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Aristotle the Philosopher Paperback – October 1, 1981

ISBN-13: 978-0192891181 ISBN-10: 0192891189 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192891189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192891181
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'An excellent little book. One cannot sufficiently recommend this book as an up-to-date fascinating introduction to Aristotle, clearly presented and accessible to the non-specialist. Even for the specialist, although its content will be known to him, this brief volume gives an interesting and, above all, refreshing presentation. Philosophical Studies

About the Author

J. L. Ackrill is at Brasenose College, Oxford.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G. T. on February 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to Aristotle. It is so easy to make Aristotle confusing, but Ackrill writes very clearly, even on copmlicated and difficult matters. In only 155 pages he admirably achieves his aim in bringing to light the remarkable range and depth of Aristotle's thought.

The book will be of use to beginners as a first introduction to Aristotle's philosophy as well as to those already acquainted with Aristotle. For those thirsty for more discussion about Aristotle, there are suggestions for further readings in the book.

This might be the best short introduction to Aristotle around and I recommend it to anyone wanting to get to know Aristotle better.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Aitken on October 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Introduction

J. L. Ackrill undertakes to examine the highlights of Aristotle's thought and use them to springboard into philosophical inquiry. Ackrill begins the book with a brief biography of Aristotle and an introduction to his thought. Ackrill aims to clear up misconceptions concerning Aristotle's methodology and to see that criticisms that are raised against Aristotle should actually be leveled against his followers who had different interests, and less ability, than Aristotle (81). The major themes of Aristotle that are presented in this book are the analysis of change, formal logic, the mind-body problem, metaphysics, ethics, and philosophical logic.

An Examination of Aristotelian Themes

The Analysis of Change. Ackrill begins illustrating Aristotle's thought on matter and change by referring to Aristotle's response to the problem raised by Parmeninedes and his school, the Eleatics; namely, "What is, is one and unchangeable"-making predication and distinctions in thought and communication impossible. Aristotle deals with this as an absurdity based on deliberate misunderstanding. He makes two simple points: he attacks the Eleatics' central thesis by showing their equivocation of the verb "to be." Aristotle deals with this problem by stating that all logical communication assumes the qualifications of its terms. Secondly, he attacks their unwarranted dismal of ascribing characteristics or saying that things cannot change (25). Ackrill then outlines the three important aspects of Aristotle's analysis of change-"x comes to be by y," "y comes to be from x," and "y comes into being" (27, 28).

Explanation of the Natural Sciences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan E. Sandman on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent secondary read. I am reading original text from Aristotle and having this book in conjunction with the original text is very helpful. Ackrill is accurate with the the analysis of Aristotle's text. I would recommend this book for either undergraduate studies or someone who is interested in the classics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Modern physics and astronomy began as a reaction to Aristotle or, as J.L Ackrill points out, the "Aristotelians," who turned Aristotle's concepts into doctrines. I was looking for a book that did justice to Aristotle's actual reasoning process about nature as well as one that tied his ideas into his life work as a philosopher and early scientist. This book does all that. If you are looking strictly for a biography of Aristotle, there is an excellent one recently published: Aristotle: His Life and School by Carlo Natali. That book works carefully through the resources available to make a coherent and well-written account of Aristotle's life. However, there is virtually no mention of Aristotle's philosophy itself and no analysis of his ideas. On the other hand, after a career as a philosophy teacher, I am aware of many books that explain (or often try to explain) Aristotle's philosophy. But most of them never tie his ideas into an overall picture of what Aristotle was trying to achieve in his life and none do it as clearly as Ackrill does. This book fit well into what I was looking for. There is a short biography of Aristotle included in the first chapter but throughout the book Ackrill ties Aristotle's concepts and reasoning into the overall picture of what he was trying to achieve. Though often disagreeing with Aristotle, Ackrill has a real appreciation of his arguments and I found the book to be an easily readable source of information about the man who laid the groundwork for so much of Western life.

For those interested in the history of science, certain chapters are excellent: "The Analysis of Change: Matter and Form," "Explanation in Natural Science," The Philosophy of Science," and "Metaphysics.
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By GMAX VERDUZCO on August 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
DOCTOR ACKRILL IS AN ARISTOTELIAN GENIOUS YOU MUST BUY ALL HIS BOOKS ON ARISTOTLE
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