The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (8 Volumes in 4) 1st Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0028949505
ISBN-10: 0028949501
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 4300 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall College Div; 1st edition (1967)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028949501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028949505
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,721,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By azonebooks on January 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the highest achievement of 20th century philosophy: Over 4,200 pages, over 1500 contributors. Originally published in 8 volumes in 1967, it was later issued in a 1972 reprint edition, complete but in a reduced format. The 8 volumes of the original were reduced to 4 books (2 vols in each), slightly smaller format, smaller print, on thinner but durable paper.
CAUTION: Take care in ordering. Sellers sometimes offer one or two volumes of the multi-volume set.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug Erlandson TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I became aware of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy when I was an undergraduate philosophy major in the late 1960s. At that time this work, edited by Paul Edwards, was quite new and something I couldn't afford. I finally was able to procure my own copy in the 1970s when I was a university professor. By then the original eight-volume set had been reissued as a four-volume set. The material was the same, but the print was smaller and the pages were thinner. I have retained my copy for nearly forty years. While the most recent developments on the philosophical scene are not part of these volumes, most of the entries are as useful today as they were when this work first came out. I made use of this work throughout my teaching career, and although I am now retired I still have ample reason to use it. This is a reference work every philosopher should have on the bookshelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael j scudder on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is one of the major works of philosophy in the twentieth century and it is extremely readable and remarkably complete. Paul Edwards was a very astute editor and a terrific and clear writer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CJeff on July 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even after all these years, this is still the best affordable reference work in philosophy. There are two more extensive encyclopedias that have been published more recently, but they're so expensive that they are only purchased by schools and libraries. A supplement was published to this set which is also worth having inasmuch as it updates it for the past 30 years or so.
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Format: Hardcover
I've owned this since before Wikipedia came out, and I have to admit that both this and Wikipedia have their uses. With Wikipedia, you have more sources, hotlinked topics, more current research and more content. Yes, the Macmillan and Free Press Encyclopedia of Philosophy is written by experts, but its true strength is its completeness. I love, for instance, the entry on Cartesianism, with its inclusion of anti-Cartesianism and Cartesianism in art and literature.

Moreover, it's a snapshot of philosophical history in the 1960s, updated 10 or 15 years ago with the Blue Supplement, also available on Amazon through third-party sellers. It's a throwback to a simpler age, when people still read books to learn about philosophy.

The Macmillan and Free Press Encyclopedia of Philosophy, along with the Blue Supplement, is best used hand-in-hand with Copleston's A History of Philosophy in nine volumes (there are two more volumes available in England). Copleston's work is great, but you're still only seeing one perspective, and Macmillan gives you a more balanced viewpoint. Thorough study of the two collections doesn't replace a Bachelor's Degree in philosophy, but they're an excellent study guide for the lay-person.
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