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The Metaphysics: translated by John H. McMahon [Paperback]

Nicholas Rescher , Aristotle , John McMahon
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 May 1991
Metaphysics is the study of existence at the highest level of generality. It is traditionally characterised as the study of "being qua being" - of being in general rather than specifically of this or that sort. Accordingly, the salient task of the field is to achieve a clearer understanding of the concepts and principles of being, existence, and reality. As such, metaphysics has been an established sector of philosophy since the time of Aristotle's initial systematisation of the subject in the fourth century B.C.E.In line with tradition, distinguished philosopher Nicholas Rescher presents key topics that have always figured on the agenda of metaphysics: the nature and rationale of existence, the differentiation of what is actual from the unreal and mere possibility, and the prospects and limits of our knowledge of the real. Though a work of philosophical sophistication and logical rigour, "Metaphysics" displays a clarity of exposition that makes it suitable for use as a text or supplementary reader in upper-class undergraduate and graduate philosophy courses.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (19 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879756713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879756710
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,899,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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Book Description

TEXTBOOK --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

A few quick notes on interpretation of my work.
Just wanted all of you to know that I, Aristotle, am indeed live and well...well, sorta. My soul lives on inside this box, this computer. I have learned to speak binary as well as English, and I think that the Internet is a great spot for fun.

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It is necessary, with a view to the science we are seeking, for us first to go through the issues about which one must first raise aporiae. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction, not so great translation 2 Aug 2010
Firstly, this review - obviously - is not a review of the Metaphysics itself, but of this particular edition. Hugh Lawson-Tancred, as well as translating the work for Penguin, has also supplied commentary and an Introduction.

The Introduction is most interesting. Whilst not precisely a `scrapbook', the books and chapters of the Metaphysics were written at different times, and thus do not always result in the same answers to the questions posed. Aristotle's thought was a great deal more undogmatic and investigative than would be suggested by those who, misled by the systematic nature of Aristotle's works, presented his philosophy as a once-and-for-all block. At the same time, the work has an intelligible structure and Lawson-Tancred ably puts forward his case that this structure may go back to Aristotle himself (though I am personally not convinced on this point).

However, whatever the merits of the translator's Introduction, in the end it is the translation itself that matters. Here, the translator has attempted to make the text more readable, even conversational, and the result is not entirely successful. Thus, the last portion of Metaphysics 1093b is translated by Lawson-Tancred as follows (the capital letters are in the original):

OK. OK. Enough examples of what happens on this theory. Many more could be marshalled, but enough. The endless, endless difficulties about production, the total non-obtaining of any mode of schematizing, which afflict Form numbers are surely plausibly construed as a sign. They are a sign that MATHEMATICAL ENTITIES DO NOT EXIST IN SEPARATION FROM PERCEPTIBLE OBJECTS (as widely advertised) and that PRINCIPLES OF THIS KIND GIBT ES NICHT.

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There are better translations than this. 7 Oct 2008
This is not a good translation. As a newcomer to the study of philosophy I expect some texts to be difficult, but this isn't difficult it's silly. Side by side with the Oxford University Press edition, translated by W.D. Ross, the difference is clear. Sometimes it seems as though they used Babelfish, the words are there but the sense is all gone. If you're looking to study Aristotle don't choose this translation.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential part of any study of philosophy, 23 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Aristotle's Metaphysics cannot be underestimated as a fundamental in Western thought. While sometimes a plodding read (compared to Plato's Dialogues), the substance of Aristotle's work is far more rewarding to the serious reader. This book is an required component of any collection on philosophy.
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19 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad translation 29 May 1999
By A Customer
I bought this, but will toss it in the trash as soon as I find a better translation. Billed as a "new" translation, here is a sample: "But science and art result unto men by means of experience; for experience,indeed, as Polus saith, has produced art, but inexperience chance." "unto" "saith"??? does that sound like a new translation to you? If it really is new, the translator can't write worth beans. Aristotle is transcendently clear, not muddy. The Modern Library Introduction to Aristotle has a much better translation, but only reprints excerpts. I'm still looking for an good edition that is both affordable and complete.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A good cheap and decent translation from Penguin. Ignore the 1 star. I`m writing to give it a 5. How dare he. One of the essential 25 texts of Philosophy and pre me writing it scores a 3. Pure essential Aristotle. This and his Ethics are core to Western Civilisation and Philosophy as we know it. From the man who gave us the term Metaphysics. Here`s the first real thoughts of the subject.
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