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16 February 1984
Science, Folklore and Ideology 
by G.E.R. Lloyd.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £25, July 1983, 0 521 25314 4
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... history of gynaecology, theories of sexual generation, the growth of botany, of pharmacology, of anatomical terminology. Each study is a marvel of erudition. Some of the material, notably that on Aristotle, will be fairly familiar to many of Lloyd’s readers, but much of it – I think especially of the sections on Pliny, on Rufus, on Soranus – is refreshingly new. The scholarly judgments are sober ...

Good Repute

M.F. Burnyeat

6 November 1986
The Complete Works of AristotleThe Revised Oxford Translation 
edited by Jonathan Barnes.
Princeton, 1250 pp., £53, August 1984, 0 691 09950 2
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... Aristotle and Plato’, ‘Plato and Aristotle’ – the coupling of names is something we take for granted. They are the two giants of ancient philosophy, are they not, and who but Kant among later philosophers deserves to rank as high as they ...

Megafauna

Adrienne Mayor: Aristotle​ and Science

1 July 2015
The Lagoon: How Aristotle​ Invented Science 
by Armand Marie Leroi.
Bloomsbury, 501 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4088 3620 0
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... nature. ‘Science’ soon came to mean a methodology, a disciplined, systematic way of observing, studying and explaining the world. But in fact the ‘scientific method’ was first practised by Aristotle, whose works on natural history – including his grand treatise on comparative zoology, the History of Animals – are the subject of Armand Marie Leroi’s new book. Aristotle may be most famous ...

Philoponia

Jonathan Barnes

9 July 1987
Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science 
by Richard Sorabji.
Duckworth, 253 pp., £29.50, February 1987, 0 7156 2089 4
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...  was a Christian Neoplatonist who worked in Greek Alexandria in the sixth century AD. He was a tireless author. His vast oeuvre, considerable portions of which survive, included commentaries on Aristotle, philosophical treatises, and works of Christian theology and Christian polemic. As a theologian, he was embroiled in the doctrinal disputes of the time, championing the monophysite cause and ...
14 May 1992
Ancient and Medieval Memories: Studies in the Reconstruction of the Past 
by Janet Coleman.
Cambridge, 646 pp., £50, January 1992, 0 521 41144 0
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... is a study of Medieval philosophical theories of memory which begins with ancient texts, for the Medieval tradition Started from and built on some central texts form the ancient world: in particular, Aristotle’s On Memory and Recollection, part of the Parva Naturalia, short works on psychological phenomena which follow up the general study On the Soul (De Anima). By far the greater part of the book ...

How to Catch a Tortoise

A.W. Moore: Infinity

18 December 2003
Everything and More: A Compact History of ∞ 
by David Foster Wallace.
Weidenfeld, 319 pp., £14.99, November 2003, 0 297 64567 6
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A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable 
by Brian Clegg.
Constable, 255 pp., £8.99, September 2003, 1 84119 650 9
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The Art of the Infinite: Our Lost Language of Numbers 
by Robert Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan.
Allen Lane, 324 pp., £20, August 2003, 0 7139 9629 3
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... As you’ve probably begun to see,’ David Foster Wallace writes in Everything and More, ‘Aristotle manages to be sort of grandly and breathtakingly wrong, always and everywhere, when it comes to infinity.’ A much milder version of this antagonism towards Aristotle appears in both Brian Clegg’s ...

