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Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Masterworks of Discovery) First Edition

4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813521923
ISBN-10: 0813521920
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Sachs has taught for twenty years at St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, where from 1990 to 1992 he held the NEH Chair in Ancient Thought.
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Product Details

  • Series: Masterworks of Discovery
  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; First edition (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813521920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813521923
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Aristotle's Physics is one of the least studied "great books"--physics has come to mean something entirely different than Aristotle's inquiry into nature, and stereotyped Medieval interpretations have buried the original text. Sach's translation is really the only one that I know of that attempts to take the reader back to the text itself.

I do have a few quibbles, mostly with the presentation. The line numbers are buried in the text, rather than set off in the margins, which is annoying. The typeface is difficult and too closely packed. The cover is one of the ugliest ever produced. The book is too expensive, given the quality.

If you are going to study or teach the Physics in English, however, this is absolutely the edition you should use.
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By A Customer on February 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Sachs' translations of Aristotle (I have read his Physics, Metaphysics, and On the Soul) are wonderful in a number of ways: he eschews traditional translations of key words for more descriptive ones (case in point: "entelecheia" is often translated as "actuality," but his "being-at-work-staying-itself" gets to the heart of Aristotle's meaning), he provides plenty of helpful features, such as a large glossary and commentaries, and the books are well-organized and geared toward the student who needs to be able to find a place in the text quickly.
Unfortunately, one of the great benefits of Sachs' translation method is also one of its downfalls: "Being-at-work-staying-itself" may get the idea across, but it just doesn't read well in English. Reading Aristotle in Sachs' translation is rewarding, but cumbersome. I would recommend reading Sachs alongside Apostle or the Loeb edition to get an addditional perpective on the text, and also to alert you to the terms that, although misleading, form the framework of later Aristotelian thought.
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Format: Hardcover
If you think you could never understand Aristotle's Physics because yet existing translations of the greek text have made it very difficult to understand, you could try to read it closer to the originality of the aristotelian language itself. This new version could provide it to you! For example, if you think that «ousía» means something different from, or not exactly «substance», think now of «thinghood» and try to read all the treatise under the new perspective given by Professor Joe Sachs' superb translation, helpful for any forthcoming research in Ancient Philosophy.

Dr. Francisco Chorão (Lisbon, European Community
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Format: Paperback
If you think you could never understand Aristotle's Physics because yet existing translations of the greek text have made it very difficult to understand, you could try to read it in the originality of the aristotelian language itself. For example, if you think that «ousia» means something different from, or not exactly «substance», think now of «thinghood» and try to read all the treatise under the new perspective given by this superb translation by Professor Joe Sachs, helpful for any new research in Ancient Philosophy.

Dr. Francisco Chorão (Lisbon, European Community
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Format: Paperback
This translation of Aristotle's Physics is really the best one available - and not simply because the others are terrible (some of them are not terrible), but because this one is extraordinary. As some of the other reviewers may have suggested, it can be hard to read at times because of the unfamiliar phrasings. However, I think this is irrelevant because (a) other translation are not easy reading either, (b) other translations are not as good at capturing Aristotle's meaning so that even if they were much easier to read they just make it that much easier for you to misunderstand Aristotle, (c) in fact the efforts required to follow the unfamiliar phrasings in this translation are themselves part of what makes this translation the most useful for anyone who wants to understand Aristotle, and (d) its really not all that hard to read. (And the same points go for the other translations by Sachs.) Sachs unpacks the richness of the Greek terms in his translation rather than covering it over with English terms that give you the illusion of understanding or force you to constantly adjust your thought about what the English words are supposed to mean in the context of Aristotle's philosophy. For example, Sachs' translation of energeia as "being-at-work" as opposed to "activity," and entelecheia as "being-at-work-staying-itself" as opposed to "actualization." Sachs' translations here really put the nuances of the Greek terms to the forefront, and they give you the opportunity to think through (and to think hard about) what Aristotle must mean in a beautiful way that makes reading this translation a real learning, eye-opening, awakening experience. Also Sachs provides very useful glossary, introduction, and commentary. If you're just starting Aristotle or have been studying him for years, this translation is sure to do you right. I've been studying Aristotle for about a decade and a half and I never cease to very greatly appreciate Sachs' translations. --Michael Russo
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Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Masterworks of Discovery)
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