Written in the fourth century BCE by Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle, Physics set out to define the principles and causes of change, movement, and motion. For 2,000 years ― until discoveries by Galileo, Newton, and other scientists ― this treatise was the primary source for explanations of falling rocks, rising flames, the circulation of air, and other physical phenomena. Modern readers are required to bring a keen sense of criticism to these writings. Although Aristotle incorporated some degree of experience and observation in his thinking, the root of his reasoning lies in the philosophical approach. The brilliance of the philosopher's mind and his articulate manner of expression, together with the fact that he was among the first to undertake an intellectually rigorous investigation of nature's basic properties, contribute to the historic value of this book. It remains a foundational work of modern science and philosophy and a key to understanding the work of subsequent theorists and scholars.
Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. The principal subject is "being qua being," or being insofar as it is being. It examines what can be asserted about anything that exists just because of its existence and not because of any special qualities it has. Also covered are different kinds of causation, form and matter, the existence of mathematical objects, and a prime-mover God. The Metaphysics is considered to be one of the greatest philosophical works. Its influence on the Greeks, the Muslim philosophers, the scholastic philosophers and even writers such as Dante, was immense. It is essentially a reconciliation of Plato's theory of Forms that Aristotle acquired at the Academy in Athens, with the view of the world given by common sense and the observations of the natural sciences. According to Plato, the real nature of things is eternal and unchangeable. However, the world we observe around us is constantly and perpetually changing. Aristotle’s genius was to reconcile these two apparently contradictory views of the world. The result is a synthesis of the naturalism of empirical science, and the rationalism of Plato, that informed the Western intellectual tradition for more than a thousand years.
Building on the strengths of the first edition, the second edition of the Irwin Nicomachean Ethics features a revised translation (with little editorial intervention), expanded notes (including a summary of the argument of each chapter), an expanded Introduction, and a revised glossary.
The writings of Greek philosopher ARISTOTLE (384BC322Bestudent of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Greatare among the most influential on Western thought, and indeed upon Western civilization itself. From theology and logic to politics and even biology, there is no area of human knowledge that has not been touched by his thinking. In Nicomachean Ethicsconsidered a companion piece to Aristotles Politicsthe philosopher explores concepts of virtue, character, and happiness. What is the essence of being human? Do people have an ultimate function? Can desire be virtuous? What is morality? How should ethics work in the larger culture? What is justice? How should we define evil? All these questions, and others, are discussed and debated in this, one of the worlds great books. Students and armchair philosophers will find it a challengingand rewardingread.
Preserved by Arabic mathematicians and canonized by Christian scholars, Aristotle’s works have shaped Western thought, science, and religion for nearly two thousand years. Richard McKeon’s The Basic Works of Aristotle–constituted out of the definitive Oxford translation and in print as a Random House hardcover for sixty years–has long been considered the best available one-volume Aristotle. Appearing in paperback at long last, this edition includes selections from the Organon, On the Heavens, The Short Physical Treatises, Rhetoric, among others, and On the Soul, On Generation and Corruption, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Poetics in their entirety.
Hailed by Dante as "the master of those who know," the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) surveyed every field of learning known to the ancient world and pioneered the sciences of psychology and logic. A disciple of Plato and the tutor to Alexander the Great, Aristotle was a prolific writer, although many of his works have been lost. His treatises, used by the students of his famous Athenian school, the Lyceum, exerted a profound and lasting influence on Western thought. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics is one of the world's great books. Identifying happiness as the goal of life, he rejects pleasure, fame, and wealth as means to it. The summit of human achievement is attainable only through the contemplation of philosophic truth, because this practice exercises the virtue peculiar to the human being, the rational principle. This inexpensive edition of a philosophical landmark will prove an invaluable resource to students and general readers alike.
Among the most influential books in Western civilization, Aristotle's Poetics is really a treatise on fine art. In it are mentioned not only epic and dithyrambic poetry, but tragedy, comedy, and flute and lyre playing. Aristotle's conception of tragedy, i.e. the depiction of a heroic action that arouses pity and fear in the spectators and brings about a catharsis of those emotions, has helped perpetuate the Greek ideal of drama to the present day. Similarly, his dictums concerning unity of time and place, the necessity for a play to have a beginning, middle, and end, the idea of the tragic flaw and other concepts have had enormous influence down through the ages. Throughout the work, Aristotle reveals not only a great intellect analyzing the nature of poetry, music, and drama, but also a down-to-earth understanding of the practical problems facing the poet and playwright. Now, in this inexpensive edition of the Poetics, readers can enjoy the seminal insights of one of the greatest minds in human history as he sets about laying the foundations of critical thought about the arts.
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