The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford Paperback Reference)
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The Gambler's Fallacy, the Dirty Hands Argument, Pascal's Wager--philosophical terms can be both intriguing and baffling. Now, eminent philosopher Simon Blackburn offers the most authoritative and up-to-date dictionary of philosophy available in a single volume. Ranging from Aristotle to Zen, the two thousand plus entries cover the entire span of philosophy, from the Vedas (written over three thousand years ago) to the most recent technical terminology, with ample coverage of important themes from Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Jewish philosophy. Here are all the terms one would expect to find in a comprehensive dictionary of philosophy--idealism and empiricism, ethics and aesthetics, Epicureanism and Stoicism, existentialism and logical positivism, and much more. Blackburn also defines many concepts not normally found in such reference works, including entries for apathy, laughter, and the meaning of life, and he includes relevant terms from disciplines such as mathematics, physics, biology, artificial intelligence, and linguistics. In addition, there are capsule biographies of nearly five hundred individuals, from the pre-Socratics to such contemporary figures as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and Simone de Beauvoir.