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Physics, or Natural Hearing: Aristotle (William of Moerbeke Translation Series) [Hardcover]

By Aristotle, Glen Coughlin (Translator), Glen Coughlin (Editor) & Glen Coughlin
Our Price $ 42.40  
Item Number 438227  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   308
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2004
Publisher   St. Augustine's Press
ISBN  1587316285  
EAN  9781587316289  

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Item Description...
The Physics is the fundamental text in Western philosophy, as Heidegger said. The text analyzes the most common features of the natural world, such as motion, place, and time, grounding its arguments in common experience and proceeding to a proof of the prime mover.

As the first part of Aristotelian natural philosophy, the Physics is necessary to an understanding of the later natural works, including On the Soul; its proof of the first mover is presupposed to Aristotle's Metaphysics; its arguments that nature acts for an end are assumed by Aristotle's ethical and political works; and its analyses of change enter into Aristotle's discussions of knowing and so finally into an understanding of his Organon. Given Aristotle's influence, the effect of the Physics on later philosophical and theological developments cannot be overemphasized.

This translation uses simple language without completely discarding the traditional renderings of Aristotelian terminology. It attempts to imitate Aristotle's concrete style and to be consistent in its translation of terms. The edition includes the translation, introduction, glossary, index, and explanatory notes.

Buy Physics, or Natural Hearing: Aristotle (William of Moerbeke Translation Series) by Aristotle, Glen Coughlin, Glen Coughlin & Glen Coughlin from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781587316289 & 1587316285

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More About Aristotle, Glen Coughlin, Glen Coughlin & Glen Coughlin

Aristotle Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE) was a Greek philosopher born in Stagirus in 384 BCE. His father, Nicomachus died when Aristotle was a child and he lived under a guardians care. At the age of eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and continued to stay until the age of thirty-seven, around 347 BCE. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Aristotle's writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing ethics, aesthetics, logic, science, politics, and metaphysics. Shortly after Plato died Aristotle left Athens. With the request of Philip of Macedonia he became a tutor for Alexander in 356-323 BCE.

Aristotle achieved merit through teaching Alexander the Great. This distinction allowed him many opportunities, including an abundance of supplies. He established a library in the Lyceum with which many of his hundreds of books were produced. His writings cover many topics, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. The fact that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views of Platonism, but following Plato’s death, Aristotle immersed himself in empirical studies and shifted from Platonism to empiricism . He believed all peoples concepts and all of their knowledge was ultimately based on perception. Aristotle’s views on natural sciences, including philosophy of the mind, body, sensory experience, memory, and biology represent the groundwork underlying many of his works. Many aspects of Aristotelian thought remain an active academic study, however, many of his writing are now lost with only one-third of his original works still surviving .

Aristotle's views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian physics. In the zoological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic.

In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was well known among medieval Muslim intellectuals and revered as 'المعلم الأول' – "The First Teacher".

His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues (Cicero described his literary style as "a river of gold"), it is thought that the majority of his writings are now lost and only about one-third of the original works have survived.

Aristotle was born in 384 and died in 322.

Aristotle has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Barnes & Noble Classics
  2. Bollingen
  3. Bollingen Series LXXI
  4. Dover Thrift Editions
  5. Focus Philosophical Library (Paperback)
  6. Galaxy Books
  7. Loeb Classical Library
  8. Masterworks of Discovery
  9. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  10. Modern Library College Editions
  11. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  12. Penguin Classics
  13. Signet Classics
  14. William of Moerbeke Translation Series

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General   [15715  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
What is The Meaning Of Being?  May 9, 2008
I read this book for a graduate seminar on Aristotle.

PHYSICS--Aristotle addresses the "why" questions. Aetia= causes, there are 4 causes. Only 1 cause actually sounds what like we call a cause today. A better translation is "explanation." 4 ways to explanations. Arche=origins/principles, something that is 1st, or rule, or, commanding, or beginning. Thus 1st thought that leads us to understand something and how we proceed. Begin how we think and rule or govern how we think. Phusis= "nature," like physics. He understands nature differently than we do today. For Aristotle the planets orbits never change so not part of nature. Everything below the moon, "lunar," is nature. Thus everything below lunar is not perfect and goes through change. Phusis root= to grow or bloom. Thus, emerging like birth. This term has to do with movement and change. Also connected to "coming to light." Also, connected to "being."

