The dictionary shows philosophers at their best (and their worst), at their most perverse and their most elegant. Organised by philosopher, and indexed by thought, concept and phrase, it enables readers to discover who said what, and what was said by whom. Over 300 philosophers are represented, from Aristotle to Zeno, including Einstein, Aquinas, Sartre and De Beauvoir, and the quotations range from short cryptic phrases to longer statements.
This Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations will not change your life. It will change your mind.
Here is Sir Karl Popper's reminder that ``the history of science is a history of irresponsible ideas . . . and of error''--which he says is a good thing. Here, too, is Pascal's insight that ``man is only a reed . . . but he is a thinking reed'' and Aristotle's advice that ``piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.'' But this is an uneven book. While the late Sir Alfred Ayer's coeditor included three pages of his portentous sayings (and none of his witty ones), John Henry Newman and the Cambridge Platonists are nowhere to be found, the British Idealists are reduced to a mere trace, and Nicolas Malebranche gets only a paragraph. About a third of the book is taken up with recent analytic philosophers, many of whom will be forgotten before the book is out of print. The quotations are organized alphabetically by author, and the general reader--to whom many recent figures will be strange--must work hard to use it. Of course, readers may be better off with the names they do recognize, and Plato, Kant, Aquinas, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, and Hume are well represented.-- Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa , Ontario