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Physics

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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  2,891 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
For many centuries, Aristotle's Physics was the essential starting point for anyone who wished to study the natural sciences. Now, in the first translation into English since 1930, Aristotle's thought is presented accurately, with a lucid introduction and extensive notes to explain the general structure of each section of the book, and shed light on particular problems. It ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 28th 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published -340)
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Roy Lotz
Of all the ancient thinkers that medieval Christians could have embraced, it always struck me as pretty remarkable that Aristotle was chosen. Of course, ‘chosen’ isn’t the right word; rather, it was something of a historical coincidence, since Aristotle’s works were available in Latin translation, while those of Plato were not.

Nonetheless, Aristotle strikes me as a particularly difficult thinker to build a monotheistic worldview around. There’s simply nothing mystical about him. His feet are pla
...more
Lynne Williams
Oct 14, 2011 Lynne Williams rated it really liked it
I read this at Cornell College, Iowa. The course was titled: Western Humanism. It counted for four credits, when other courses gave three. I asked my student adviser why. The course was worth four credits because it was more difficult than most. Color me intrigued! The professor permitted no one to take notes and was a master of the Socratic method of teaching. We began with Boethius and kept moving. Dr. Crossett did not permit 'Yes, but..." He also would choose a student at the end of the three ...more
kaelan
Apr 10, 2012 kaelan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, this is an exceedingly difficult text to get through. Although Aristotle is one of philosophy’s most brilliant minds, he is absolutely unquestionably wrong a lot of the time. What this means for the reader is that you have to be constantly critical—you can’t assume, for instance, that a particular argument is going to be valid or invalid... you actually have to get down to the logic of it and figure that s--t out.

To confuse matters further, Aristotle will often introduce an apparently
...more
Jeremy
Jul 19, 2014 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Whew, this was one hell of a slough. While it's not strictly speaking a hard book to read, it deals with so many huge, uber-abstract ideas one after the other that it just leaves you exhausted. In some ways it feels more like a Compendium than a strict philosophical text. Aristotle examines every phenomenon that he can think of, Being, Space, Motion, Matter, Time, Infinity, Magnitude, etc. in an attempt to pin down and rationally account for how the universe as he understands it works. It's ...more
Erick
While this book helped me appreciate Aristotle's philosophical merit, it hasn't changed my opinion that Aristotle is tedious and pedantic.
Aristotle does explore fascinating topics in this collection of lectures: infinity, time, change, place, movement/motion, space, etc, but Aristotle can make even topics that should be otherwise fascinating incredibly dry. Many of his arguments would seemingly require a diagrammatic approach, but, unfortunately, the reader is left to schematize Aristotle's log
...more
Genni
Aug 02, 2016 Genni rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Goodness. Aristotle attempts to cover a lot of ground in 231 pages. He covers opposites, time, infinity, motion, matter, causation, and void with change being the underlying principle experienced by all phenomenon. He attacks atomists and defends teleology. My mind is still reeling, trying to grasp some of his concepts.

“For things to qualify as principles they must not consist of one another or of other things and everything must consist of them”. For Aristotle, change is just such a principle.

H
...more
Briana
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

This was one of those books that made me think, "I don't understand this book. I don't want to understand this book. I don't need to understand this book. I hate this book. Why am I in college? Why do I read these things? OH LORD NOT ANOTHER 20 PAGES LET ME DIE NOW."

This book taught me how fundamentally immature I really am.

I like my time-space continuum discussion in sci-fi tv shows, not in philosophic definitions.
Sawsan Alotaibi
Apr 09, 2013 Sawsan Alotaibi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: طابور-2013
ما قاله المترجم في هذه المقدمة : "
ويتبين من هذه الأمثلة أن كتاب السماع الطبيعي أو الفيزياء الذي نقلب صفحاته، يشكل البنية الذهنية لكل قارئ عربي بها تنظم المعلومات، ويتكون تصوره عن العالم: وهكذا يكون أرسطو لا يزال يستبطن ويلبس نمطاً من الفكر الإنساني طوال قرون كاملة، ويكمن في تصوراته الذهنية لا يستطيع الفكاك منها "
كافٍ جداً ليبين غرضي من قراءة هذا الكتاب.

