Site Map
Aristotle Works, Opening
Section › 5   Set    Search  Previous Next

Reservations   Contents    

Aristotle Works, Opening

Aristotle (384–22 BC) sought to assure the independent role of the deep thinker.

Influenced by Plato, the earliest works of Aristotle were dialogues from when he was a member of the Academy, and in part concerned with thoughts of the next world and the worthlessness of this one. The philosopher Aristotle looks on philosophy as the culmination of civilisation - the philosopher did not understand better.

Three ancient catalogues list a total of more than 170 separate works by Aristotle. Today, 30 works survive. The lost works include a work in the tradition of Plato's Phaedo; On Philosophy, a work that contains themes that he later developed in Aristotle's Metaphysics; an exhortation to the life of philosophy; another work on Rhetoric.

The books of Aristotle that are known today were not edited by him. They are concentrated manuscripts, and some of these manuscripts consist of sections that are bundled together by others. "It is not surprising, then, that the Metaphysics and the other works of Aristotle sometimes seem to lack unity or any clear progression of thought, that they are sometimes repetitious and at times even contradictory," says the Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB), and also "Aristotle's treatises reveal the philosopher at work. He defines the problem he is to deal with, assesses the views of his predecessors, formulates his own preliminary opinion, considers whether there is a need to modify it in the light of difficulties and objections, rehearses the arguments for different points of view – always searching, in short, for the most adequate solution or resolution of his problem." Aristotle is in fact "caught in the act" of developing a perspective from difficulties. Many of his assumptions have seemed so plausible that till the end of the 1600s, Western culture was Aristotelian. His mental grasp covered such as literary theory, ethics, and rhetoric. It is held that his historical importance is second to none.

The young Aristotle acknowledged Plato's teaching on Ideas. Aristotle later criticised the doctrine of Ideas as inadequate and contradictory. But he continued to recognize metaphysical thought for arriving at the concept of a fundamental great intellect to explain that anything or anyone exist. Aristotle's method was that of explaining. From puzzles or problems his thinking reflects many tentative, and multiform tries at solutions.

In this light one might profit a little from reading Aristotle.


Aristotle, Aristotelian, Literature  

Barnes, Jonathan. 2000. Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barnes, Jonathan, ed. 1995. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. Vol 1 and 2. Sixth printing, with corrections. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Bolotin, David. 2000. An Approach to Aristotle's Physics: With Particular Attention to the Role of His Manner of Writing. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Coope, Ursula. 2005. Time for Aristotle: Physics IV.10–14. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Huges, Gerald J. 2003. Aristotle on Ethics. London: Taylor and Francis.

Lear, Jonathan. 1998. Aristotle: The Desire to Understand. Cambridge, UK: The Cambridge University Press.

Politis, Vasilis. 2005. Aristotle and the Metaphysics. London: Taylor and Francis.

Vella, John A. 2008. Aristotle: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Continuum.

Aristotle literature, To top    Section     Set    Next

Aristotle literature. User's Guide   ᴥ    Disclaimer 
© 2007–2019, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]