Review by Choice Review
This massive reference work is perhaps the best one-volume companion to the study of Asian philosophies. Among the eminent contributors are Karl Potter, Karel Werner, Ninian Smart, Chr. Lindtner, Donald Lopez, Hajime Nakamura, Ian Netton, and Lenn Goodman. Separate sections treat the Persian, Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic philosophical traditions. The editors and contributors employ these somewhat artificial distinctions flexibly, since, e.g., Buddhist philosophy must be treated in four sections. It is doubtful, however, that a volume of this sort warrants an entire section on "Persian Philosophy"--i.e., on Zoroastrianism. Each section contains chapters on the origin of the tradition, on central schools and figures (e.g., Sankhya, Shankara), and, lastly, on systematic areas--e.g., knowledge and reality, morals and politics. The editors wisely include a 40-page glossary sectioned by tradition and a useful 50-page combined name-subject index. One weakness is the uneven value of the bibliographies appended to each chapter. Few readers will need three pages of bibliography on contemporary Zoroastrian philosophy; many will wonder why one of the editors himself (Carr) inexcusably lists a mere ten items in his on Shankara, ignoring the extensive recent scholarship on this seminal figure. Undergraduate; graduate. J. Bussanich; University of New Mexico
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.