The Historical Dictionary of Philosophy, the Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie (HWPh), is distinguished by its particular presentation of philosophical terms, ideas and concepts. Rather than providing mere defintions or descriptive and analytical explanantions the HWPh strictly applies the critical method of history of concepts developed by the eminent German scholar and philosopher Joachim Ritter. By means of precise and detailed references it documents the origin, first occurrence, the historical evolution and the changes of meaning of each concept, from Ancient Greek to contemporary philosophy. For the reader this presentation is of unique value: it makes traceable the importance of terms and concepts at certain periods or for a particular philosopher, as well as its changes and development of meaning.
Voulmes 1–12 of the HWPh comprises more than 17.000 text columns on 3.670 philosophical terms. The dictionary does not include articles on persons.
Volume 13 includes, besides of a comprehensive introductory essay, three different indexes:
- the Subject Index classifies the articles by disciplinary and systematic categories
- the Main Index includes all philosophical keywords with more than 30.000 references to their occurrences in other articles and contexts
- the Author Index lists all authors and their contributions
The included CD-ROM allows full text research of the HWPh's entire content.
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