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On the Soul and on Memory and Recollection [Paperback]


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Book Description

1 Sep 2001
On the Soul is also known by its Latin title De Anima or its Greek title Peri Psuchês What does it mean to be a natural living thing? Are plants and animals alive simply because of an arrangement of material parts, or does life spring from something else? In this timeless and profound inquiry, Aristotle presents a view of the psyche that avoids the simplifications both of the materialists and those who believe in the soul as something quite distinct from body. On the Soul also includes Aristotle's idiosyncratic and influential account of light and colors. On Memory and Recollection continues the investigation of some of the topics introduced in On the Soul.

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Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars.

After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.

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"Aristotle's On the Soul is among the most important books on the pre-modern account of soul. ... But On the Soul is as difficult as it is important and, for the English-language reader, help is needed. Few translators can match Joe Sachs's commitment to letting Aristotle speak for himself and to making clear what Aristotle has said. Sachs's introduction and notes are special. Based on my classroom use of this book, Sachs's work is indispensable for the teaching of Aristotle's On the Soul." --Richard F. Hassing, School of Philosophy, Catholic University

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Being-At-Work-Staying-Itself of Aristotle 4 Dec 2001
By Charlene L. Taylor-Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Although the Sachs' translation and phrasing is difficult to ingest upon first glance, it is the only way to go in order to truly understand the meaning in Aristotle's work without reading the original Greek text. He captures Aristotle's subtilties in wording amazingly, while also preserving the literality and spirit of the Greek in a way that no other translator before has. The Greek vocabulary lessons preceding the chapters are extremely helpful, acquainting the unfamiliar with the fundamental words and concepts of Aristotle. He helps to make a deep and difficult treatise more manageable, although I would highly recommend using another translation to boot in any close reading of this work.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable Edition, Masterful Translation of a Classic 9 Sep 2008
By Timothy Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Aristotle's De Anima is a wonderful addition to his corpus. If you're considering buying it, you already know enough and need no further knowledge from me concerning it.

Translation: Joe Sachs is a high-quality translator of Aristotle. His versions are highly accurate and literal, free from most bias. They generally are very reliable. Sachs does not use Latin cognates in his translation, so Greek words like "energeia" are rendered "being-at-work", versus the Latin "activity". If you don't mind this, than Sachs is the man for you.

Aesthetics: Unbeatable. This edition was made for serious study and it shows. There is plenty of room in the margins for taking notes, key terms are given in each chapter for the reader to notice (some might consider this a negative point), and the text itself is beautiful, well-spaced, and easy on the eyes.

Durability: If you know Green Lion Press, you will not be surprised. This book was made for study and is a steel-wrought tome among lesser volumes. The clothbound version has glued AND sewn pages and the spread can be fully opened without breaking the spine. The paper is thick and well-suited for note-taking. I expect my soft-bound edition to last fifty years.

Size: A great size for casual reading. It fits almost anywhere you want it too - suitcase, backpack, etc.

Price: Kind of pricey for such a short book (you can get half of Aeschylus and Herodotus for $20), but not surprising given the awesome durability of the book.

If you're looking for a good De Anima translation, look no further, for Green Lion and Joe Sachs are almost perfect (if only Green Lion would publish Apostle's Aristotle!).
5.0 out of 5 stars readable well laid out 30 Jun 2013
By Susan K. Gushue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The introduction and notes are extremely helpful. We have been reading it in a small book group and we've found that our difficulties are with the text not the translation which is refreshing.
I would highly recommend it and I'm looking forward to reading Mr.Sachs translation of the Nicomachean Ethics.
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