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Download Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Masterworks of Discovery) epub

by Joe Sachs

This is a new translation, with introduction, commentary, and an explanatory glossary.

"Sachs's translation and commentary rescue Aristotle's text from the rigid, pedantic, and misleading versions that have until now obscured his thought. Thanks to Sachs's superb guidance, the Physics comes alive as a profound dialectical inquiry whose insights into the enduring questions about nature, cause, change, time, and the 'infinite' are still pertinent today. Using such guided studies in class has been exhilarating both for myself and my students."  ––Leon R. Kass, The Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago 

Aristotle’s Physics is the only complete and coherent  book we have from the ancient world in which a thinker of the first rank seeks to say something about nature as a whole. For centuries, Aristotle’s inquiry into the causes and conditions of motion and rest dominated science and philosophy. To understand the intellectual assumptions of a powerful world view—and the roots of the Scientific Revolution—reading Aristotle is critical. Yet existing translations of Aristotle’s Physics have made it difficult to understand either Aristotle’s originality or the lasting value of his work. In this volume in the Masterworks of Discovery series, Joe Sachs provides a new plain-spoken English translation of all of Aristotle’s classic treatise and accompanies it with a long interpretive introduction, a running explication of the text, and a helpful glossary. He succeeds brilliantly in fulfilling the aim of this innovative series: to give the general reader the tools to read and understand a masterwork of scientific discovery. 

Download Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Masterworks of Discovery) epub
ISBN: 0813521920
ISBN13: 978-0813521923
Category: Other
Subcategory: Humanities
Author: Joe Sachs
Language: English
Publisher: Rutgers University Press; includes a new translation edition (March 1, 1995)
Pages: 278 pages
ePUB size: 1538 kb
FB2 size: 1179 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 778
Other Formats: lrf mbr doc lrf

fire dancer
I know from experience that Ancient Greek is hard to translate, and Aristotle is particularly thorny. I have also read various translations of this work and others by Aristotle. Sachs's translation keeps things literal while carefully bringing the nuance of the Greek into English. I believe this to be the best available translation of the Physics.
Sachs' translations of Aristotle (I have read his Physics, Metaphysics, and On the Soul) are wonderful in a number of ways: he eschews traditional translations of key words for more descriptive ones (case in point: "entelecheia" is often translated as "actuality," but his "being-at-work-staying-itself" gets to the heart of Aristotle's meaning), he provides plenty of helpful features, such as a large glossary and commentaries, and the books are well-organized and geared toward the student who needs to be able to find a place in the text quickly.
Unfortunately, one of the great benefits of Sachs' translation method is also one of its downfalls: "Being-at-work-staying-itself" may get the idea across, but it just doesn't read well in English. Reading Aristotle in Sachs' translation is rewarding, but cumbersome. I would recommend reading Sachs alongside Apostle or the Loeb edition to get an addditional perpective on the text, and also to alert you to the terms that, although misleading, form the framework of later Aristotelian thought.
This translation of Aristotle's Physics is really the best one available - and not simply because the others are terrible (some of them are not terrible), but because this one is extraordinary. As some of the other reviewers may have suggested, it can be hard to read at times because of the unfamiliar phrasings. However, I think this is irrelevant because (a) other translation are not easy reading either, (b) other translations are not as good at capturing Aristotle's meaning so that even if they were much easier to read they just make it that much easier for you to misunderstand Aristotle, (c) in fact the efforts required to follow the unfamiliar phrasings in this translation are themselves part of what makes this translation the most useful for anyone who wants to understand Aristotle, and (d) its really not all that hard to read. (And the same points go for the other translations by Sachs.) Sachs unpacks the richness of the Greek terms in his translation rather than covering it over with English terms that give you the illusion of understanding or force you to constantly adjust your thought about what the English words are supposed to mean in the context of Aristotle's philosophy. For example, Sachs' translation of energeia as "being-at-work" as opposed to "activity," and entelecheia as "being-at-work-staying-itself" as opposed to "actualization." Sachs' translations here really put the nuances of the Greek terms to the forefront, and they give you the opportunity to think through (and to think hard about) what Aristotle must mean in a beautiful way that makes reading this translation a real learning, eye-opening, awakening experience. Also Sachs provides very useful glossary, introduction, and commentary. If you're just starting Aristotle or have been studying him for years, this translation is sure to do you right. I've been studying Aristotle for about a decade and a half and I never cease to very greatly appreciate Sachs' translations. --Michael Russo
If you think you could never understand Aristotle's Physics because yet existing translations of the greek text have made it very difficult to understand, you could try to read it closer to the originality of the aristotelian language itself. This new version could provide it to you! For example, if you think that «ousía» means something different from, or not exactly «substance», think now of «thinghood» and try to read all the treatise under the new perspective given by Professor Joe Sachs' superb translation, helpful for any forthcoming research in Ancient Philosophy.

Dr. Francisco Chorão (Lisbon, European Community
Mr. Joe Sachs is somewhat of a controversial figure in scholarly circles. He has translated the principal theoretical works of the Aristotelian Corpus, and has declared that traditional translation (i.e. those employing Latin cognates) are insufficient at best and misleading at worst.

His translation is decent (that is, mostly literal) until one reaches the key technical terms: ousia, energeia, to ti en einai, archai, entelekeia, etc. Sachs wishes to translate these into clear, immediately comprehensible everyday English. Unfortunately, this is precisely what I believe he often fails to do. His translations are but sometimes immediately clear, but (to take three examples) "energeia" is rendered "being-at-work", its mate, "entelecheia", "being-at-work-staying-itself", and "ousia" is "thinghood": phrases which, to the uninitiated, remain as much, if not more obscure than their Latin competitors: "activity" and "actuality". In fact, I could not decipher them without the aid of my professors and a lexicon to return to the Greek.

None of this is much different in other translations nor makes Sachs worse than the other competitors: Aristotle uses unexplained technical terms in his theoretical works and the reader will struggle regardless of translation. But to this end of comprehension, to assert Mr. Sachs's translation as the clearest is mistaken. His translation runs the risk of creating an entirely new technical jargon, the very thing he wished to avoid.

Further, this edition was not seemingly made for serious study: the Bekker numbers are embedded in the text and unbolded, making them almost impossible to find quickly and there is running commentary which is easily confused at first sight for the text itself. These two factors make this edition unsuitable for serious study. Far superior, in aesthetics and in translation, is Glen Coughlin's translation of the Physics, which (appropriately enough) strikes the mean between the Latin cognates and Sachsian terminology.