Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Any good texts on Aristotle?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

It depends on how advanced you want to get. _Aristotle's First Principles_ by Irwin is a masterful advanced study of Aristotle, whereas something like _Aristotle for Everybody_ by Adler covers the basics. Also, _Aristotle_ by Randall was beloved by Rand, with some philosophic qualms, although I haven't read it myself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

If you want to understand what Aristotle and Kant actually thought, then the best contemporary Aristotle scholars are Julia Annas http://www.u.arizona.edu/~jannas/ and Terence Irwin http://www.arts.cornell.edu/phil/faculty/irwin.html and the best contemporary Kantian scholars are Christine Korsgaard http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~korsgaar/ and Barbara Herman http://admin.cdh.ucla.edu/facwebpage.php?par=78.

I can't speak to how well these scholars will confirm or complicate Objectivist opinion about the relative merits of Kant and Aristotle's arguments.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want to understand what Aristotle and Kant actually thought ...

... is to read them yourself. I do not agree with the poster's assessment of various scholars, and I do not care to debate the issue, but I do want to point out that, though not exactly a "contemporary" since he died two decades ago, John Herman Randall, Jr. is generally acknowledged as one of the finest historian of ideas in the past century. Randall's book on Aristotle, as well as his several seminal papers, makes for excellent reading.

I also highly recommend the various writings by Aristotle expert Allan Gotthelf, himself a long-time Objectivist. In particular, to see a proper accounting of the genius of Aristotle in the field which he so much loved, biology, see "Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology," Cambridge University Press, 1987. Gotthelf has some contributed articles in that book, and he also edited the volume along with James G. Lennox.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, he should read Aristotle, but I am assuming that (1) he already has and that (2) he doesn't read Classical Greek. If that's the case, then he will be well served by a translator and commentator that can reconstruct Aristotle's ideas in the most faithful way possible and explain Aristotle's technical philosophical terminology: eg., arche, kalon, eudaimonia, aretai, etc. Since you do not want debate the merit of the scholars in question, I will leave it at that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I wanted to know if anyone knew of a good objectivist companion to Aristotle (and, while we're at it, the evil-one, namely Kant).  Do you?

If you want the quick and easy version, try Mortimer Adler's Aristotle for Everybody. Other good Aristotle "companion" books I've read are A.E. Tayler's classic book called Aristotle and the Cambridge Companion to Aristotle (edited by Jonathan Barnes).

But there is no substitute for reading Aristotle himself, especially the Organon and his Metaphysics (especially Book IV, which Ragnar was reading at the end of Atlas Shrugged). I would also highly recommend Book I from his Ethics (which is a forerunner to portions of Rand's ethical theory), his Poetics, and his Rhetoric.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I would recommend primarily a study of Ethics and Politics of Aristotle if you're looking for more practical and hands-on philosophy. Metaphysics is far more abstract, and deals with issues which, though necessary, are far removed from your everyday concerns. Ethics, on the other hand, is a masterpiece of a guide to healthy and successful human life. Politics, though challenging, is useful if you want to revisit your ideas about living in a community, and is far from expousing "collectivist" views, as some would have you believe (the difficulty in Politics is seeing beyond the literal meaning of Aristotle's points, many of which do appear collectivist to the uninitiated eye, but are in fact individualistic and rational if understood in context).

Link to post
Share on other sites
I wanted to know if anyone knew of a good objectivist companion to Aristotle (and, while we're at it, the evil-one, namely Kant).  Do you?

What is your reason for wanting to know more about Aristotle and Kant?

If you explain your purpose -- and how it connects up to your higher goals in life, such as your career, perhaps -- then people here might be able to give you more focused answers. In other words, please set the context.

P. S. -- Why do you say "objectivist" rather than "Objectivist"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

To the list of Objectivist scholarship on Aristotle should be added Robert Mayhew's book Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Republic. It's quite well written and should be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about Aristotle's politics. It focuses on the first five chapters of the second book of Aristotle's Politics.

Also, the Ayn Rand Bookstore has quite a few tapes by Objectivst scholars on Aristotle. The only one of these lecture sets I've heard is the one by Mayhew titled "Aristotle: Father of Romanticism" - it was very good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...