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The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy (Penguin Reference) [Paperback]

by Thomas Mautner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 27, 2005 0141018402 978-0141018409 2nd

Stimulating and authoritative, The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy is the ideal reference work for anyone with an interest in the subject. Laid out simply for ease of use and put in straightforward language are definitions of terms from akrasia to zetetic. What do philosophers mean by absolute and prime matter? Is there any link between the gambler’s fallacy and the uncertainty principle, or the barber paradox and Occam’s razor? These questions and many more are answered in this illuminating dictionary.

The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy features:

  • Extensive coverage of the Western tradition in logic, metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology from c. 600 BC to the present day
  • Incisive overviews of thinkers from Plato and Kant to Derrida and Habermas
  • Powerful self-portraits by leading modern philosophers
  • Contributions from more than a hundred leading philosophers

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The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy (Penguin Reference) + A Rulebook for Arguments
Price for both: $21.72

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Mautner is visiting fellow in the school of humanities at the Australian National University and has published papers in various academic journals. Among his teaching and research interests are seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy, moral and political thought, natural law, and natural rights.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 2nd edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141018402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141018409
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best for non-professionals December 24, 2010
By Leon M.
Verified Purchase
I own three dictionaries of philosophy, but the Penguin Reference Dictionary of Philosophy has become my go-to guide. Its extensive entries are neither simplistic nor overbearing for the non-professional interested in topical summaries concerning individuals, systems, and terms commonly encountered in the study of philosophy. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand June 26, 2008
By KS
I bought this as a supplement to teach English Lit and have been extremely happy. It allows me to answer into-level philosophy questions without bringing out this big books!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent but Not Comprehensive March 30, 2012
Verified Purchase
Basically in Philosophy, everything is nearly to one's own taste. For example, if I were to show you a Red-like color Apple and ask you what color it is specifically, many could not agree to the hue or contrast of the color Red itself. A person would state that the Apple is of Crimson Red while another one would say it's of a Burgundy color. Therefore, this book of itself only covers a specific amount of "Philosophy" that is of Western origin.

My biggest gripe was that this dictionary -- being ~688 pages, would cover all the fundamentals, i.e. vocab, short but concise explanations of origins and history, only covers that is the most complex or at least the least used words in Philosophy itself. Don't get me wrong, this book covers the needed terms related to Western Philosophy but it lacks the Dharma of the Eastern Philosophy, i.e. words that are more specific to the plight of the Human Condition.

For example, the Eastern Philosophical word Karma is not an entry, nor is the word The Tao (Dao) or even the Tao (Dao) Te Ching which is essential for a aspiring Philosopher to get a rounded understanding of what Philosophy really is -- both the Existentialism and the Inner-elements (Kneosis for the lack of term)that make an individual whole by allowing all perspectives of ideas -- Eastern and Western.

3 out of 5 for only covering Western Philosophical ideals. Would have given 5 of 5 if it included Eastern Philosophical ideas as well.
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