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The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Hardcover – May 19, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0415324953 ISBN-10: 0415324955 Edition: 2Rev Ed
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Editorial Reviews


'A remarkable achievement, building on the monumental Routledge Encyclopedia
of Philosophy
, but carefully and intelligently distilling it for all students of philosophy. An invaluable resource.'
Simon Blackburn, author of Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy

' ... deserves a proud place on the bookshelf of any philosophy lover.' - New Humanist

'Whether you read philosophy as an amateur or a professional, you will find [this book] invaluable.' - The Catholic Herald

'...the best guide on philosophy available for lay readers ...recommended for public libraries' Library Journal

About the Author

Edward Craig is Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University, where he is also a Fellow of Churchill College. He has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Hamburgh, Heidelberg, and Melbourne. His publications include The Mind of God and The Works of Man (OUP, 1987), Knowledge and the State of Nature (OUP 1990) and Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2002). He is General Editor of Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2Rev Ed edition (May 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415324955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415324953
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always been somewhat amused at books with the words 'shorter' or 'brief' in their title that then go on to total hundreds if not thousands of pages. This is one such text. Amounting to 1077 pages of proper text (not including the 26 pages of introductory material), it may seem at first glance that this is not a book that should have the word 'shorter' in its title - however, given a topic as broad and diverse as philosophy, one might alternately think that a mere 1000 pages or so would only begin to address the subject. This text walks the line between depth and breadth, as is explained in the introductory material.

This comes out of a process of distilling the original ten-volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998) into a one-volume Concise Encyclopedia, which included each of the references in the ten-volume set, only in briefer format. This succeeded, according to the editor Edward Craig, in satisfying the need from breadth, but not depth. This Shorter Encyclopedia has only half as many articles as the Concise version, but many are in greater depth - this includes over 100 entries that are in full-text version from the ten-volume parent work. It also includes all 24 Signpost entries, essays set apart in headings in light gray pull-boxes; these give in-depth treatment about key issues, schools and trends in philosophy.

According to Craig, the Shorter Encyclopedia is 'unashamedly "Western" in its emphasis, being designed to suit the needs of undergraduate philosophy students and the courses they are most likely to encounter.' However, particularly with regard to the more substantial Signpost entries, there is a fair amount given to Latin American, Indian, Jewish, African, East-Asian and other philosophical traditions.
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Format: Hardcover
There is a lot to like here in this compact version of the 10-volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It covers an astonishingly wide range of topics and philosophers, and most of the entries are clear and illuminating, and many are written by some of the important luminaries of philosophy and philosophical scholarship from the last few decades. That doesn't guarantee that their entries will cover all the bases and meet every objection head on - there's no way to do that in a small space - but it does tend to ensure that they are up on the latest scholarship and have considered opposing views.

Unfortunately, some of the entries are also written by professional philosophers whose credentials amount to having written a few books and articles on the subject from a one-sided or narrow point of view. There is also a tendency in this encyclopedia, that you didn't find as much in the older Macmillan "Encyclopedia of Philosophy" that the Routledge version has effectively replaced, to treat general topics ahistorically, which means to treat them as if the only really important arguments to be considered around them are those which have surfaced in the past 50 years or so. Obviously, that doesn't apply to topics that are intrinsically historical, as with discussions of the views of long dead philosophers. Still, it means that many of the entries here have to be read sceptically.

For example, I've been teaching William James in a course on American philosophy this Spring and, just for fun, looked up the article here on the "pragmatic theory of truth." It turns out all the articles on "truth," including this one, were written by the same person.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Philosophile on March 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the kindle version having read the negative reviews but thinking that I could navigate the encyclopedia using the table of contents (as opposed to the index). I couldn't.

The encyclopedia itself is very well written and the entries themselves are cross referenced with hyperlinks to related sections of text. This bit is good.

Evidently someone forgot to link the table of contents to the relevant section of text, as is usual in ebooks. This bit is very bad.

This major oversight makes the kindle edition unusable, since you have to scroll through each page individually to get to the entry you want.
Seeing as this tome is over 1100 pages long, this could conceivably take A Very Long Time.

I returned the ebook to Amazon and it was immediately removed from my device. I don't anticipate any problems getting my money back as their service is very good.

Do not buy the ebook unless you have steel thumbs and a lot of time on your hands.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great reference, with half as many topics as The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia, but with twice the information on each topic. I recommend both books.

Fred Davis
Awakening Clarity Now
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