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The Oxford Companion to Philosophy 2/e (Oxford Companions) Hardcover – 10 Mar 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,054 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.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are studying philosophy then this is one book that you will NOT regret buying. Throughout my four years at university on an analytical philosophy course, this was the book that I would go to the most, for a BROAD understanding of what a certain topic was about. It would be ridiculous to expect one book to cover the whole of philosophy in perfect detail, and this book should not be expected to do that, HOWEVER it does a damn good job of it. It's a huge book and in my opinion it's written and structured in an easy to read format. I went through the whole of my university course and only once or twice couldn't find something obscure I was looking for.

If you're serious about philosophy and want a book you can keep for a very long time that you can dip into now and again, then this is the book to get. I thought it was so good, I've even bought it as a present for one of my student-friends.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought the kindle edition as present for my husband who is always reading the book version. Sadly the kindle version not fit for purpose. You cannot jump to the subject headings so waste a huge amount of time just trying to get to the right page. E.g searching for heading "progress" returned 143 results on 48 pages, it does not put the main reference first so would have to navjgate page by page to find the link to the section headed progress. This is not progress compared with using the paper version of same book !
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition
Unfortunately the Kindle edition of this book has a serious flaw. The main part of the book does not have even A-Z entries in order to aid searching. Looking for an entry on rationality was a nightmare. The search yielded loads of hits where the word was used. to find the main entry I had to take stabs in the dark as to how far through the book I needed to be. Sad really as the content was good but let down by basic usability problems.
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