The Philosophical Dictionary is a hypertext of alphabetically arranged terms and ideas in English or Dutch.
For a brief explanation why it exists, see Introduction.
The basic principle of it is quite simple:
It is a hypertext dictionary of terms, arranged alphabetically, linked at many places to other items in the dictionary, written in one or the other of the two languages I know best, which are Dutch and English, to a large extent where it is original derived from my own writings, published and unpublished, and otherwise based on the best sources I have access to.
The four main differences with other dictionaries, philosophical or not, are that
1. This dictionary is a vehicle for publishing my own ideas and values
2. It relies much on the principles of hypertext - with which the reader must be familiar from the internet, and may know about in the form of html or xml, which are specific well-known hypertext formats; and
3. the entries may vary much in length, and occassionally - especially when I talk of Dutch circumstances - may be satirical.
4. At various places I use logic or mathematics, and I do so to a larger extent than other philosophical dictionaries or encyclopedias.
As for my own ideas and values: See the Introduction and read the Dictionary.
As to hypertext: The basic principle is that this concerns text read with the help of a computer which makes it possible to put links in text (or pictures etc.) that when clicked directly pop up another text (or pictures etc.)
This enables another way of reading through large hypertexts made up of many files, such as the Philosophical Dictionary, because one needs to spend no time finding things, and each new subject can be given its own file, and be written and maintained apart from the rest of the hypertext, to any part of which it may be linked at any convenient term or place.
So it should all be quite easy to read as you please, provided you are connected to the internet or have a CD with the Philosophical Dictionary.
As to logic and mathematics: Most of it is explained somewhere in the Dictionary, but you can skip it without loosing much, also because I normally provide English translations for the formulas I use.
To help you to read through the Philosophical Dictionary, or such parts as interest you, there are
- a list of important terms and ideas, where a lot is explained, or where start many links to other entries
- a list of recent entries to the Dictionary with links
- a complete alphabetical index of both English and Dutch terms (and such terms in other languages that may occur) and separate indexes for English and for Dutch
- a list of categories with selected entries in these categories, since every entry in the Dictionary will be classified as belonging to at least one category