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The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) Hardcover – 27 Jan 1995


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  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (27 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521411335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521411332
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,661,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"This lively collection serves its purpose well." Ethics

"...a clear, concise, well organized, comprehensive treatment of Aristotle's philosophy." Howard J. Curzer, Canadian Philosophical Review

"The book is above all an inspring and informative guide for philosophically ambitious students of Aristotle, but even a more advanced reader finds much of interest and pleasure in it." Bryn Mawr Classical Review

""The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle is a must read for any Aristotelian scholar, but it is also beneficial to a reader with little knowledge of ancient thought. This is a great value for anyone's library." Steve W. Lamke, The Theological Educator

Book Description

Aristotle is one of the very greatest thinkers in the Western tradition, but also one of the most difficult. The contributors to this volume do not attempt to disguise the nature of that difficulty, but at the same time they offer a clear exposition of the central philosophical concerns in his work.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What's the problem Boo Boo? This is a welcome 'Godsend' to all philosophy students & students of Life who want to understand Mr. A. Those Greeks eh? Simples me thinks therefore I am, am I? Have fun.
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By Robert Carey on 2 Dec 2014
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Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
A excellent guide to reading Aristotle himself 9 Mar 2000
By Louie Kin Yip - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The work of Aristotle is difficult, wide-ranging and dry. As Joanathan Barnes explained in the introduction in this book, this is probably because Aristotle's work is an unauthorized collection of lecture notes. Therefore, an introduction to the main themes in his work is an invaluable help to approaching the master's work. The Cambridge guide has chapters on metaphysics, logic, ethics, philosophy of science, science, psychology, politics, rhetoric. It also contains a massive bibliography. The essays concentrates on explaining the content of Aristotle's work, but it also introduce readers to modern controveries in interpretating Aristotle. The essay of Barnes on the very confusing work Metaphysics is pure gold. Other essays are excellent too.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The Cream of the Companion Series 11 April 2003
By x_gamma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The 'Cambridge Companion' to philosophy series has put out some great products. In my opinion this may be the best. Absolutely splendid articles that help the reader understand Aristotle rather than some philosopher's interpretation of him. For such a polymath as Aristotle, the authors did a good job of focusing on key facets of his philosopy that adequately prepare and stimulate the reader to investigate other of Aristotle's writings, which the Companion could not cover for lack of space. The bibliography and subject guides to the secondary liturature are well done.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle 16 Jun 2002
By Joe Zika - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle edited by Jonathan Barnes is a is an excellent book. If you are studing Aristotle or just reading him, you've probably gritted your teeth and started to put the reading down for later. Being that most of us do NOT read Greek, we rely on someone who can and the translations do vary. We also need a way to study and a plan to organize our reading in a logical manner.
This book is an excellent choice for that purpose. This book helps to alleviate some of the fears one has in reading a great thinker who is not only difficult and challenging but also complex. The content of this book are as follows: Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Science, Psychology, Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric and poetics. There is an introduction and a suggestions for reading section which are invaluable and help the reader to understand and comprehend what is trying to be said.
If you need help with Aristotle... look no further than this book to help you get organized and to better understand Aristotle. Approach and methods vary from person to person, but if someone has proceeded you in understanding it is prudent to follow those footsteps... then make your interpretation.
The editor has written an excellent chapter on Metaphysics. Metaphysics is one of Aristotle's most difficult books to understand. Here the editor helps the reader to understand it and also how to read Aristotle with a logical approach.
Remember the best aid to reading Aristotle is Aristotle himself. Aristotle is difficult so read him slowly, very slowly, then he is inspiring and gripping. But, it helps to have someone to rely on and this book will help.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Philosophy of Aristotle? This is the best introduction 21 Jun 2008
By William J. Romanos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best introduction to one of the most - if not the most - important philosophers in human history.

Aristotle's body of work is extremely wide-ranging as well as dense in detail, and often extremely complex and subtle. This Cambridge Companion simplifies and explains - without the loss of fidelity to the complex and subtle and innovative nature of his teachings - the most important of his teachings.

This Cambridge Companion to Aristotle has essays by preeminent scholars in the field. The book focuses on the most important and influential of Aristotle's philosophical thinking.

It includes essays on Aristotle's logic, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of science and science generally, and psychology, poetics, rhetoric, and politics. These are the core subjects in Aristotle's canon. It is generally believed among scholars that most all of the work of Aristotle that has survived and come down to us today, consists of copies of lecture notes that his students took at his school (known as the Lyceum). Thus, much of his "writings" - though copied for generations and then edited by translators - often seems disjointed or unnecessarily complex in terms of its clarity and organization.

If you are new to studying philosophy, I suggest you start with this Cambridge Companion or the one on Plato. If you start with the one on Aristotle, I suggest you read this Companion and then either at the same time or right after, begin reading the primary texts. You can read all the secondary and ancillary texts you want on philosophers and philosophy, but they are never a substitute for the primary texts. The primary texts are infinitely more rewarding, provided you are able to understand them - and that is where guides like this one come in hand.

To start off on some of his most readable and understandable works (yet still highly important), I suggest you start with poetics (which is about the construction of and study of drama and story (think "plays" or stories like the Illiad by Homer), and narrative structure. What we have of poetics is short, excellent, and is generally believed to be only one part of a larger teaching that has been lost to humanity. I then suggest you read Aristotle's Rhetoric and then Politics. These are easy to understand, but you will gain tremendously by re-reading them over time in greater detail. You can then move on to his Logic (which Aristotle is known as the founder of logic, he invented, or depending on your view, discovered, the tri-partite syllogism and syllogistic structure and logical argument. You can then move on to his Metaphysics, but I suggest that you read and study Plato before embarking on Aristotle's Metaphysics, as you will understand Aristotle better by first reading Plato, as Aristotle was a student of Plato, and Aristotle's Metaphysics takes into account, is a reaction to, and is an extension and modification (or overturning of most aspects- depending on your viewpoint), of Plato's metaphysics (Plato's Ideas vs. Aristotle's Universals). The Cambridge Companion to Plato is also excellent. If you are embarking on a serious study of philosophy for the first time, you may want to read Plato and the Cambridge Companion to Plato before embarking on Aristotle. You will understand Aristotle better if you understand Plato's works first. These are the two most important philosophers in Western civilization, and in my view - and depending on your viewpoint - world history and civilization.

In any event I highly recommend this Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. This is the first one I purchased and read, and I have subsequently enjoyed and found extremely useful other Cambridge Companions for other philosophers.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I appreciate Robin Smith's work here 19 April 2010
By Michael R. Burton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really appreciate Robin Smith's summary. I find that Barnes, who wrote several sections, comments negatively (pointing out what he thinks are flaws) in the midst of what I think should be summary. I really think he should share commentary after he shares a summary. Also, I don't find Barnes to offer a balanced view, but an overly-negative one. His work on Aristotle's Rhetoric, for example, finds all kinds of things he doesn't like, but does not acknowledge the fantastically useful stuff.

Again, I find Robin Smith's work useful and dispassionate, and I thank the cambridge companion for making me aware of him; I have since picked up his translation of Topics (Books 1 & 8) and his translation of Prior Analytics.
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