Review of Metaphysics 25 (3):561-561 (1972)

This book is part of a bibliographic series on the whole of philosophy by the author. Subsequent volumes will be Philosophy: Its Nature, Methods and Basic Sources and Philosophy: Its Histories, Systems and Specific Settings. The present volume aims at providing "selected and classified bibliographies in the fields of ethics, economics, law, politics, and sociology from the point of view of their relevance to philosophy." It contains a chapter on each of these subjects. Each chapter is in turn divided somewhat as follows: general studies, particular periods and countries, special questions, and periodicals. Each subsection is introduced by a very brief description, when this is appropriate. There is a lengthy index of authors whose works are cited. The work is directed toward English-speaking students and so concentrates on studies in English. It is difficult to evaluate an undertaking of this scope, and one is almost inevitably disappointed when he turns to sections dealing with topics of special interest to him. One example will suffice. Those familiar with the sociology of religion will find that the listings under that heading include no works of Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann or Thomas O'Dea, that of Weber's works on the sociology of religion only The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism is cited, and that none of the journals devoted to religious studies is mentioned among the specialized sociological periodicals. One cannot help but feel that the scope of this work is too ambitious for one man. Perhaps a collaborative effort or a select bibliography of bibliographies would have been a more feasible venture. On the other hand, this bibliography can, as the author intended, supply the student of philosophy with "selected writings which may lead to other treatises," and it may suggest to him "new fields for inquiry or research."--H. F.
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