Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Synopsis

Written by renowned Aristotle scholar Sir David Ross, this study has long been established as one of the foremost surveys of Aristotle's life, work and philosophy.With John L. Ackrill's introduction and updated bibliography, created for the sixth edition, the book continues to serve as a standard guide, both for the student of ancient history and the general reader.

Excerpt

There are several types of book about Aristotle which it would be interesting to write and perhaps not unprofitable to read. In one, it might be shown how almost the whole of his thought is a mosaic of borrowings from his predecessors, and yet is transformed by the force of his genius into a strikingly original system. In another, the attempt might be made to trace the chronological development of his thought; this has recently been done with marked success by Prof. W. Jaeger, in a book to which I should have owed much more had it reached me before mine was in the press. In another, the penetrating influence of Aristotle on subsequent philosophy might be followed down the centuries. I have not attempted any of these tasks, but have tried simply to give an account of the main features of his philosophy as it stands before us in his works. I have written little by way of criticism. If it is true that 'die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht, ' it is especially true that the history of philosophy is an implicit criticism of the earlier systems of thought. What is true in Aristotle has become part, and no small part, of the heritage of all educated men; what is false has been gradually rejected, so that explicit criticism is now hardly necessary.

My greatest obligations are to the teachers from whom I have learnt most of what I know about Aristotle, Mr. R.P. Hardie and Prof. J.A. Smith; next to them, I would express my gratitude to Lt.-Col. A.S.L. Farquharson, who has read the proofs and made many valuable suggestions. Of recent books, Prof. H. Maier's Die Syllogistik des Aristoteles, Prof. A. Mansion's Introduction à la Physique Aristotélicienne, and Prof. H.H. Joachim's edition of the De Generatione et Corruptione are those which I have found most helpful.

W.D.ROSS
September 15, 1923

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