Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers

By Stuart Brown; Diané Collinson et al. | Go to book overview

This Dictionary is composed of information concerning over 1,000 philosophers who have lived all or part of their lives in the twentieth century. The aims, scope and rationale of the work are set out below. The first point to consider is the sense in which the term 'philosopher' has been used. At present, the very great majority of those would describe themselves as philosophers are academics with posts in various types of educational institution in which they are employed to teach the subject. This is a relatively recent development in philosophical history, more so in the east than in the west, and a little thought will show that it would be wrong to include in this book only those whose claim to be a philosopher rests on a line in their job description. Accordingly, a dominant principle used in compiling the list of entries has been to consider for inclusion those thinkers regarded as philosophers in the communities and cultures to which they belong. Again, care has been taken to ensure that the scope of the Dictionary is worldwide. Manifestly, what counts as philosophy at different times and in different places has differed to a degree; but it is important not to overstress this point. One feature which does emerge in the following pages is an unforced set of family resemblances between philosophers. A consequence of the use of this basic principle has been the inclusion of thinkers from all the major schools and traditions of the period, from analytic philosophy to Marxism and from neo-Hinduism to Zen, though no attempt has been made to massage the selection to produce any artificial equality in the numbers of entries devoted to representatives of schools (etc.) concerned. Though First World philosophers are well represented, the application of this principle has resulted in a very significant number of entries being devoted to thinkers from the Near and Far East and from the non-European Hispanic-language communities. Every area of philosophy, from formal logic to aesthetics, is represented. The final selection of entries was made using a number of criteria in conjunction with one another in the light of the guiding principles outlined above. These criteria were adopted with the goal of avoiding personal bias on the part of the editors. They rely greatly on the reception of the work of the thinkers concerned in the philosophical community, and so embody the value judgements of many. The criteria are as follows:
i)Inclusion in major reference works

The major figures of the century up to approximately the 1960s are easily identified as those in most of the main histories of the period-Frege, Nietzsche, Husserl, Wittgenstein and so on. Also included are other slightly less important philosophers, mentioned by some but not others, who have exerted some influence and/or have received more than passing critical attention, e.g. W. D. Ross, H.H. Price, H.A. Prichard.

ii)Volume and range of secondary literature

Philosophers who have come to the fore more recently and so are not yet adequately represented in histories and surveys and would be missed by criterion i) alone. Other sources have been used, such as the Philosopher's Index (especially its CD-ROM), to identify contemporary philosophers who have been to the fore in journal debates, But people have not been included merely because of frequent citation, e.g. because their name is used in connection with a particular paradox or theorem.

iii)Substantial publication

Major library catalogues and other relevant sources have been used to establish which philosophers have published substantial works, though of course mere bulk of publication has not of itself guaranteed appropriateness for inclusion.

iv)Advice from consultants

In areas outside the expertise of the editors, advice from specialist consultants has been obtained, though final responsibility for the choice of entries has rested with the editors alone.

We believe that no major twentieth-century philosopher is missing from this Dictionary. At the same time, it would be impossible to include every worthwhile philosopher in a single volume. We have sought to represent philosophy throughout the world and throughout the century in the light of the different criteria which apply to different countries and different times. We have, of course, reflected the volume of activity to some extent but have thought it important not to allow this to be the only consideration. Not everyone will agree with the balance we have drawn between


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Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • List of Abbreviated Sources xvi
  • List of Schools and Movements xxi
  • A 1
  • Main Publications: 19
  • Main Publications: 22
  • Main Publications: 24
  • Main Publications: 25
  • Main Publications: 29
  • B 41
  • Main Publications: 97
  • C - Cabral, Amilcar Lopes 119
  • Main Publications: 148
  • D 167
  • E 209
  • F 222
  • G 261
  • H 296
  • Main Publications: 323
  • Main Publications: 330
  • I 361
  • Main Publications: 365
  • J 370
  • Main Publications: 385
  • K 387
  • Main Publications: 405
  • Main Publications: 423
  • L 425
  • M 486
  • Main Publications: 491
  • Main Publications: 498
  • Main Publications: 540
  • N 558
  • Main Publications: 577
  • O 583
  • P 593
  • Main Publications: 605
  • Main Publications: 614
  • Main Publications: 626
  • Q 640
  • R 644
  • Main Publications: 657
  • S 690
  • Main Publications: 701
  • Main Publications: 704
  • T 764
  • U 795
  • V 800
  • W 817
  • Main Publications: 827
  • Main Publications: 833
  • Main Publications: 851
  • X 853
  • Y 857
  • Z 861
  • Guide to Schools and Movements 876
  • Bibliography 893
  • Nationality Index 903
  • Category Index 909
  • Index of Interests 918
  • Index of Influences 925
  • Index of People 936
  • Index of Subjects 945


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