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Aristotle's Metaphysics Paperback – 1 Mar 1999


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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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"By avoiding the standard Latinized terminology, Sachs translates the Metaphysics into very concrete words and phrases whose meanings are often immediately recognizable. The result is a translation that is direct and provocative, a translation that helps readers wrestle with Aristotle's philosophical issues rather than [with] an alien vocabulary. Highly recommended." --Edward Halper, --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x99da33c0) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99da41d0) out of 5 stars Fabulous Edition, Competitive Translation 12 Nov. 2009
By Timothy Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First I will discuss the positives of Mr. Sachs's translation. The question of whether someone should or should not read the Metaphysics is self-evident.

The edition is aesthetically fabulous. Green Lion Press always crafts superlative texts (cf. their editions of Euclid and Apollonius) and the Metaphysics is no exception. Margins are generous, the cover is sturdy, and the pages are both sewn and glued. If one takes even the smallest care with it, the book will last many years.

The translation is likewise competitive with every other essentially literal translation available, though not their superior. Sachs replaces Latinate cognates such as "substance", "actuality", and "potentiality" with terms like "thinghood", "being-at-work-staying-itself", and "potency". Make use of his glossary and your lexicon to figure out "ousia", "energeia", and "dunamis". After this work to make sense of Aristotle's technical terms, this translation will serve you well.

The downside to Mr. Sachs' translation is this: it is not really superior to any other essentially literal translation available: Hippocrates Apostle's and W.D. Ross' translations serve admirably. I do not share Mr. Sachs' contention that the Latin translations of Aristotle have obscured his meaning; rather, I contend Aristotle's work contains difficult technical vocabulary, and how one translates this vocabulary can never be "immediately comprehended" as Mr. Sachs asserts. One must struggle, then, directly with "substance" or "thinghood"; indirectly, with "ousia".
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a004720) out of 5 stars By far the best translation and notes available 12 Feb. 2010
By A Person - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Without knowing Greek and the subtle shades of meaning and relationships among words that such knowledge reveals, understanding the depth of Aristotle's Metaphysics is nearly impossible - unless you have Joe Sachs' translation. Through other translators, Aristotle seems to be playing an archaic game of semantics, and so would seem difficult to take seriously as providing us a viable philosophical system. The reviewer below criticizes Sachs for departing from the usual practice of using Latin cognates to translate key words, as if those cognates are more intelligible than Sachs's non-standard English. To a certain extent, this is true - the usual "actuality" for Aristotle's "entelecheia" is a more intelligible word in English than Sachs's "being-at-work-staying-itself". "Actuality" sounds straightforward, while Sachs's phrase makes us scratch our heads and ponder the meaning. Such pondering, however, is the point. After Sachs has made you ponder, do you suspect that you might understand a bit more about what Aristotle was up to than if you just ran across "actuality" without giving it a second thought? If someone told you that Aristotle simply meant "actuality" and then you found out that the Greek word contained everything expressed in "being-at-work-staying-itself", wouldn't you feel like like the previous translator pulled the wool over your eyes? I'll gladly accept more awkward English as the price for grasping the richness of Aristotle's vocabulary. The one other highly useful translation is Montgomery Furth's for its faithfulness to Aristotle's sentence structure, though it contains only part of the Metaphysics and uses the latin-derived vocabulary.

Apart from the translation, Sachs's notes provide unique insights quite unlike any I've seen from the usual big names who specialize in ancient philosophy, and will provide immense help to the student and open a new horizon of understanding for the seasoned reader. In fact, the notes and introduction alone would make this translation worth buying. Perhaps this is partly explained by the fact that Sachs seems to take Aristotle more seriously, and to read him more sympathetically, than most any other contemporary English commentator.

I cannot recommend Sachs's effort highly enough - and the same goes for his translations of other works by Plato and Aristotle.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99b91b4c) out of 5 stars Meticulous translator of Aristotle 23 Jan. 2005
By A. Lowry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've not read Sachs's translation of the Metaphysics, though I did work through his version of the Physics during a summer at St. John's College (where he teaches). His Metaphysics was circulating as a xerox copy at the college bookstore; I'm glad to see it in print.

Anyone unfortunate enough (as I am) to read Aristotle in English rather than ancient Greek, can benefit from Sachs's translations, though it remains worthwhile to have something like the classic Oxford translation alongside, to compare their senses of the Greek text. Sachs's object is to recover what Aristotle may've been up to, by avoiding the Latinate terminology that haunts Aristotle studies and trying to find more "authentic" meanings for the Greek words. Whatever his ultimate success or failure, it's wonderful to have such a fresh approach to the translation of Aristotle available.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d07a98) out of 5 stars I absolutely love this translator. 23 Feb. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book of Theology. Aristotle names it so and treats the subject as objectively as is humanly possible.
Don't read it in a vacuum, though. Familiarize yourself with Aristotle's particular flavor and rhythm of thought, preferably with this translator.
HASH(0x99d03ea0) out of 5 stars extremely faithful to the original 21 Sept. 2014
By L. Basut - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Try no other translation, but read Sachs. He is the best!
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