3 Volumes
2,136 Pages
231 Chapters
Fully Illustrated
Subject Index
Chronological List
     of Philosophers

Patricia Smith Churchland
Saint Anselm
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Other Elements
Table of Contents

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Schools with course offerings in religion and philosophy will find this set especially valuable.

School Library Journal  

This well-designed and well-
executed work belongs in most public or high school libraries and all academic libraries serving undergraduates.

American Reference  
Books Annual 2001

...substantial biographies now preface the review essays, greatly enhancing the utility of the tool for students....A thematic list of works, a title index and a detailed general index are useful improvements to a proven tool. This guide to the classics of world philosophy will be useful in school, public and academic libraries.

Reference Reviews  
Gale Group  

World Philosophers and Their Works

Editor: John K. Roth
ISBN: 978-0-89356-878-8
List Price: $331

February 2000 · 3 volumes · 2,136 pages · 8"x10"

Editor's Choice, Booklist

World Philosophers and Their Works

The three-volume World Philosophers and Their Works examines, in 231 alphabetically arranged chapters, 226 of the greatest world philosophers of all time, plus 5 of the most influential ancient works of indeterminable authorship-from ancient Greek and Chinese thinkers such as Pythagoras and Confucius to contemporary philosophers such as Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and feminist Alison M. Jaggar. Each chapter contains a 2,000-word biographical essay (or, in the case of the unattributable works, "Authorship and Context" overviews), followed by one or more 2,000-word overviews of representative works and ending in an annotated bibliography providing suggestions for Additional Reading. These philosophers and works are most frequently taught at the secondary and undergraduate levels, commonly referenced either directly or indirectly in our daily lives, and considered by both scholars and well-read laypersons to be among the most influential of all time.

Written with the needs of students and general readers in mind, the chapters present clear introductory discussions of the philosophers and 285 of their works. The entries in the encyclopedia are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the philosopher or unattributable work: The chapter on the I Ching, for example, follows the chapter on Edmund Husserl and precedes the chapter on Luce Irigaray. Each chapter begins with a biographical overview: Birth and death dates and places, and major contributions are highlighted in ready-reference top matter, followed by approximately 2,000 to 2,500 words of text tracing the philosopher's life, the development of his or her thought, and the thinker's influence on the history of philosophy. For the five unattributable works, this first section instead traces the arguments and issues surrounding authorship and places the work in a larger historical context.

Following the biographical section of the chapter, one or more of the philosopher's works are examined in detail: These works have been selected as the ones most likely to be studied in the classroom or to be referred to in daily life. The top matter to this portion of each chapter details the work's provenance or publishing history, the category or categories of philosophical inquiry to which it belongs, and the principal ideas advanced. Bold-faced subheads faciliate the task of finding information within both the biographical essays and the essays that cover works. At the end of each chapter, the list of suggested Additional Reading provides sources that will aid in further investigation of the philosophers and their works; these have been carefully selected to include not only the "classic" secondary sources but also, where available, the best of recent, authoritative studies that are accessible to the student or general reader. Each bibliographical entry in Additional Reading is annotated to assist students and others in choosing sources to consult for more in-depth information.

World Philosophers and Their Works not only covers Western philosophers-from the Greeks, including Plato and Aristotle, through modern thinkers such as Paul M. Churchland, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Annette C. Baier-but also examines philosophical standouts from Asian and African cultures. Chapters in these volumes detail the lives and works of four African, eighteen Chinese and Japanese, and eight Asian Indian philosophers, as well as three Islamic and seven Jewish thinkers. The chronological range of coverage extends from ancient Chinese texts such as the Dao De Jing (transcribed sixth to third century B.C.E.) and the Greek Anaximander (c. 610 B.C.E.- c. 547 B.C.E.), through the Middle Ages (from Saint Augustine through thinkers such as Hildegard von Bingen, Averroës, Moses Maimonides, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Saint Thomas Aquinas), into the Renaissance (from Erasmus through René Descartes), the great seventeenth century and Enlightenment thinkers (John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, his nemesis Voltaire, David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau), to great modern influences on contemporary thought from Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Mary Wollstonecraft through Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Marx and Alison M. Jaggar.

The set contains a number of features designed to supplement the lengthy chapters, including more than 160 photographs and illustrations of the philosophers themselves. A list of the 285 works analyzed in these volumes organizes those works into one or more of twenty-seven subject categories and appears at the end of volume three as a Categorized List of Works for handy reference. For example, students wishing to learn more about the philosophy of mind or about feminist philosophy may consult the Categorized List of Works to identify classics of philosophy addressing those topics. The philosophers who wrote these works are listed in parentheses after the work's title, enabling readers to turn to the chapters (alphabetical by philosopher), in which the categorized work receives full treatment. Because most works of philosophy can be categorized in one or more of three large areas of inquiry-ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology-all works have received at least one of those designations.

The largest category is ethics, with 141 essays touching on this topic, closely followed by metaphysics (125), and epistemology (88). Other categories, more specific, are included as well: For example (and perhaps predictably), many of the works addressed in these chapters deal with religious issues: 32 are on philosophy of religion, 29 on philosophical theology, 7 on Jewish philosophy, 5 on Buddhism, and 3 on Islamic philosophy. Non-Western philosophy is the subject of 12 works on Chinese philosophy, 8 on Indian philosophy, 4 on Japanese philosophy, and 4 on African philosophy. Thirty-one works touch on political philosophy, 30 on social philosophy, 11 on philosophy of history, 3 on philosophy of law, and 2 on philosophy of education. The philosophy of science is the subject of 11 essays, and 3 deal specifically with the philosophy of mathematics. Other title overviews fall under the categories of aesthetics (17), philosophy of language (15), existentialism (14), logic (13), philosophy of mind (8), philosophical psychology (8), pragmatism (8), feminist philosophy (4), and phenomenology (3).

At the end of the third volume, preceding the indexes, are three appendices that provide useful information in easily accessible formats. The Chronological List of Philosophers lists 572 philosophers (and a few unattributable ancient works) in chronological order, allowing students and general readers to gain a perspective on the development of philosophical thought from 900 b.c.e. to modern times. A list we have called More World Philosophers identifies 341 major philosophers worthy of additional study, along with their years of birth and death and brief descriptors indicating the ideas for which they are known or the schools of thought or movements with which they are identified. Finally, the Glossary provides simple, succinct definitions of more than 350 philosophical terms with which every student of philosophy should be familiar.

The third volume ends not only with a comprehensive and heavily cross-referenced Subject Index but also with a Title Index. The former (which falls at the end of the volume) includes names of philosophers and historical figures, schools of philosophy, terms, titles of works, and other items discussed in the text. The latter includes the titles of the works surveyed in these volumes, in alphabetical order, with cross-references from foreign-language and other alternate titles.

Creating an encyclopedia of world philosophy requires the expertise of many people, primarily scholars of philosophy but also scholars of history and biography. Salem Press would like to thank the nearly 120 scholars who have contributed to this encyclopedia. Their names and affiliations follow the introduction. We would also like to thank the editor for the set, John K. Roth of Claremont McKenna College, who spent many hours at all levels to ensure that this reference work would cover an appropriate and broad range of philosophers whose continuing influence or innovative and significant new ideas have made their thought a solid part of the academic curriculum.

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