- Amazon Students Members Get an Extra 10% Off Selected Books Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Aristotle and the Metaphysics (Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks) Paperback – 19 Feb 2004
Save an extra 10% with Amazon Student*
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the "Metaphysics is well-written and philosophically acute. It will prove a most worthwhile addition to your series, and will be helpful for final year undergraduates and graduates taking options in Aristotle's metaphysics."-David Charles, Oxford University
About the Author
Vasilis Politis is lecturer of philosophy at Trinity College Dublin.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Metaphysics is an important work in classical philosophy and can be difficult without a guide. At the outset, Politis does a solid job of situating the work within the Western philosophical tradition and highlighting the issue that Aristotle is addressing- namely the nature of being. These types of commentaries are normally structured either thematically or chapter by chapter; Politis takes the thematic approach.
From a substantive perspective, I have little argument with the author's assessment; indeed, he seems a knowledgeable commentator. My criticisms are largely stylistic - while occasionally lucid, his writing is often rambling, repetitive and cumbersome. His frequent verbatim repetition caused me on several occasions to flip back and check to see if some pages had been accidently reprinted. Certainly, repetition can sometimes be a useful rhetorical tool helping to summarize or add emphasis - in this case, it was overuse and detracting. Unfortunately, such stylistic limitations have the effect of making the material more difficult and discouraging all but the most determined reader. A prime example is his handling of the Principle of Non-Contradiction (PNC). To follow the metaphysics, it is important to consider how Aristotle understands the PNC, i.e. whether it is in a limited logical/linguistic sense, or in a broader ontological sense. An interesting point worthy of discussion - but not for thirty plus pages - it is not that difficult or controversial.
The discussion of universals and particulars is equally frustrating. Watching Politis struggle to find words to discuss these notions (granted they can be difficult), the uninitiated reader would almost think that the author is breaking new ground, rather than participating in a dialogue that is over two thousand years old. At one point he labors to find a term to describe an unqualified particular, why not use `bare particular' or `unqualified particular". Perhaps I miss his intention with respect to this particular point, however, the overall impression is of someone flailing away in the brush to break a trail, when an effective and well trodden path already exists.
Glancing at my review, perhaps my comments are a bit harsh. This is not a terrible book and the author is likely a capable scholar, however, his limitations as a writer, at least in this case, prevent him from communicating his knowledge in an effective manner. I wonder how many students will simply put this aside after a few chapters. Although I have no specific recommendations I would look elsewhere for a commentary on the Metaphysics.
Politis also explains the ongoing controversy about the meaning of Aristotle's "essence": some think that it refers to universals that are kinds or species, like "Socrates'" essence would be: "human being". Others, and Politis holds this view, argue that essences are strictly of particulars.
Finally in section 7.5.ix: "Is the essence and the form of each particular thing a universal, a particular of both?", Politis argues for an intermediate position that I find very convincing: "the essence and form is both a particular and a universal". The idea is that the essences of both "Socrates" and "Plato" are that they are each this particular human being, but that this mode of explanation, if repeated indefinitely for each particular human, leads to a concept of a universal after all.