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The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy Paperback – November 22, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0631219088 ISBN-10: 0631219080 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (November 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631219080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631219088
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.4 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The editors concede that this is not so much a companion to philosophy as to late 20th-century Anglo-American analytic philosophy. People outside that tradition will find the initial essays by John Searle and Bernard Williams bumptious. The book does contain a brief but intelligent essay on Continental philosophy by David E. Cooper and an essay on feminist philosophy by Jean Grimshaw, which gives many recent French feminists their due (though it ignores Helene Cixous). Kant, Hegel, and Marx get brief look-ins, and the ancient philosophers and the medievals get a chapter each. The early moderns-from Descartes and Hobbes to Hume-get 80 pages. This leaves 600 pages for the Anglo-American philosophers, from the pragmatists onward, of which 480 are devoted to recent analytic philosophers and their backgrounds. These essays, mostly by well-established authors, are of very high quality. A.C. Grayling on epistemology and Simon Blackburn on metaphysics are especially enlightening. Mary Tiles on the philosophy of mathematics is not only clear on a difficult subject but breaks through the philosophical parochialism of some of the other discussions. Leon Pompa's essay on the philosophy of history is an unusually good introduction to the subject. Highly recommended for academic libraries.
Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The impressive scope and sophistication of this volume makes it an essential work of reference for every student of philosophy. Yet its engaging and accessible style also makes the Companion an outstanding choice for introductory courses in philosophy." Hugh LaFollette, East Tennessee State University <!--end-->

"An excellent series."
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on November 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy edited by Bunnin and Tsui-James provides a collection of contemporary essays on a wide-range of philosophical subjects. I offer the following thoughts for potential readers.

Sometimes introductory texts take a chronological approach to issues presenting readers with selections from different time periods (Pojman's excellent Introduction to Philosophy is an example of this style). The Blackwell Companion takes a different, but also effective, tact of presenting the subjects from the perspective of modern commentators. Though both styles have their appeal, I am partial to the former - I think it gives a more well-rounded introduction to new students.

Although there is some discussion of ancient, medieval and continental philosophy, most of the essays fall within the realm of what could be called the western analytical tradition. All essays also have suggestions for further reading as well as excellent bibliographies. I think that many philosophy students will find these helpful.

On a more specific note I found the essays on the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science to be particularly well done. Whereas, I did not find Searle's introductory piece helpful. He is an accomplished philosopher, however, I have a hard time getting past the ego - this may not be a distraction to others. I also do not find the essays on applied ethics or feminism and philosophy to be appropriate. With regard to the former, though I have personal interest in applied ethics I do not thing it is a good fit in an introductory text. While with reference to the later, I think feminism and philosophy is misguided - somewhat along the lines of left handers and philosophy.

Despite these minor reservations it is an outstanding reference. I highly recommend the Blackwell series as well as the Big Questions collections to interested readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Dusanjh on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Blackwell's Companion to Philosophy is a mixture of both philosophy and history. Unlike say, Oxford's Companion to Philosophy (which is more like a dictionary with entries in alphabetical order) it is a mix of topical (e.g. Philosophy of xxxxx) and historical essays.

Personally I found the first section to be typical philosophy - the essays are characteristicly dense but it does the job. I found the history of philosophy section much more easier to go through as it broke things down according to chronology and philosophers (as I like it!).

As always, mileage may vary - you might find this helpful or not so according to what you are looking for.
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This is a "mainstream" review of major academic philosophical sub divisions and a chapter each on the major figures in western philosophy. The quality of the authors is high. A good refresher for anyone getting back into general philosophy or a first year philosophy major.
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