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The Basic Works Of Aristotle (2009)

The Basic Works of Aristotle (2009)

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4.17 of 5 Votes: 1
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0375757996 (ISBN13: 9780375757990)
modern library/random house (ny)

About book The Basic Works Of Aristotle (2009)

On 'Rhetoric:'Pg 1326: "As to whether a thing is important or unimportant, just or unjust, the judge must surely refuse to take his instructions from to litigants: he must decide for himself all such points as the law-giver has not already defined for him.(On the judges): "They will often have allowed themselves to be so much influenced by feeling of friendship or hatred or self-interest that they lose any clear vision of the truth and have their judgement obscured by considerations of personal pleasure or pain.Pg 1327: "The true and the approximately true are apprehended by the same faculty; it may also be noted that men have a sufficient natural instinct for what is true, and usually do arrive at the truth. Hence the man who makes a good guess at truth is likely to make a good guess at probabilities. Pg 1327: "[I:]f the decisions of the judges are not what they ought to be, the defeat must be done to the speakers themselves, and they must be blamed accordingly."Pg 1328: " [T:]hings that are true and things that are better are, by their nature, practically always easier to believe in.""For example, it is not the function of medicine to simply make a man quite healthy, but to put him as far as may be on the road to health; it is possible to give excellent treatment even to those who can never enjoy sound health."Pg 1329: 3 Kinds of Persuasion"The first kind depend on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the 3rd on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of speech itself.""[H:]is character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses."On Generation & Corruption:Pg 494: "Nevertheless it is commonly supposed that 'touching' must be reciprocal. The reason of this belief is that 'movers' which belong to the same kind as the 'moved' impact motion by being moved. Hince if anything imparts motion without itself being moved, it may touch the 'moved' and yet itself by touched by nothing-for we say sometimes that the man who grieves us 'touches' us, but not that we 'touch' him. The account just give may serve to distinguish and define th 'contact' which occurs in the things of Nature.Pg 497: "The active power is a 'cause' in the sense of that from which the process originates: but the end, for the sake of which it takes place, is not 'active.' (That is why health is not 'active,' except metaphorically.) "Now fire contains 'the hot' embodied in matter: but a 'hot' separate from matter (if such a thing existed) could not suffer any action. Perhaps, indeed, it is impossible that 'the hot' should exist in separation from matter" but if there are any entities thus separable, what we are saying would be true of them."Pg 498: For if it is divisible through and through, there is no 'one,' and therefore no 'many' either, but the Whole is void' while to maintain that it is divisible at some points, but not at others, looks like an arbitrary fiction. For up to what limit is it divisible? And for what reason is part of the Whole indivisible, i.e. a plenum, and part divided? Further, they maintain, it is equally necessary to deny the existence of motion. Reasoning in this way, therefore, they were led to transcend sense-perception, and to disregard it on the ground that 'one ought' to follow the argument: and so they assert that the universe is 'one' and immovable. Some of them add it is 'infinite,' since the limit (if it had one) would be a limit against the void. There were, then, certain thinkers who, for the reasons we have stated, enunciate views of this kind as their theory of "The Truth."...Moreover, although these opinions appear to follow logically in a dialectical discussion, yet to believe them seems next door to madness when one considers the facts. For indeed no lunatic seems to be so far out of his senses as to suppose that fire and ice are 'one' it is only between what is right, and what seems right from habit, that some people are mad enough to see no difference. Response to Leucippus: (On the other hand), he conceded to the Monists that there could be no motion without a void. The result is a theory which he states as follows: "The void is a "not-being," and no part of "what is" is a "not-being," for what "is" in the strict sense of the term is an absolute plenum. This plenum, however, is not "one:" on the contrary, it is a "many" infinite in number and invisible owing to the minuteness of their bulk. The "many" move in the void (for there is a void): and by coming together they produce "coming-to-be," while by separating they produce "passing-away."

Such a stunning cover design, as per usual with the post-1992 editions of the Modern Library Classics. I'm proceeding through these extensive collations of über-dry genius in the following order: EthicsPoliticsPoeticsOn InterpretationPhysicsMetaphysicsCategoriesOn The SoulRhetoricI anticipate completion to be achieved circa mid-century...

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I accept that this is regarded as a major milestone in human understanding but it's very hard to follow. A picture here and there would be illuminating. An edition with pictures or "Cole's Notes" explaining what the heck Aristotle is talking about would be nice. I'm mostly reading this to dispel the mystery of what it's about and to check it off the list so I'm not taking the time to try and understand the content based on the content itself; I'd go to Khan Academy or a similar resource if I actually wanted to learn the content. Maybe learning from an ancient text alone would strengthen my reading comprehension and academic conviction but I'm not passionate about either of those.
—Chris Maguire

This text was my introduction to Aristotle during my college years. I read from this work alongside readings from the dialogues of Plato. Then I decided I was at heart an Aristotelian. That means among other things that I "desire to know" as Aristotle puts it in his Metaphysics. It also means that I am interested in the real world and that there is such a world that exists independent of my mind. Aristotle's works have been part of my reading life ever since. This is one of the best one volume collections of his work. I would recommend it to all who are interested in philosophy and have the desire to know.

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