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Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Focus Philosophical Library Series) Paperback – January 1, 2002
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—Burt Hopkins, Seattle University
"Sachs’s translations are unequaled in making accessible to Greekless readers an Aristotle undistorted by the influence of Latin. In addition, his helpful glossaries not only explain his own translational choices, but also inform readers of common alternatives, thereby enabling them to cope with the secondary literature. His are my translations of choice, for both introductory and advanced courses."
—Alan White, Williams College
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Top Customer Reviews
Sachs' introduction and footnotes are indispensable. He explains the nuances of several key Greek words, though not in a way that might intimidate the novice. His introduction provides the reader with a stronger understanding of important terms and ideas that will be found in the text, and his footnotes are never intrusive but always welcome. It would be a mistake to take Sachs (or anyone else) as a sole authority on these matters, but his explanations of certain Greek terms are both concise and clear. Many translators of the 'Ethics' have sacrificed the original meaning of the Greek in the attempt to provide readers with something more contemporary-sounding. This is the brilliance of Sachs' translation--he presents the complexities of several Greek concepts without compromising their meaning and without leaving the reader floundering. His use of examples helps illuminate the text as well, especially in his footnotes.
The publication itself is also praiseworthy. It has ample margins and is pretty well bound. All in all, I would recommend Sachs' translation over all others (at least for now).
As if that weren't enough, he has also written an excellent and very short introduction to the text that goes a long way towards overcoming many of the commmon misunderstandings of Aristotle's ethics, especially misconceptions tied to the Latin influences on translations of the text. Without any effort to give a "definitive" and inevitably partial account of the text as a whole, he confines himself to addressing three central concepts -- habit, the mean, and the noble -- shows how these have led many readers of the text astray, and points readers towards the passages in Aristotle that can overcome or resolve some of the basic misunderstandings (incidentally, one of these misunderstandings is evident in another review of this translation by FrKurt Mesick, and I can only assume he either didn't read the intro, or he disagreed with it in favor of more standard "textbook" interpretations of Aristotle, or that he is commenting on another translation and just happened to include his review under this one).Read more ›
If you're serious about Aristotelian philosophy, I highly recommend Joe Sach's translations.
Mr. Sachs' translations are generally accurate and readable. I have read them all and have only a few, though not unimportant, complaints. First, and most grievous, he mistranslates in a few important locations; in the Ethics, he does not distinguish between the Greek words 'airesis' and 'proairesis', but renders them both as 'choice'. Aristotle makes a distinction between the two, with the first characterizing children and animals ('inclination', 'uninformed choice', etc), the second belonging to men alone; for 'proairesis' names the process of identifying the end and the good of man (happiness) and choosing among the many means that which effects the good. This practiced, careful deliberation Aristotle calls 'choice', and it is of central importance to work like the Ethics, and therefore troubling that Mr. Sachs' does not translate more carefully.
The second complaint is that I do not share Mr. Sachs' contention that the traditional terms used to translate Aristotle's technical vocabulary are misleading. Some reviewers refer to the encrusting 'sediment applied by the medieval scholastics' or other less flattering phrases. In the introductions to the Metaphysics and the Ethics, Mr. Sachs makes the rather bold claim that words like 'actuality', 'activity', 'essence', etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely the best translation available, at least in terms of consistent translation of Greek words.Published 8 months ago by Orville Daniels
I really am enjoying this particular text. Joe makes it understandable to those of us who do not have an education in the classics but wish to know more of Aristotle thoughts and... Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by babar
I bought this book for a college level philosophy class. This book is a very difficult read. It was made easier by dicussing it with my classmates, but even then I still had a... Read morePublished on October 29, 2013 by Lydia Ipswitch
Joe Sachs' translations of Aristotle and Plato are phenomenally good, but it was his translation of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics that solidified my studies as a PhD student. Read morePublished on October 19, 2013 by Clifton D. Healy