Review by Choice Review
Reasonably successful in realizing its claim to provide "authoritative, accurate and objective (yet sympathetic) treatments of thinkers, topics and technical terms in clear, jargon-free language," this helpfully wide-ranging reference resource consists of approximately 450 entries averaging 250 to 1,000 words. This work operationally regards as Continental "those thinkers who are now or who have been at some time in the past so labeled by a reasonable portion of the philosophical or general intellectual community." (Hence it includes figures such as Donald Davidson and Richard Rorty, as well as movements like pragmatism and critical legal studies.) Unsurprisingly, the generally high level of clarity declines in consistency as one progresses from entries on individuals to those on movements, topics, and, especially, technical terms. Cross-references, which appear at the end of entries on individuals, point to further entries on relevant technical terms, movements, or fields; bibliographic information is understandably minimal in light of its ample online availability. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. R. A. Sica Jr. Eastern Kentucky University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
The term continental philosophy is used to denote the ideas associated with the existentialist and phenomenological movements in Europe, but in the English-speaking world it has gradually come to mean the kinds of thinking opposed by analytic philosophers. Editor Protevi (French studies, Louisiana State Univ.; Time and Exteriority) has taken a wider view of this philosophy in his compilation of more than 450 definitions and articles contributed by a team of international specialists that address thinkers, topics, and technical terms. The A-to-Z entries range from 400 to 1600 words in length. The British idealists, British mathematician/philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, and even a few Asian philosophers make it in-but the book is mainly devoted to the European philosophers of the 1930s, their postwar successors, and the more recent deconstructionists. There are odd exclusions, e.g., American philosopher Henry Bugbee, French philosophers Louis Lavelle and Ren? Le Senne, and Cornel West, who has been called "the American Emmanuel Levinas" (though Levinas himself gets a lot of space). Certain articles are brilliant-John Manoussakis's entry on Jean-Luc Marion, for example, is a tiny masterpiece-and most are clear and concise. But many jargon-filled articles contain the kind of gobbledygook that frightens analytic philosophers (e.g., the entry on Helene Cixous offers nothing intelligible but the biographical facts). Bottom Line Reference librarians may have to do some explaining, but this would make a handy addition in academic and many public libraries.-Leslie Armour, Dominican Coll. of Philosophy and Theology, Univ. of Ottawa (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.