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The Encyclopedist

Preparing the 6th edition of the dictionary Diccionario de filosofía (nueva edición)
Prologos a los ediciones anteriores
On Writing the Dictionary

It is almost impossible to mention the name of Ferrater Mora without mentioning his Dictionary of Philosophy (Diccionario de filosofía). This is not surprising since it is his most well-known work.

The Dictionary, as it is called, is almost always referred to as the monumental Dictionary of Philosophy, but it was not always monumental. The first edition, published in 1941 in Mexico by Atlante was relatively modest, having 598 pages. Ferrater Mora prepared the first edition while he was living in Havana, Cuba, as an exile from the Spanish Civil War. He wrote the preface in 1941.

The second edition of the Dictionary was published in 1944 by the same publishers. Ferrater Mora prepared this edition containing 760 pages with two columns per page in Santiago, Chile; it contains the notation that it is corrected and augmented. The preface was written the same year.

The third edition of the Dictionary, published in 1951 by Sudamericana in Buenos Aires, Argentina, consisted of 1,047 pages with three columns per page. The preface was written in 1950 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

The fourth edition of the Dictionary, published in 1958 by Sudamericana, had 1,481 pages with three columns per page and contained 762 new articles. Much of this edition was prepared in Europe; the preface is dated 1956, Paris.

The fifth edition of the Dictionary, published in 1965 by Sudamericana, was printed in two volumes. It consisted of 2,072 pages with three columns per page and contained 546 new articles. This edition, reprinted in 1969, 1974, and 1975, was prepared in Bryn Mawr; the preface is dated 1964.

The sixth edition was published in 1979 in Madrid, Spain by Alianza. This edition contained 756 new articles in four volumes consisting of 3,589 pages with two columns per page. It was prepared in Bryn Mawr. The preface was dated 1976. Alianza reprinted this edition a number of times and published it in paperback. The same edition was also published by Circulo de Lectores, Barcelona. This was the last edition prepared by Ferrater Mora.

After Ferrater Mora's death in 1991, the four-volume Dictionary of Philosophy, published in 1979, was brought up to date by Josep-Maria Terricabras, Director of the Ferrater Mora Chair of Contemporary Thought at the University of Girona. This edition was published in 1994 in Barcelona, Spain, by Ariel. The original text of 1979 was included; the addition of new material was marked so that one could see at a glance what had been added. This edition has also been translated into Portuguese.

As the Dictionary became encyclopedic in content, various abridgments were published. Eduardo García Belsunce and Ezequiel de Olaso prepared the text of the Diccionario de filosofía abreviado from the two-volume 1965 edition of the Dictionary. This abridgment, containing philosophical concepts only, consisted of 410 pages with two columns per page. It was first published by Sudamericana in 1976 and reprinted almost every year and twice in some years. Their preface is dated 1968. Their abridgment was also published by Hermes in Mexico in 1983; a translation into Portuguese was published in 1977 in Lisbon, Portugal, by Don Quixote.

In 1983 Alianza published Diccionario de filosofía de bosillo, a Spanish translation of an unpublished English abridgment made by Priscilla Cohn from the four volume edition of 1976. This two-volume work, limited to articles on philosophical concepts, contained a total of 785 pages with two columns per page. It has been reprinted 12 times with the last impression appearing in 2001.

In 1986 Alianza published the Diccionario de grandes filósofos, an abridgment containing entries only on philosophers. This edition, consisting of a total of 493 pages with two columns per page in two volumes, has also been reprinted a number of times.