Repertoire International de la Philosophie et des Philosophes - International Directory of Philosophy and Philosophers (review)
- Journal of the History of Philosophy
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 5, Number 1, January 1967
- pp. 79-80
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Book Reviews Repertoire International de la Philosophie et des Philosophes-lnternational Directory o/ Philosophy and Philosophers. Edited by Gilbert Varet and Paul Kurtz. Published under the auspices of the International Institute of Philosophy, and with the aid of UNESCO. (New York: Humanities Press, 1965. Pp. 235. $12.50; $10.00 to members of the APA and other Associations in correspondence with the IIP.) The editors of this Directory have not only provided us with a useful reference work, but they have also managed to make it one which will be of interest to all but the most provinciallyminded philosophers. Created "to serve as a guide to philosophy on a world-wide basis, to enable individuals and institutions easily to locate and better to know each other, and to contribute to international dialogue and communication," the Directory will surely fulfill its purpose. Part I, for example, provides detailed information (name, address, purpose, membership requirements, publications, etc.) about major international philosophical associations, institutes , and research centers. Part II is made up of a series of sections, each of which contains information about philosophical activity in "virtually all of the major countries and territories in the world" in which such activities are found. Included in each section is information concerning colleges and universities where philosophy is taught (including names and special interests of permanent philosophy staff members, as well as the kind and number of degrees offered), institutes, associations and societies, a list of the publishing houses presently producing books in the field of philosophy, and a list of journals which publish articles directly related to the same field. Of the approximately 450 journals listed in this manner, well over half would appear to fall into the category "strictly philosophical in character." The remaining journals are either those which "lie on the borderline of philosophy (technical, scientific, theological, etc.)," or the popular reviews which occasionally publish articles of a philosophical nature. Information of the above sort would alone make the Directory of value and interest. It is made even more interesting, however, by Introductions, written by philosophers residing in the country discussed, which are included in nearly 30 of the sections of Part II. The purpose of these Introductions is "to provide a general survey and characterization of the kind of philosophy found in a particular region of the world." The topics discussed include the major philosophical tendencies of an area, the teaching of philosophy in institutions of higher learning, the role and character of the journals and societies of the area, and "the influence of philosophy (if any) in the life of the society at large." Nations so represented are Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, E1 Salvador, Hungary, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, USSR, USA, the Vatican, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, as well as those of Western Europe (including Scandinavia). Most of these articles are in French or English, a few are in Spanish ; all seem to utilize an uncomplicated, straightforward prose, a style which will facilitate reading by those not highly trained in one or another of these languages. Reading these brief articles, one is reminded of--or learns--the most diverse facts: that Argentina has made a concerted effort to introduce the teaching of philosophy into the remote areas of the country, thus making it easily accessible to all students; that Bulgaria traces its philosophy to ninth- and tenth-century Bogomils; that in Mexico and certain countries of Central and South America philosophy has been studied in the centers of higher education for 400 years or more--which means, of course, that the Western hemisphere has a philosophical tradition which is considerably older than that which can be traced to the Eastern seaboard of the United States; that Swedish philosophy in the eighteenth century was linked to the Scottish moral sense school ; that philosophy is widely taught in the public high schools in nearly all but the English-speaking world; that outside the English-speaking world philosophy is much more often linked with the social sciences, with psychology, history, jurisprudence, or pedagogy than with the humanities. Equally of interest are remarks of a somewhat different sort: Of Bulgaria it is said that "There is one ideological line in the country: the philosophy of...