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Metaphysics Theta: Translated with an Introduction & Commentary

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  11,653 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Stephen Makin presents a clear and accurate new translation of an influential and much-discussed part of Aristotle's philosophical system, accompanied by an analytical and critical commentary focusing on philosophical issues. In Book Theta of the Metaphysics Aristotle introduces the concepts of actuality and potentiality--which were to remain central to philosophical analy ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published November 9th 2006 by Clarendon/Oxford University Press, USA (first published -330)
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Ian I don't know, but I've had a hell of a time trying to find a 'good' translation. Settled for one online by the University of Adelaide (…moreI don't know, but I've had a hell of a time trying to find a 'good' translation. Settled for one online by the University of Adelaide ( It's ok. I'm wishing I'd at least bought the Complete Works Volume, with it, at least that's the well established version.

Online, and pricey, I've seen these and wanted to get them but they're cost prohibitive and they don't have every book but the one I've read has a lot of good interpretation included:
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Nina Misson
"When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics."
Riku Sayuj
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: AC

The Plan

I had been able to bring together my notes/thoughts for the earlier parts of this reading. Those can be found here:

Book 1: A Preliminary Outline of Philosophy

Book 2: An Introduction to Philosophical Problems

Book 3: The Basic Instruments Of Philosophy

From Book 4 onwards, it becomes slightly harder to talk about the books in isolation. Also, A became easier to follow - so I stopped using so many supplementary resources. I will try to put up a review here incorporating my reading notes, a
May 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An awful text -- use Ross' Greek text.

The story goes thus: Jaeger was working on a text of the Metaphysics, when W.D. Ross published (with Oxford) his magnificent two-volume text with commentary in 1924. Of course, Jaeger, who had already done a lot of work, had to scrap his project. He did, however, then publish two long articles (in German) on the text and manuscripts of the Metaphysics, discussing various textual crux' in a series of lemmata. These are reprinted in his Scripta Minora. They ar
Roy Lotz
I have very mixed feelings about Aristotle.

On the one hand, he's so tedious and uninspiring. This is only partially his fault: everything we have of his are lecture notes, and so it is no surprise that they are stylistically wanting. Many scholars think that Metaphysics contains many sections written at different times and for different purposes, which Aristotle never intended to be read together. There is even one section which may not have been written by him at all. This makes his work (parti
Alan Johnson
This translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics by Hippocrates G. Apostle is apparently now out of print. When I read it in 1969, I was impressed with the accuracy of the translation as well as with Hippocrates Apostle's Glossary and editorial commentary. Equally serviceable translations are doubtlessly available today, though I have not consulted them.

The term "metaphysics" should not mislead the twenty-first-century reader. Unlike Plato, Aristotle exhibited no trace of mysticism in his surviving w
Aristotle is painfully pedantic. It was very hard to keep my mind focused on the endless digressions he took in order to refute other philosophers in mind numbing detail. He spent very little time actually laying out his own system in much needed detail. Specifics on his own system were lacking in this work. One element that was noticeably absent was his approach to time. If time is uncreated, then his first mover is in a dualistic relationship with time; if it is created, then he faces the cons ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is the being of that thing which underlies any phenomenon? The central question of metaphysics is an intriguing one, and it must be said for the benefit of all the atheists on here who might think that this is a religious question, it is a perfectly scientific query, for it is in fact the question of, how can we say a person is the same person even though all of her organs have been shed and renewed, or, in the case of an artefact, how is a house the same house after it has been renovated? ...more
Dean the Phantasy Guru
Considered by many academics to be the most challenging work throughout all of literature, Aristotle's "Metaphysics" is more than just fancy words and non-sensical theorems. It deals with the most important theme possible: being/existence - both generally and specifically. For the Greek philosopher, nothing takes precedence over being because without being, there would be nothing. In other words, Aristotle deals with First Principles of knowledge by determining what composes the fabrics of our v ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs
Aristotle's “first act of divine motion” in his Physics is a set of logical implications and applying his scientific method-rightfully so given he invented it. He justifies what he calls the “first mover” or "Divinity" by continuing the Aristotelian narrative of placing the mind or intellect as the ultimate objective; surpassing the

