Published April 5th 2007 by Routledge – 472 pages
Series: The Routledge Philosophers
In this excellent introduction, Christopher Shields introduces and assesses the whole of Aristotle’s philosophy, showing how his powerful conception of human nature shaped much of his thinking on the nature of the soul and the mind, ethics, politics and the arts.
Beginning with a brief biography, Christopher Shields carefully explains the fundamental elements of Aristotle’s thought: his explanatory framework, his philosophical methodology and his four-causal explanatory scheme. Subsequently he discusses Aristotle’s metaphysics and the theory of categories and logical theory and his conception of the human being and soul and body.
In the last part, he concentrates on Aristotle’s value theory as applied to ethics and politics, and assesses his approach to happiness, virtues and the best life for human beings. He concludes with an appraisal of Aristotelianism today.
'An impressive and first-rate overview of Aristotle's philosophy. I can't think of a better introduction.' – Richard Kraut, Northwestern University, USA
'The issues selected for discussion are representative of Aristotle’s thought, that the summarizing arguments manage to encapsulate Aristotle’s view, and that the didactic quality of Shields’s procedure recommends the book to the audience.' – Pavel Gregoric, University of Zagreb, Croatia
'This delightful and fully engaging book, written in a sparkling style and abounding in entertaining examples, is designed for those who are new to Aristotle and want to approach him from a contemporary philosophical standpoint. …The book fulfills these goals very well and thereby offers a prime alternative to standard introductions to Aristotle.' – Philosophical Review
'Christopher Shields' book introduces the philosophy of Aristotle in a comprehensive, informative and perspicuously argued way that engages with the philosopher's arguments and views with critical surety and acuity.' – Vasilis Politis, Trinity College Dublin, UK
'This volume would serve as an excellent survey for undergraduate or graduate students, presenting an accessible and clear overview of Aristotle's major philosophical projects … it delivers clear discussions of many of Aristotle's key philosophical ideas, captures much of what is lively and exciting about Aristotle's thought, and serves as an excellent entry point to more serious study of Aristotle's philosophy.' – Ian Halim, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
1. Life and Works 2. Explaining Nature and the Nature of Explanation 3. Thinking Scientifically, Thinking Philosophically 4. Categories of Being 5. Puzzles of Nature 6. Being qua Being and Substance 7. Living Beings 8. Living Well 9. Political Association 10. The Arts, Rhetoric, and Tragedy 11. Aristotle’s Legacy. Glossary of Aristotelian Terms. Index
Christopher Shields is a Tutorial Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and Professor of Classical Philosophy at the University of Oxford, UK. His books include Order in Multiplicity: Homonymy in the Philosophy of Aristotle (1999), Classical Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2003) and (with Robert Pasnau) The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (2003). He is editor of The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy (2002) and The Oxford Handbook on Aristotle (2007).