College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

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The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Companion-to-AristotleA Companion to Aristotle

edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing 2009

Reviewed by Tiberiu Popa

Aristotle's works still command a great deal of attention among a wide readership, which is certainly not confined to historians of philosophy. His writings deserve our reflection not only for their intrinsic worth (we shouldn't forget that he practically invented such fields as biology and logic, in addition to formulating his own theories on almost everything from what we would call today metaphysics and natural philosophy to astronomy, ethics, political philosophy and rhetoric): some two thousand years of science and philosophy - with their many implications for theology, among other things - were indebted to Aristotle. And one can add that even today reports of Aristotle's death are greatly exaggerated.

There is no shortage of anthologies devoted to Aristotle, but the Companion edited by Anagnostopoulos is one of the most comprehensive and reliable such collections ever published. Its 40 chapters, published largely by established scholars but also by some of the rising stars in this field, are grouped in five major sections: Aristotle's Life and Works; The Tools of Inquiry; Theoretical Knowledge; Practical Knowledge; Productive Knowledge (the last three sections corresponding to Aristotle's own classification of types of knowledge). Most of these chapters are meant to point out new directions in the study of the Aristotelian corpus, while also surveying earlier significant contributions to its understanding. Non-specialists will find these studies to be eminently readable and enjoyable in their clear and revealing articulation. Those interested in, say, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, virtue ethics and poetics, will discover that Aristotle still has much to tell us and should be deemed of far more than purely historical interest.

- Tiberiu Popa is associate professor of philosophy at Butler University.