2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2011
I am presently on a B.A. degree course, part of which are modules on ethics and I found this book an excellent help in the area of greek philosophy. I would recommend this book for ethics students. V.F. Dublin, Ireland.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2009
This is a review specifically of the *Wordsworth* edition of the Nicomachean Ethics.
For the nonspecialist reader this translation is a value-for-money choice. At Wordsworth prices it will rightly be attractive to cash-strapped students. There, however, my plaudits end.
Wordsworth should get it into their heads that competitive pricing of classics is not a licence for editorial laxity. Defects in the Wordsworth edition include the following:
1. Original publication details are not given. Perhaps they do not need to be given in full but good republishers of classics, especially Dover, always give them. In this edition Wordsworth does not even tell the reader the date of the original translation.
2. Reproduction of words in the Greek alphabet is marred by frequent occurrences of a capital Y with an umlaut and, in at least one place, of a character from Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. This should have been spotted at proof reading. Sadly I suspect that it was and that they let it through anyway.
3. The extra cost of properly acknowledging translators and editors is negligible and they deserve more credit than Wordsworth gives them. This is mean-spirited. Wordsworth should take their cue from Penguin and Oxford Classics and give details of authors, translators and editors in the book's front matter.
As to the translation itself, many flaws are evident. Rackham has clearly tried to use the simplest vocabulary possible but this leads often to an uneven register of rendition. Where in the translator's notes he gives alternative renditions, one wonders why he did not use those in the text itself. The notes are almost all linguistically oriented with hardly any attention to the underlying philosophy.
My overall verdict? Buy it if you are on a tight budget and are seeking an acquaintance with the overall direction of the Ethics. Otherwise try Penguin or Oxford, who will give you a more recent translation with better notes and proper editorial provenance.