وفعلاً لم يكن غريباً علي من ناحيتين:
1- علم الكلام
2- الفلسفة الإسلامية ومن تأثروا بالمشائية

فالفلسفة الكلامية المتأثرة بالمشائية تأخذ من مصطلحات
...more
Yann
Il n'est pas toujours facile d'intéresser ses semblables à la lecture des auteurs antiques : ils souffrent souvent du préjugés d'être obscures, inutiles et dépassés. Ainsi, la Physique d'Aristote est franchement à déconseiller à qui voudrait les découvrir. Le style est particulièrement lourd, répétitif, et souvent abscons à force d'acribie. Le sujet est la nature, mais Aristote embrasse un périmètre un peu différent que celui que l'on entend de nos jours par "sciences physiques". En effet, pas ...more
Antonette Serine
Feb 21, 2009 Antonette Serine rated it really liked it
Infinity exists only in potential
Ryan Cutter
Jun 15, 2014 Ryan Cutter rated it liked it
Shelves: sciencey-stuff
A great read if you're into the history of discovery. I find it enamoring that someone was able to put so much thought into such a multitude of problems. Covering some pretty abstract (although now simple) ideas and justifying them using simple mathematics is proof alone of Aristotle's eloquence. Tackling these problems using mostly language is the way of this great philosopher and is definitely shown in this dense coverage of the writers reality.
I read this mostly to see where the beginnings o
...more
Cameron
Oct 14, 2013 Cameron rated it liked it
A deeply thought-provoking and frequently exhausting series of lectures outlining the basic principles of nature and motion. It would be hard to understate the importance of this text in shaping the broadest contours of science and metaphysics. For Heidegger, the Physics determined the "warp and woof of the whole of Western thinking." But make no mistake - to get through this book and absorb the enormity of Aristotle's observations and insight is to accept the challenge of staying engaged at a v ...more
Daniel Wright
Aristotle's Physics gets a bad rep these days, somewhat unfairly. The book actually is as much philosophy as what we would call science; and though most of the science is mistaken, and some of the philosophy is flawed or contradictory, it nevertheless raises questions that are still not easy to answer. And even when Aristotle is wrong, it's often difficult to see why. I blitzed through this in less than a day, so I can't pretend to have followed all of it by any means.
Don
Oct 11, 2015 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sjc
As far as I can tell (and I've done a lot of comparing), Hope's translation is the only decent translation of the Physics into English. Plus, he gives lots of footnotes with comments by St. Thomas and Averroes - in Latin. The helpful appendix with definitions of technical Greek terms, with both English and Latin definitions, would be even more helpful if it were alphabetical, but this is a minor quibble with an otherwise excellent and affordable edition.
Ryan
Jul 10, 2016 Ryan rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Well I read this book so I could be a little smarter but feel I'm a while heckuva lot stupider. It is quite fascinating that he came to such knowledge in time, matter, speed and all that junk given the tools he had 2300 years ago!
Val
Aug 10, 2016 Val added it
I'm just now marking this as read bc I think lots of people would really enjoy and benefit from reading it!
Brent Pinkall
Oct 27, 2016 Brent Pinkall rated it really liked it
The Physics is refreshing because Aristotle is interested in the world as humans experience it--not like Plato, who sees the real world as the world of the forms, or the naturalists, who see the real world as nothing but matter in motion. Neither of these two worlds are accessible to us. They do not account for our everyday experience. Aristotle, however, approaches the world through human eyes, and because of that he is in many respects the easiest ancient philosopher to understand. Aristotle ...more
Carl Teegerstrom
Oct 27, 2016 Carl Teegerstrom rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Aristotle has interesting, if scientifically incorrect in certain areas, ideas about nature. Note: I read excerpts of this text.
Danny
Jan 15, 2016 Danny rated it liked it
I find Aristotle's Physics as tedious as the next guy, but we mustn't forget what it is we're reading. These are lecture notes on natural philosophy, not "physics" in our modern sense. In this respect, the title is something of a misnomer. Aristotle asks many of the questions that occupy modern-day physicists, such as, what is the essence of nature? what is motion? what causes it? what is space? can space be devoid of matter? what is time? Are space and time infinite or finite? But his procedure ...more
Kenneth
Jul 24, 2016 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The Physics of Aristotle is surprisingly an interesting book. Significant issues that Aristotle addresses continue to lie outside the contemporary understanding of the material universe.

Contrasted with Greek metaphysics, ancient physics is often involved with the same subject matter from different angles. In particular, Aristotle applies the science of logic to important phenomenon including the nature of the Void, Time, Place, Motion, Magnitude, Number in addition to Infinitude.

