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Blank, H.R. (1960). Encyclopedia of Morals: Edited by Vergilius Ferm. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1956. 682 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:409-410.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:409-410

Encyclopedia of Morals: Edited by Vergilius Ferm. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1956. 682 pp.

Review by:
H. Robert Blank

Assailed as we are by scholarship-made-easy packages not worth their paper, it is a welcome relief to recommend this scholarly and stimulating, as well as convenient, reference work. It was 'planned on the theory that substantial articles rather than brief notations of widely scattered topics serve better to fulfil the purpose of reference information'. The need for cross-reference is more than adequately met by a meticulous indexing of topics in the body of the work and a Name Index at the end. The selected references at the end of each article are to primary sources.

There are fifty-two contributors, most of them professors of philosophy; also represented are anthropology, sociology, and religion. The seven-page article on Freud by Walter Kaufmann of Princeton University is a model of lucid evaluation. The following is from the concluding paragraphs:

'There remains yet the most important point of all. No man before Freud had given equal substance to one of the most striking sayings in the Gospels (found only in the fourth Gospel, and not even in the early manuscripts of that, but first related of a Stoic sage): "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone …" Nothing that Freud has done, and little that anyone else has done, is more relevant to ethics than his success in breaking down the wall between the normal and the abnormal, the respectable and the criminal, the good and the evil. Freud gave, as it were, a new answer to the Gospel query, "who is my neighbor?".

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