Physics (nature) is an arche (rule) of motion and change. Concept of physics (nature) has to do with motion and change. Paramedes denies change. Aristotle takes umbrage with this. Plato says change is a deficient condition; Aristotle is against both men's notion of change.
IMPORTANT--Aristotle talks about how we talk about how we talk about change all the time. Aristotle says no such things as "being" itself. For Aristotle there is change we always talk about it.

Potentiality and actuality- 2 terms that dominate Aristotle's thinking. Change is potentiality to actuality. Potentiality is a "not yet." He criticizes premises of philosophers for denying or denigrating change. His physics is his thought to explain change. Ousia can't mean something unchanging, it is always a changing phenomena. For Aristotle and the Greeks the "world" has no beginning or end it is always here. No God or creator. Big and small are opposites, but are only conceptual. Small things become big Aristotle sees this. Our language is the guide here. The fact that there is change doesn't mean it is chaotic, you plant a seed, and it grows from small to big, this is normal change.

3 senses Aristotle uses phusis or nature. IMPORTANT- 1. "Always or for the most part." 2. Telos-end, purposes. 3. Movement is self-generated toward something. When a seed falls to the ground it grows and moves towards growing. Contrast Phusis with techne="produce something by humans." Both have to do with change and movement. 1 is self-moving, 1 is moved by us. Trees are not brought into being by themselves; beds out of trees are made by us. What is a bed? For Aristotle it has no nature or physics, it can have an essence. Everything other than Techne "things of production" are physics, nature. It is natural that humans have productive capacity and skills. Techne and physics are distinguished to understand change. Aristotle is important in philosophy and science because he uses language of science. He sees that change is internal within phusis in their own nature, not from myth or storytelling.

His phenomenology says our primary access to things is the "whole" like a dog, once we analyze them we can break them down. This is different from the premises of philosophers who believed in "inarticulate wholes." This is a dramatic difference from Platonists and atomists ideas. Atomist says all things made up of individual stuff like atoms. Aristotle is against atomist doesn't accept describing atoms as real. Like atomist the "whole" or dog is real for him. He isn't a Darwinist because the earth is always the way it was, is and will be. He talks about elements earth, fire, water, air.

IMPORTANT- For Aristotle, "being" of a thing comes 1st, knowledge 2nd. He says knowledge comes to rest in the soul. The soul is calmed by knowledge. When the soul or the mind comes to rest this is out of a natural turbulence of the mind. When he says "by nature" it is intrinsic in us we are by nature turbulent like children, this is part of us. Knowledge achieves calming it emerges out of the turbulence like "wonder."

Techne and physics are not opposites they are distinct different ways to explain movement. Both parts of our world can illuminate each other. He doesn't have idea of a creator God but understands if their were nature it would come by way of god. He says nature is self-manifesting. Techne completes nature (physics) Art doesn't quite imitate nature but talking about shapes like a bed or cave like a house. More like impersonates nature. Craft or Techne our natural capacity to make things, we are elated by being able to craft we do have to be taught to produce things. When we build houses, we are completing something nature can't do. Today, modern science rejects idea "nature" has a purpose. Thus, Aristotle doesn't see physics, nature and techne craft as that different.

Aitia=Causes better definition is "explanation."

1. Material Cause, answers question "out of what"
2. Formal Cause, answers question "into what"
3. Efficient Cause, answers question "from what"
4. Final Cause, answers question "for what, or toward what"

Qua= Latin for "as." We understand something by questions we ask. He uses ordinary language. This arms us with information to look at whatever phenomena by deduction. Fill in the 4 causes and categories and then you have knowledge.