This would be an example of Aristotelian privilege. Here Aristotle doesn't need to explain his divine inception into what God is, he asserts it, and by asserting
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Don't even think you can understand this by reading it on your own. Perhaps the greatest work in philosophy of all-time.
J'étais très curieux de lire ce petit livre, sur lequels se penchèrent des commentateurs célèbres, comme Maïmonides, Averroes, ou encore Thomas d'Aquin. J'ai vite compris pourquoi des hommes prétendant trouver leur chemin dans le labyrinthe de la Métaphysique ont pu en imposer à leur semblables, tant le brouillard qui enveloppe les idées exposées dans l'ouvrage est épais. Cette épaisseur tranche d'ailleurs avec la clarté d'autres ouvrages d'Aristote, comme la Poétique ou la Rhétorique. On pourra ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fascinating. I summarized the whole thing after I finished, as I am wont to do with books of this nature. I just don't feel like reproducing the summary. There is so much to go over, it is ridiculously intense. Getting a glimpse inside Aristotle's mind is fascinating. Everything is a cycle. And everything is explained/touched upon. I look forward to reading Ptolemy's additions to his cosmology and Proclus' comments on this book in his Commentary on Euclid. Five stars, because although t ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I want to thank LibriVox for making this book freely available in an audio edition.

This is the only 3 star book where I would recommend it to everyone. My start of reading primary philosophy started with Heidegger, that led me to Hegel and then Kant. There's no doubt I should have suffered through this book first, because those authors rely on Aristotle in many ways and not just to tear him apart but to add to how Aristotle approached the topic of metaphysics.

I've learned to no longer t
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Aristoteles, metafiziği "varlık olması bakımından varlığın bilimi" olarak tanımlar. Metafizik 14 kitaptan oluşuyor ve her kitapta farklı konular ele alınıyor. Birinci kitap önsöz niteliğindedir. Platon ve öncesindeki filozofların görüşlerine kısaca yer verilir. İkinci kitapta felsefe üzerine genel düşünceler vardır. Üçüncü kitapta metafiziğin 14 ana problemi sıralanır. Dördüncü kitapta metafiziğin tanımı yapılır ve amacı açıklanır. Protogorasın görelilik görüşü eleştirilir. Beşinci kitapta Arist ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The word metaphysics, when heard by most people, is apt to raise a smile of the sort reserved for innocent souls who are harmlessly deluded." So begins Joe Sachs, by way of introduction to his translation. Aristotle is not for "most people," it's true, but Sachs' translation makes it a little easier for the remainder to rest confidently in harmless delusion.

Many years ago I struggled through Hippocrates Apostle's translations of Aristotle and the frustration I experienced can be exemplified in
Kyle van Oosterum
Oh my god, finally.

It is extremely difficult to review this book because on the one hand, Aristotle pioneered a branch of philosophy which is still discussed today and on the other hand, he basically jumpstarted the dark ages in philosophical thought. It wasn't until the Enlightenment, more than 2000 years later that Aristotle's philosophy became a little bit less relevant.

Still, in terms of 'logical hygiene' Aristotle does quite well. In terms of writing style, it leaves much to be desired. A
Jacob Aitken
I'll admit.  This wasn't my favorite.  It's not that I didn't understand it, it's just that its importance never "clicked" for me.  But that's more about me than the book.

“The science of substance must be of the nature of Wisdom” (996b).

The problem to be addressed: why are some things perishable and others are not if they consist of the same principles (Book III, 1000a)?

A substance is that which is not predicated of a stratum, but of which all else is predicated (Book VII: 3).  The essence of ea
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to love the old unmoved mover. "It's like a Coke machine. It doesn't move, but it causes you to move toward it because you want a Coke."
Erik Graff
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: philosophers
Recommended to Erik by: Leo Sweeny
Shelves: philosophy
Hippocrates G. Apostle, the translator of this text, taught at Grinnell while I attended college there and some of my friends worked with him. Other than teaching, he and his wife also maintained a Personal column in the town newspaper, a column with notices such as the following: "M.E. Nalus reports the return of wife, Helen, from Turkish tour." I, having insufficient Greek, never more than glancingly met the fellow.

