Dictionaries, 1 (1979) Philip W. Cummings One would suppose that philosophers, with their professional selfconsciousness about language, would have spawned numerous dictionaries of philosophical terms, and of rather higher quality than one might expect from professionals in other fields. One would also expect to find that English-speaking over-concern with verbal niceties, would be even better represented than continental philosophers. The truth is quite otherwise. Philosophers' general interest in dictionaries has been spotty. They very often quote dictionary definitions, but they seem most often to quote the most impressionistic definitions from the OED, or even the Concise Oxford, as any others. One philosopher did a computer study of circular defining in Webster's 7th Collegiate. In the past there has been more interest: Noah Porter, who was remarkable as a philosopher only in comparison to the general mediocrity of mid-19th century American philosophy, co-edited the 1864 edition of Webster's American Dictionary, and edited the 1 890 edition of Webster's New International Dictionary. The St. Louis Hegelian, William Torrey Harris, a much more important philosopher, edited the next edition, but the philosophical terminology was defined by an otherwise unknown consultant, also German idealist in orientation, from the Dakotas. Also around the
Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America – Dictionary Society of North America
Published: Apr 4, 1979
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