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The Basic Works of Aristotle

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,219 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Complete texts:
Physics [tr. R.P. Hardie & R.K. Gaye]
On Generation & Corruption [tr. Harold H. Joachim]
On the Soul [tr. J.A. Smith]
Metaphysics [tr. W.D. Ross]
Nichomachean Ethics [tr. W.D. Ross]
Politics [tr. Benjamin Jowett]
Poetics [tr. Ingram Bywater]
Texts partly reproduced:
Organon (logical treatises: Categories, On Interpretation, Prior &
Hardcover, 1536 pages
Published March 12th 1941 by Random House, Inc. (first published -322)
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 ·  2,219 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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I read this book to understand the meaning of 'Soul', from a Western point of view, after I've read quite a few books on this subject from the East.
The chapter 'De Anima' in this book does a great job in illuminating this, if one takes the patience to read through it, and if one remembers that it was Aristotle who developed the notion of rhetorics in the first place.

It's a dense but complete read, not only one the subject of soul, but also on everything, from Physics to Medicine to Politics!!
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best, standard, one-volume edition of Aristotle's works in translation. It has, for example, complete, W.D. Ross' Metaphysics.

That said, I have not seen this reissue, and I don't know whether or not Reeve left the actual translations alone, and restricted his "contribution" to mucking around in the introduction. I sure as hell hope he did. McKeon's own comments in the Introduction are worthless -- and can also be safely ignored by serious students of Aristotle.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, top-5
In my freshman year at University I took a course on Aristotle. I remember having this book in my bag everywhere I went, and chatting with all my friends about the cool and fascinating concepts found in here. Aristotle was probably the singular, most important influence on my philosophical development. It laid the foundation for all subsequent thinking and approach.

Aristotle is extremely important, and should be read by, really, everyone. Many think he is outdated and obsolete - I assure you
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I only read Ethics and Politics from this book. If you want to understand Western thought, read him, Plato and Socrates. Aristotle is the least exciting to read out of the three (some would uncharitably call him 'boring'), but where Socrates set the stage, Plato started the ball rolling, Aristotle hammered out details like only a scientist can, and with as much charm as a white paper. I don't give this a 5 stars because it had me on the edge of my seat, entertained until the last word, but ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school, own
I thiiiink I used this for my grad treatise and not my undergrad thesis, but I'm not 100% sure. But hey! Aristotle!
This text was my introduction to Aristotle during my college years. I read from this work alongside readings from the dialogues of Plato. Then I decided I was at heart an Aristotelian. That means among other things that I "desire to know" as Aristotle puts it in his Metaphysics. It also means that I am interested in the real world and that there is such a world that exists independent of my mind. Aristotle's works have been part of my reading life ever since. This is one of the best one volume ...more
Chris Maguire
Aug 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
I accept that this is regarded as a major milestone in human understanding but it's very hard to follow. A picture here and there would be illuminating. An edition with pictures or "Cole's Notes" explaining what the heck Aristotle is talking about would be nice.

I'm mostly reading this to dispel the mystery of what it's about and to check it off the list so I'm not taking the time to try and understand the content based on the content itself; I'd go to Khan Academy or a similar resource if I
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently returned to the biological works to clarify a few points recounted in the book HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing If your interested in this, there is a good summarizing article by P. M. Dunn located here Perinatal Lessons from the Past
Rick Sam
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, academic
*Review coming soon*
Brent M.  Jones
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000-2015-read
Aristotle focus in “The Basic Works of Aristotle” is that “all men suppose what is called wisdom to deal with the first causes and the principles of things.” These causes and principles are the subject matters referred to as “first philosophy.” Considered to be one of the first true scientists, he created an early version of the scientific method to observe and draw conclusions. The approach begins with reviewing the opinions of others and even the history of thought.

He drew distinctions
Peter Crouse
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took me three months to finish but, while at times it certainly wasn't easy, I'd have to say that it was time well spent, if only for the fact that it helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the revolutionary synthesis that Aristotle introduced into ancient Greek thought (a fact that is only glimpsed when reading his works individually). In this respect, understanding his logic and epistemology was the key. In practice that meant slogging through the Organon, including the extremely dry but ...more
It would be a little weird to say that I 'read' this. I did not read this from start to finish, but more like how Christians tend to read the Bible starting with the Gospels and branching out, I too started on some of the more notable bits of Aristotle and left the other pages barren. I will not rate the work and I'm marking it as read now because I've owned this book for a long time and it's been a random, constant companion throughout the years. Aristotle always strikes me as one of the ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From literary criticism and rules of grammar to political science to rhetoric and debate to natural science, there was little Aristotle did not feel compelled to discuss. It's intriguing from our vantage point to look back and see how often he knew about ideas that we think are modern. On the other hand, it's humbling to realize how little he got right about science. If humanity survives another two millenia, our science will likely seem as absurd to our descendants as his does to us.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
only read a few things but still wanted to log it:
De Anima
Nicomachean Ethics
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not just basic. Or maybe I'm basic.
Robert Geer
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with serious philosophical questions...
On 'Rhetoric:'

Pg 1326: "As to whether a thing is important or unimportant, just or unjust, the judge must surely refuse to take his instructions from to litigants: he must decide for himself all such points as the law-giver has not already defined for him.

(On the judges): "They will often have allowed themselves to be so much influenced by feeling of friendship or hatred or self-interest that they lose any clear vision of the truth and have their judgement obscured by considerations of personal
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I admit that I skimmed through a lot of this book.
Physics? Metaphysics? Rhetoric? How to give speeches? Poetics? That's OK. I'll pass.
I did try to read some and had no idea what the heck I was reading. It was unreadable.