The Aristotelia
...more
Brian Schiebout
Physics by Aristotle translated into English by R. P. Hardie and R. K. Gaye is a treatise on the basics of nature. Nature according to Aristotle in book two is the source or cause of being moved and of being at rest in that to which it belongs primarily. As such the book deals mostly with motion which is the principle on which all physics is based. While some might say that physics details the smallest of particles it is better and more accurate to refer to physics even today as the search for ...more
Gayane
Feb 15, 2014 Gayane rated it it was ok
Well, this was a drag. I thought the main obstacle in reading Physics would be the book itself, well, considering that it's more than 2000 years old. But nope, the translation was the main problem. I got the one from R.P. Hardie and R.K. Gaye, made in 1930, and man, I was suffering. The language would become simply unbearable at times and I would have to skip paragraphs, even pages. Please, anyone who have read this book, let me know how your experience with English translation was.

Then comes th
...more
Hangci Du
Jun 02, 2016 Hangci Du rated it it was ok
What drove me to read this ancient book?

Because I thought the modern physics is undergoing a return to the ancient philosophy. After the end of determinism and mechanism, we need talk more about the intrinsic nature of space and time. Ancient Greece is the source of all our modern concepts, and people then have sharper intuition and less mind set. However, I got impatient after reading more than half of it.

The math tools then was weak, and Aristotle was not intended to use it--the only language
...more
Vikas Lather
Nov 08, 2013 Vikas Lather rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
After graduating this book I learn why there is a saying, "Without Aristotle's Physics there would have been no Galileo."

I don't consider this work of science but philosophy. There is hardly a sentence in this book that can be accepted by modern science. It is incredibly poetic to imagine that here is a free thinker in 350 B.C, trying to make sense of life, nature and existence in a period of human history, where not that we did not know, but there was no way for us to know.

I think it is a beau
...more
JP
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it
Forget the supreme A, Aristotle gets right into the genesis of A implies B. He dismisses the type of stuff upon which Kant made a living: "Some people even question whether they are real or not." If there's a one single whoa out of this, it's his succinct conclusion about the passing on of successful traits an entire era or two ahead of Darwin. The general topics for the remainder of the required selections in turn address the basis and definition of place, time (established by "before" and ...more
sara
Jan 01, 2015 sara rated it it was amazing
astounding
this was a very difficult book to read because 1)the text was a bit too choppy and there was no transition from topic to topic...only sudden jumps. 2)the text was dry and i guess i was mislead by the title too...i thought this would be strictly a scientific examination of things but what i got instead was philosophy, "logic" and "dialectics"...
i had to get external help to understand the book better, including alfarabi's analysis...but it was worthwhile. what an amazing person aristotl
...more
Ronda
Feb 07, 2010 Ronda rated it it was amazing
OK, once in awhile I do read something that has depth of thought to it. Once you are out of school you tend to get a bit squishy in taking on a tome like this.... but it was refreshing to see the applications explained. Aristotle is a bit more daunting than any instructor I have had, but realizing that you will appreciate the level of thought.

Not a night book by any measure, you need to stay fully engaged as you read, and yes - take some notes along the way. I actually had to call my engineer s
...more
Abel Rudolf
The importance of physics to society today is most easily represented by our reliance on technology. Many of the technologies that that are continually transforming the world we live in can be directly traced back to important physics research.


One of our greatest physicists was Isaac Newton, and he considered himself a "natural philosopher". The name for physics used to be "natural philosophy". I'm not sure when it became "physics", but it was certainly within the last 200 years.

Abel
Tony Duncan
Aug 11, 2016 Tony Duncan rated it liked it
The best translation of him yet. Interesting how much our present state of scince and belief are linked back to him. Much of the material is wrong but hey it was 2500 years ago. The best parst are the last 20 pages on the Unmoved Mover. Personally I think Parmenidies and Hericlitus are both correct but he thinks otherwise, how dare he! I recommend this version on the book.
Rob Roy
Mar 22, 2015 Rob Roy rated it liked it
We’ve all been raised with Newtonian physics, but the ancient Greeks sought the answers and missed. The problem was not their problem solving, but rather they were asking the wrong questions. Based on their questions, they made excellent conclusions. Reading Aristotle gives us a view of their thought process and it is well worth learning.
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(Greece: Αριστοτέλης)
(Arabic: أرسطوطاليس)

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) numbers among the greatest philosophers of all time. Judged solely in terms of his philosophical influence, only Plato is his peer: Aristotle's works shaped centuries of philosophy from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance, and even today continue to be studied with keen, non-antiquarian interest. A prodigious researcher and wri
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