Aristotle's Metaphysics is of uncertain origin. We don't know when it was writt
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Filosofia Primeira ou a existência das coisas.
3 princípios aristotélicos:identidade, não-contradição e terceiro excluído. Os princípios lógicos são ontológicos porque definem as condições sem as quais um ser não pode existir nem ser pensado; os primeiros princípios garantem, simultaneamente, a realidade e a racionalidade das coisas;

Pela causa das coisas podemos constatar a existência,sendo estas 4,em Aristóteles:material,motora e final.A teoria aristotélica sobre as causas estende-se sobre tod
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly lucid text, though admittedly a brain-twister, Aristotle here examines First Philosophy and finds Plato's Forms wholly deficient of a real existence. He concludes that there is a prime mover, and refutes the sophistic reasoning of almost all of his contemporaries. Aristotle leaves metaphysics an open issue, generally, perhaps recalling, despite, no doubt, being an atheist, that to deny metaphysics is just as arrogant as to detail it. Read after his Organon.
Samrat Singh
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all would indefinitely want to walk the distance through space and time. While this walk, the world happens same to those who have stopped walking or those who have finished the walk. After this, there is no space and no time. Just the essence of it. In truth, we can never kill a thought of being present, we can only kill man's pretense at revealing a thought to himself.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, philosophy
I went to school where Joe Sachs teaches, and his translations are excellently faithful, even if that does mean a little initial adjustment on the part of the reader; compound Greek words are often translated as hyphenated English phrases, ie, "entelecheia" is "being-at-work-staying-itself," if I recall.
Cain S.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much more difficult than Hegel, really.
Arkar Kyaw
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Lunch is God and I am the universe."
Margad Esme
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
энэ номыг нэг хүн 30 удаа уншаад ойлгоогүй гэсэн... би лав өөрийхөөрөө хэд хэд уншаад ойсон ч ахин унших бүрт ахин шинэ зүйл нэмэгдээд сонин шүү
Thomas Rivers
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading the translation of W. D. Ross in the second volume of the Revised Oxford "The Complete Works of Aristotle". I can not read Classical Attic Greek and therefore have no opinion about the translation's accuracy; but the English is very good--lucid, sober, and felicitous.

I have read enough of Aristotle to recognise his great intellect but disagree with many of his basic opinions. My dissent is the reason for not giving him five stars. (I hope this will suffice without getting particula
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Essential reading to see how a lot of Western thought was shapped by it both positively and negatively, clear and even relevant to common issues such as delimiting what the sciences study, the nature of things and the limits of certain philosophical systems (i.e. Platonic ideas).
Kevin K
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Metaphysics itself is one of the timeless classics of Western philosophy. It certainly rates five stars and needs no introduction from me.

This review only pertains to the Penguin edition of the Metaphysics translated by Hugh Lawson-Tancred. The edition rates one star. Generally I trust the quality of Penguin books, but this particular translation is shockingly bad. Almost comically so at times.

First, Lawson-Tancred has an irritating tendency of peppering his writing with inappropriate words
Joan Sebastián Araujo Arenas
En vez de reseñar esta obra, me limitaré a transcribir el examen final de mi curso de «Aristóteles (autor)» donde nos enfocamos en este libro:


1. Conforme a lo acordado en este examen volverán sobre la cuestión del objeto y del carácter de la Filosofía entendida como ciencia del ser en cuanto ser, es decir, entendida como saber teórico que, al asumir su propia constitución como objeto de especulación, necesariamente precisa determinar sus principios primeros o principios últimos en cua
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Philosophy: Aristotle's Metaphysics 151 139 Mar 12, 2015 01:23PM  
'perfections' vs 'copies' 1 13 Sep 14, 2013 09:47PM  
  • Sophist
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • Philosophical Essays
  • The New Organon
  • Critique of Practical Reason (Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Summa Theologica, 5 Vols
  • The Enneads
(Greece: Αριστοτέλης)
(Arabic: أرسطوطاليس)
(Bulgarian: Аристотел)
(Russian: Аристотель)
(Ukrainian: Арістотель)
(Alternate European spelling: Aristoteles)

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 through the Renaissance,
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“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” 7722 likes
“If things do not turn out as we wish, we should wish for them as they turn out.” 63 likes
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