Magazine
Latest Issue

The price of philosophy

AC Grayling finds it difficult to feel enthusiastic about Routledge's over-priced, 10-volume offering on philosophy

Pliny the elder was not the first to compile an encyclopedia-his Historia naturalis was anticipated by Speusippus in Greek and Cato and Varro in Latin. But Pliny held the field for a long time. His compilation was intended to be pure Gradgrind, but too many old wives got their tales in, rendering the work more entertaining than informative.

Since the middle ages scores of encyclopedias have been compiled, so many, indeed, that it is surprising how few of them have had an impact on the history of human intelligence. The celebrated Encyclop?die of Diderot (1751), which began as a translation…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect