ARISTOTLE ON HIS PREDECESSORS

BEING THE FIRST BOOK OF HIS METAPHYSICS

Translated with introduction and notes by A.E. Taylor

Chronological Table← TOC→The Origin of Knowledge and Wisdom

WORKS USEFUL TO THE STUDENT OF ARISTOTLE'S METAPHYSICS

[I have omitted from the following list both complete editions of Aristotle's works and general histories of Greek Philosophy as a whole.]

Editions of the text of the Metaphysics. Commentaries, etc.

Aristotelis Metaphysica, edit. W. Christ. Leipzig, Teubner. 2nd edit. 1903.

Aristotelis Metaphysica, recognovit et emendavit Hermannus Bonitz. Bonn, 1848. (Pt. I., Text; Pt. II., Commentary in Latin.) The most important modern edition of the Metaphysics.

Aristoteles, Metaphysik, übersetzt von Hermann Bonitz. Berlin, 1890. (Posthumously edited from the papers of Bonitz by E. Wellmann.)

Alexandri Aphrodisiensis in Aristotelis Metaphysica Commentaria. Edit. Michael Hayduck, Berlin, 1891. (Vol. I. of the complete collection of Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca, published by the Berlin Academy.) Alexander of Aphrodisias in the Troad (floruit c. 200 A. D.) is far the most trustworthy of the ancient expositors of Aristotle, and the commentary on the Metaphysics, in particular, is an indispensable aid to the serious student of Aristotle. There is an earlier edition of the work by Bonitz, Berlin, 1847. The commentary on the first five books, with excerpts from the remainder, is also printed among the scholia in the 4th volume of the Berlin Aristotle.

General works on Aristotelian Philosophy (apart from the complete histories of Greek Philosophy).

H. Siebeck. Aristoteles (Frohmann's Klassiker der Philosophie, No. VIII). Stuttgart, 1899.

E. Wallace. Outlines of the Philosophy of Aristotle. Cambridge (Eng.) University Press, 3rd edition, 1887. A useful little digest of the main positions of the Aristotelian system, the most important passages being quoted in the original Greek at the end of each section. The student should, however, be on his guard against the author's unfortunate tendency to read Hegelianism into Aristotle.

Works on the History of Greek Philosophy down to Aristotle.

H. Ritter and L. Preller. Historia Philosophiae Graecae. 7th edition, Gotha, 1888. [Referred to in the notes to the present work as R. P.] An invaluable collection of the chief original texts for the study of Greek Philosophy, chronologically arranged.

H. Diels. Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. Berlin, 1903. Greek text with German translation. The latest complete critical text of the remains of the earliest Greek men of science.

H. Diels. Doxographi Graeci. Berlin, 1879. A careful edition of the various ancient "doxographies," or summaries of the theories of philosophical schools, which can be shown to have been ultimately derived from the lost φυσικαὶ δόξαι of Theophrastus. Particularly valuable are the elaborate Prolegomena (in Latin), in which Diels placed the whole subject of the origin and value of the doxographical tradition as to the doctrines of the Pre-Socratics in an entirely new light.

A. Fairbanks. The First Philosophers of Greece. London, 1898. Greek text of the fragments of the Pre-Socratics with translation.

J. Burnet. Early Greek Philosophy. London and Edinburgh, 1892. The most important of recent English works on the Pre-Socratics, and quite indispensable to the student.

Th. Gomperz. Griechische Denker. Leipzig, 1896. In course of publication. Vols. 1, 2, which bring the treatment of the subject down to the death of Plato, have already appeared. Vol. 1 has appeared also in an English translation under the title Greek Thinkers. London, 1901.

Learned and vivacious, but lacks the sound judgment of the work last mentioned.

P. Tannery. Pour l'Histoire de la Science Hellène. Paris, 1887. Studies of the Pre-Socratics.

G. Milhaud. Les Philosophes-Géomètres de la Grèce: Platon et ses Prédécesseurs. Paris 1900. A particularly valuable study of the Platonic doctrine of Ideas in the light of Greek Mathematics. The concluding chapter contains some acute examination of the anti-Platonic polemic of Aristotle's Metaphysics, Bks. A 9, M-N

E. Zeller. Platonische Studien. Tübingen, 1839. The last of the studies is an examination of Aristotle's account of Platonism.

C. Bäumker. Das Problem der Materie in der Griechischen Philosophie. Münster, 1890. A full and learned history of Greek philosophical theories of the nature of Matter.

The standard history of the whole development of Greek thought down to the final closing of the philosophical schools of Athens by Justinian in 529 A. D. continues to be

E. Zeller. Philosophie der Griechen. Last complete edition, the 4th. 5th edition in course of publication. Separate translations of various sections into English: Pre-Socratic Philosophy, London, 1881; Plato and the Older Academy, London, 1876; Aristotle and the Earlier Peripatetics, London, 1897.








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