Handbook of metaphysics and ontology /
editors, Hans Burkhardt, Barry Smith.
Munich ; Philadelphia : Philosophia Verlag, c1991.
2 v.
388405080X (set : alk. paper)
More Details
series title
Munich ; Philadelphia : Philosophia Verlag, c1991.
388405080X (set : alk. paper)
general note
Includes index in v. 2.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-04:
A superb encyclopedia of philosophy, focusing on topics and subject-authors within the subdiscipline of metaphysics and ontology. All periods and schools (European, Arabic, and Jewish) are treated, with the Aristotelian-Husserlian and the logico-mathematical as the main axes. The text is arranged alphabetically by narrow subjects; articles (nearly 500) range from one page to at least 11 pages. Few are by authors of monographic treatments: partisanship may be thus avoided. But exclusions although inevitable in such a compend, may puzzle readers: why do Dilthey and N. Hartmann get articles but not Scheler (who gets only index references); why Conrad-Martius but not E. Stein (nor G. Marcel even in the index); why Paul of Venice but not Siger of Brabant; why Iamblichus, Proclus, Porphyry, John Philoponus, and Simplicius, but not the father of them all, Plotinus; why Strawson and H. Putnam but not H.H. Price, Ryle, Geach, or Rorty; why Sellars but not Hartshorne; why Ramus but not Sebond? Indexing is thorough but sometimes faulty. There is a reference from "will to power" but not from "eternal recurrence" to the article "Nietzsche's Metaphysics" (both concepts are mentioned in the article as his principal doctrines). There are some index entries for Dionysius the Areopagite and others as well for the (identical) pseudo-Dionysius. There are typos: "Gallaher" for "Gallagher." The index, for all its quite elaborate subdivisions, does not always locate topics quickly: Thomas Aquinas's real distinction between esse and essentia is mentioned only in passing in several articles but is discussed most fully (quite surprisingly) in the Gilson article, though not as fully as any Thomist would think appropriate for this highest point of medieval ontology. To find this article, more than a dozen index entries must be pursued. The bibliographies are amazingly current, but typically contain no primary works (these are sometimes cited in the main text). This beautifully produced set of books is a pleasure to read (so much so that it almost rivals Fowler in its tendency to suggest parallel relevancies to take the reader off-sides); but it is so exorbitantly priced as to be out of sight for any but financially fortunate libraries serving graduate programs a pity, because it would be useful to all levels of philosophy students.-J. M. Perreault, University of Alabama in Huntsville
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1992
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