasure. A *must have* imho and a treasure for life.
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The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions)
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford Companions) by Ted Honderich (Hardcover - 10 Mar 2005)
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