The early part of the book dealt more with observational writing than philosophical writing. And much of this was in the category of "duh, master of the obvious" writing.
Example: A mountain can be both small and large at the same time. When compared to a larger mountain, it is
Brooke L
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: form-1
I read De Partibus Animalium (On the Parts of Animals). From reading this, I come to understand that everything has a purpose and if that purpose is gone, the item will just be a useless lump. The book is "told" by Aristotle and there are no characters. De Partibus Animalium is about what relation the soul has to the parts of animals, how distinctive parts form a distinctive animal, and how Nature concerns the soul, as well as vice versa.
I liked this text. It has certainly aged well,
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Makes up for the dryness and, at times, boring-ness inherent to the explication of causative factors involved with physics, movement, cosmology, and so forth, by his sheer lucidity and clarity in explicating the nature of How Things Are. Or, rather, how the classical, ancient mind determined things were, further expounding upon how things behave, shape themselves, are derived, form, generate, move, stop, descend, ascend, etc.

Perhaps the main reason to read Aristotle is to begin see the first
Julie Akeman
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OH MY GOD I finally finished this monster. There was a lot of cool stuff to read and think about in this HUGE ass book but it's worth it. Of course you can take the easy route and just find smaller volumes that focus on one or two of this subjects. Physics and Metaphysics were the hardest to get through. Politics was actually enlightening I highly reccomend it. Rhetoric and Poetics are great and I actually bought a small volume of those two but it only has book three of Rhetoric which focuses on ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greeks, philosophy
I remember reading a quote claiming that while Plato was the first to ask the eternal problems of philosophy, Aristotle was the first to formulate them in a such a way that they might be solved. The sheer clarity and simplicity of Aristotle's work makes one understand its seductiveness to the Scholastics.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this edition because it had many of Aristotle's works all together. Unfortunately, the translations are excessively dry. I would recommend finding a better translation, since the material itself can be pretty dense already.

Aristotle is intriguing for having delved into (and advanced) so many fields. Sure, he wasn't always correct, but he really took a thoughtful approach.

Nicomachean Ethics is impressive in its scope, and is probably the best part to read (by itself, I'd give it four
Read Physics: Terribly written but interesting once you understand. 10/8/12
Read Ethics: Better than Physics, sometimes unintentionally hilarious. 10/23/12
Read Politics (Book I-III, VII-VIII): Much easier to read than the other two I read, but I might just be getting better at reading Aristotle...anyway, interesting and again unintentionally hilarious (or maybe I'm just going crazy through reading Aristotle). 10/11/13
Read Rhetoric: 2/1/14
Read Poetics: 9/2/14
James Violand
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those having sufficient gray matter.
Shelves: own
Yowza! A very difficult read. I had to diagram the Prior and Posterior Analytics just to try to grasp how to define a logical argument. That being said, I wish the scientific community would revisit Aristotle. Contrary to their own claims of being somehow the greatest minds, Aristotle was arguably the greast mind that ever lived. Reading him gives you an appreciation of an intellect second to none. You can see why his philosophy was so pervasive before the modern era.
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only crazy people.
ugh. reading aristotle is like wading through mud. this book i recommend only to the die-hard philosopher, especially someone who's into aristotle. there is no (or, virtually no) commentary, so a background in aristotle and greek political systems is a bonus. i read "politics" books one and two, "poetics," and parts of nicomachean ethics. all from this edition. generally, i prefer modern library editions. for this i'd say "pass."
Jay Mehta
If Aristotle had access to a computer he'd have cured cancer and fixed global warming. In all seriousness, it's astonishing how close he was to getting things right about the physical world way back in 300 BC. His take on the less scientific stuff like ethics, politics, art, etc. is right on the money.

The book itself has lots of dry stretches punctuated with potent, little, attention grabbing nuggets of wisdom.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

One of the good things about this book is that it is self contained and you can pretty much read topics on their own. The not so good thing is that some of the language is a little difficult to get your head around. But certainly ideas expressed in here, for instance in the Nichomachean ethics section on emotions, are still valid today and continue to form the foundations of research on emotions.
Sep 07, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It’s slow going through dense stuff, but Jonathan Lear (Aristotle: The Desire to Understand) is a good guide. The Oxford translation's been updated since this 1930s version, but unfortunately there's no fat, cheap one volume edition of it. But Lear's a good guide there too, critiquing both translations and explaining key terms and concepts.
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work is 1487 pages long. It is not the sort of book I read from start to finish but rather read chapters of it from time to time. I'll admit some of it is beyond me, some of it is obsolete thought but most of it is interesting if for nothing more than a good insight of what the ancients thought.
Erik Graff
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Aristotle fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: philosophy
The inclusion of this volume is a bit of a cheat at I have never actually read through all of its translations of representative works by Aristotle. Rather, what I did, after reading much of Aristotle through college, seminary and graduate school, was to read this edition's translations of the works I hadn't yet read elsewhere--a much less formidable task.
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(Greece: Αριστοτέλης)
(Arabic: أرسطوطاليس)
(Bulgarian: Аристотел)
(Russian: Аристотель)
(Ukrainian: Арістотель)
(Alternate European spelling: Aristoteles)
(Italian: Aristotele)

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) 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
“The principles in question must be either (a) one or (b) more than one. (15) If (a) one, it must be either (i) motionless, as Parmenides and Melissus assert, or (ii) in motion, as the physicists hold, some declaring air to be the first principle, others water. If (b) more than one, then either (i) a finite or (ii) an infinite plurality. If (i) finite (but more than one), then either two or three or four or some other number. (20) If (ii) infinite, then either as Democritus believed one in kind, but differing in shape or form; or different in kind and even contrary.” 4 likes
“Being cannot be one in form, though it may be in what it is made of. (Even some of the physicists hold it to be one in the latter way, though not in the former.) Man obviously differs from horse in form, and contraries from each other.” 3 likes
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