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Aristotle: The Desire to Understand

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  5 reviews
An introduction to Aristotle's philosophy progresses through all the central texts selected from the
Paperback, 342 pages
Published February 11th 1988 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 1988)
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I can hardly praise this book too highly. It’s truly exceptional. A few years ago, after reading many of Plato’s dialogues, I decided to try tackling Aristotle and got the Modern Library Basic Works. But where to start? With Plato it’s fairly easy – early, then middle, then late dialogues, and beginning with those centered on Socrates’ death. And Plato’s a literary great – his art draws you into his philosophy. Aristotle’s a far harder case: his extant works are probably lecture notes, famously ...more
David Haines
This book is, quite honestly, the best introduction to Aristotle's philosophical thought that I have ever read. Jonathan Lear takes the reader on a philosophical journey from Aristotle's Physics to the conclusion of the Metaphysics. He seeks to help the reader to understand Aristotle's philosophical inquiries, and to understand the wonderful truth and coherence of Aristotle's system. In so doing he takes the time to point out difficulties in Aristotle's thought (and how they can, or have been, r ...more
This was a fantastic friend to have with me throughout my readings of Aristotle thus far in life. I particularly like the recommended readings before each section, as well as Lear's helpful but not overwhelming examination of interpretations that differ from his own.

His general approach is to have us as readers imitate Aristotle's intellectual journey, and so come to see the world from a new viewpoint. This is of immense value in itself, to clarify our own beliefs and how we arrived at (or assum
Willem van der Scheun
A very good book about Aristotle, maybe not as an introduction, but if you know a bit about him this is a wonderful read.

The last paragraph says it all: "It is man's natural desire to understand that propels him forward through a life of inquiry and experience until he is able to realize what he truly is. It is his natural desire that propels him to transcend his nature. And yet there is a trace of humanity which even remains in this divine life: it can only be lived for a short period. Death ev
I found this book unnecessarily dense and, as a result, thoroughly unenjoyable. This is the primary reason for my low rating, but the book does act as a fairly comprehensive introduction to Aristotelian philosophy. Personally I'd prefer to read the first-hand texts, but it was Lear's work that was on my syllabus.
Writing style notwithstanding, the content of thought is excellent and exemplifies wonderfully the true genius of Aristotle who, despite his exceptional renown, perhaps nevertheless rem
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