Biographical encyclopedia (dictionary) as a genre of the contemporary historiography of philosophy: Anglo-American and Ukrainian experience

Sententiae 37 (1):153-167 (2018)
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The article aims at clarifying the historical status and cognitive potentials of such a genre of contemporary historiography of philosophy as biographical encyclopedia (dictionary). Based on extensive bibliographic material, the author demonstrates that in the late XX – early XXI centuries in the English-speaking countries there was a real outbreak of interest in encyclopedias and dictionaries, compiled from personalized articles about the life and works of philosophers of certain epochs, countries, trends, etc. According to the author, the increasing popularity of this genre can be considered as a logical continuation of the historical and biographical turns that took place in the Anglo-American (analytic) philosophy in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. The author specifically emphasizes that it caused the appearance of a significant number of encyclopedias and dictionaries, which contain the well-known facts as well as the significant elements of scholar novelty. The article also shows that similar tendencies have taken place in the contemporary Ukrainian historiography of philosophy. It is shown that Ukrainian experts also made their own significant contribution to the development of this genre. They have successfully developed a special approach, which presupposes the focus on life and works of the representatives of a particular academic institution. The intellectual value of this approach is demonstrated by the example of the recently published two-volume encyclopedia “Kyiv Theological Academy in Names: 1819-1924”. It contains a systematic and very informative presentation of the biographies of many representatives of the national philosophy, whose activities were associated with this institution. The author also shows that from the perspective of the historiography of philosophy, the general methodological foundations of this encyclopedic research is a matter of special interest.
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