IMPORTANT- Most important is #2 the Formal cause. Efficient and Final cause fall under it. Usually he uses artifacts crafted by man to explain this. Example of a house:

1.Material Cause, answers question "out of what" Wood
2.Formal Cause, answers question "into what" A certain shape of house
3.Efficient Cause, answers question "from what" the builder
4.Final Cause, answers question "for what, or toward what" to provide shelter

Things of phusis can be explained by 4 causes a little tricky. Form isn't just shape for Aristotle.
He uses different works for form, like logos = ordering, or pattern, or structure, in this case, organization in living things it is richer our bodies are our being cause. A corpse is no longer organized for a functioning body. Same with material cause. Aristotle distinguishes between wood or real matter and less tangible, he uses idea of material cause thus doesn't just mean stuff like matter. Thus, in his book Politics, what is the material of the polis? The citizens. Material is just a way to explain it. The word matter works like "What subject matter are you taking"? Thus, Aristotle uses matter in the rich and varied linguistic way. Thus, he provides guides and 4 categories and causes to gain knowledge. He thinks his approach is an improvement over Plato and pre-Socratics like materialists.

IMPORTANT- Everything is what it is in combination of matter and form in the world except God. There is a difference between dogs and beds, thus he is against the atomists. If you don't know what a cake is ahead of time you don't ever get to the molecular structure to get you there. To talk about matter without form is to miss something. Any 4 causes alone doesn't work, all together give an apt account of how things are. Modern science breaks with him on #4 the Final cause; scientists say this doesn't exist in nature.

For Aristotle, if it is evident and real in nature it must be real. The Telos shouldn't be understood as "push pull." Understanding can shift based on different issues and topics so Aristotle is a "pluralist." Never think of telos, or end, or purpose as "design." Not all forms of telos are "conscious design" for Aristotle. There is no intelligent design of nature for Aristotle. (No God). He rejects it, no beginning, or end of nature. However, he believes nature has purposeful elements to it, so it is mind like. Therefore, when we think purposefully we are not violating nature. We are rational animals. There is no mind before or behind nature. For Aristotle idea of telos is built into nature. Aristotle's idea of an unmoved, mover is archaic. He believes that movement in nature must ultimately come to stop, can't go to infinity, thus unmoved mover. This is his idea of God. Doesn't mean first cause or creator but more a "draw" not a "push" like draw of a lover. Thus, he doesn't believe in universal laws of motion. This is a limitation in his philosophy.

IMPORTANT-Basic distinction between matter and form, form has efficient and final cause as subsets. Matter and form are separable in analysis but not in reality. Two sides of the same coin, always present together. You can't have a sculpture without matter like clay. Aristotle criticizes Plato and others for delinking form and matter. Form isn't just shape, form is structure and organization. Corpse has same shape as a human but Aristotle says, "The form is gone in the corpse" so form is more than shape. Matter is unknowable; form gives us something that we can gain knowledge with, example a hunk of clay vs. a bowl.

Bottom line of modern physics and science is math, Newton, Kant, etc. said this. Thus, H2O is proportions of elements. A "towards which" is not a phenomena to examine. Here he is saying math is legitimate form of knowledge but it is not primary way or status of understanding how things are. Natural motion has nothing to do with line and math, etc. for Aristotle. One can't explain natural motion with math. We never come across geometric shapes in nature. Form is natural phenomena but different from mathematical form. Thus, you can't understand nature by math, as primary knowledge only secondary. For Plato, math is real for Aristotle they only help explain nature.

I recommend Aristotle's works to anyone interested in obtaining a classical education, and those interested in philosophy. Aristotle is one of the most important philosophers and the standard that all others must be judged by.

The Best Ever  Oct 22, 2006
I'm a student of philosophy, brought up in a philosophical family. Currently I am studying The Physics and am finding that in every way this is a superior translation compared to every other. It is very faithful to Aristotle's ideas, and captures his meanings as well as, if not better than, any other possible translation. My father, who is also a professor of Philosophy, also strongly supports the purchase of this book for any serious student of Aristotle's philosophy.

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