Reasons for Living

Adam Phillips: On Being Understood

12 November 1998
Open-Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul 
by Jonathan Lear.
Harvard, 345 pp., £21.95, May 1998, 0 674 45533 9
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... Above all, we want to grow up, to become who we have it in ourselves to be. And this entails understanding and being understood. ‘Each natural organism,’ Lear wrote in his wonderful book Aristotle: The Desire to Understand, ‘has within it a desire to do those things necessary to realising and maintaining its form ... the strong desire to survive, to sustain life, to flourish and reproduce is ...
8 February 1990
The Vanished Library: A Wonder of the Ancient World 
by Luciano Canfora, translated by Martin Ryle.
Radius, 205 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 09 174049 5
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Herodotus 
by John Gould.
Weidenfeld, 164 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 9780297793397
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... The Aristotle ... was already burning. Meanwhile, some sparks had flown towards the walls, and already the volumes of another bookcase were crumpling in the fury of the fire.’ So, in the final pages of The Name ...
4 September 1980
Naming and Necessity 
by Saul Kripke.
Blackwell, 172 pp., £7.95, May 1980, 0 631 10151 9
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... to look back at a modern classic, and to say something about why it was found so shocking and liberating. Since Kant, philosophers have prided themselves on transcending the ‘naive realism’ of Aristotle and of common sense. On this naive view, there is a right way of describing things, corresponding to how they are in themselves, to their real essences. Scientists, philosophers like to say, are ...
7 October 1982
Figures of Literary Discourse 
by Gérard Genette, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Blackwell, 303 pp., £15, August 1982, 0 631 13089 6
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Theories of the Symbol 
by Tzvetan Todorov, translated by Catherine Porter.
Blackwell, 302 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 631 10511 5
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The Breaking of the Vessels 
by Harold Bloom.
Chicago, 107 pp., £7, April 1982, 0 226 06043 8
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The Institution of Criticism 
by Peter Hohendahl.
Cornell, 287 pp., £14.74, June 1982, 0 8014 1325 7
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Unspeakable Sentences: Narration and Representation in the Language of Fiction 
by Ann Banfield.
Routledge, 340 pp., £15.95, June 1982, 0 7100 0905 4
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... perceiving the disabling restrictions of method’. I doubt whether Eliot would have approved of this stronger version. He made the original remark in the context of a brief but admiring allusion to Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics, a fragmentary yet still methodical work. Eliot offers it as an instance of ‘intelligence ... swiftly operating the analysis of sensation to the point of principle and ...
17 December 1992
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 520 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 7011 3998 6
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... Gerrard asks:   ‘So it’s like a very long pamphlet?’   ‘No. It’s not a long simplification. It’s about everything.’   ‘Everything?’   ‘Everything except Aristotle. I regard him as an unfortunate interlude, now happily over.’ By the end of The Book of the Brotherhood, Crimond has finished his overpowering work, financially supported by a club established by ...

Helio-Hero

J.E. McGuire

1 June 1989
The Genesis of the Copernican World 
by Hans Blumenberg, translated by Robert Wallace.
MIT, 772 pp., £35.95, November 1987, 0 262 02267 2
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... starry sphere whirling around a fixed Earth. This reform shattered once and for all a comforting and enduring picture of our place in the cosmic scheme of things. In this scheme, first proposed by Aristotle in the fourth century BC, everything has a place in an ordered hierarchy. The heavenly spheres are immutably nested one within the other, and each carries one of the heavenly bodies (e.g. Sun, Moon ...

What, even bedbugs?

Jonathan Barnes: Demiurge at Work

5 June 2008
Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity 
by David Sedley.
California, 269 pp., £17.95, January 2008, 978 0 520 25364 3
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... that the creator created ex nihilo, nor that the world was created at some time in the past. The book proceeds more or less chronologically: Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Socrates, Plato, the Atomists, Aristotle, the Stoics. (An epilogue spends a page or two on Galen.) The final score is Creationists 5, Critics 2. Many scholars have thought that one of the achievements of the earliest Greek philosophers was ...

Not Not To Be

Malcolm Schofield: Aristotle’s legacy

17 February 2005
A New History of Western Philosophy. Vol. I: Ancient Philosophy 
by Anthony Kenny.
Oxford, 341 pp., £17.99, June 2005, 0 19 875273 3
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... The hero of this genial and highly accessible book – first of a projected quartet – is Aristotle. What prompts Anthony Kenny’s admiration above all is evidence for the first time in Aristotle of detailed observations of natural phenomena; a sound and pioneering grasp of the roles of observation and theory in scientific method; the invention of the notion of a system of scientific ...

Facing South

Alistair Elliot

23 June 1994
... for Tony Harrison Happiness, therefore, must be some form of theoria. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, X.8 Theoria: ... a looking at, viewing, beholding ... ‘to go abroad to see the world’ (Herodotus) ... 2. of the mind, contemplation, speculation, philosophic reasoning ...

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