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Introduction to Aristotle by Richard McKeon Review by: Theodore Tracy The Classical World, Vol. 69, No. 6 (Mar.

, 1976), pp. 396-397 Published by: Classical Association of the Atlantic States Stable URL: . Accessed: 13/11/2011 14:05
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acknowledged by Young to be identical with Page -101, 119, 155, 287, 308, 347, 350, 408, 415, 444, 459, 584, 616, 674- 75, 677, 701, 712f., 723, 735f., 790, 949, 1008, 1089B, 1092, 1110, 1134, 1143 (tralainais), 1164, 1235, 1261, 1272, 1316f., 1328, 1338-40, 1368, 1396, 1397, 1422f., 1437f., 1474, 1477, 1484, 1529, 1559, 1567f., 1590, 15%, 1603, 1607, 1611, 1621, 1626, 1650; (2) readings adopted by Young as "variants" from Murray which are identical with Page but not acknowledged: 129, 770, 775, 943, 1057, 1252 (second half), 1460, 1461, 1534, 1535, 1658 (first half). In view of this, it is difficult to see Young's adherence to Murray'stext as either scientific or conservative, thereby vitiating his attempt at a modern, scholarly list of variants. Fordham University Richard E. Doyle, SJ.

Richard McKeon (ed.). Introduction to Aristotle. Second edition, revised and enlarged. With a New General Introduction and New Introduction to the Particular Works by Richard McKeon. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1973. Pp. Iii, 759. $3.45. Based on the conviction that "Aristotle is himself the best introduction to what Aristotle thought and meant" (Preface p. vii), this volume is essentially a very useful collection of texts from the treatises, reproduced intact in the Oxford translation edited originally by Ross. Those not familiar with the first edition will want to know that after a Preface and General Introduction McKeon had presented seven selections with a special introduction and table of contents before each. In this second edition he has rewritten and expanded the General and special introductions, and added selections from two more treatises, so that the volume now contains the complete text of the Posterior Analytics, On the Soul, the Nicomachean Ethics, and the Poetics; Book 2 of the Physics; 1 and 12 of the Metaphysics; 1 and 3 of the Politics; 1.1, of On the Parts of Animals; and 1.1-4 and 2.18-22 of the Rhetoric. Obviously there is abundant material here, in reputable translation, to meet the requirements of an undergraduate course in Aristotle or introduction to Greek philosophy, and so the volume should serve its essential purpose well for those who share the conviction quoted above. As to the content contributed by McKeon, the General Introduction has been expanded from twenty-one to forty-four pages treating the following topics: 1) The Life and Times of Aristotle; 2) Science and Art in the Philosophy of Aristotle (otherwise labeled "Scientific Method in the Philosophy of Aristotle" in the table of contents); 3) Experience, Art, and Science; 4) The Theoretic Sciences; 5) The Practical and Productive Sciences; 6) The Influence of Aristotle. It will be evident that, apart from the first and last topics, the greater part of the General Introduction, like that of the introductions to each selection, reflects McKeon's special interest in Aristotle's methodology and division of the sciences. Much of this discussion, while admirably developed and economically expressed, will probably prove more helpful and intelligible to instructors and advanced students than to those approaching Aristotle for the first time. In expanding his treatment of Aristotle's life, McKeon has sketched in more of the history of the times and introduced new details, alternatives, and uncertainties which recall the biographical studies published since his first edition. He is still unimpressed by the attempts since Jaeger to reconstruct the chronology of Aristotle's treatises, and continues to maintain that during the twelve years of his second sojourn in Athens Aristotle devoted himself, among other activities, "to the composition of all, or most, or at least the most scientific portions of those of his writings which are still extant" (introduction, p.x). Problems of interpretation and seeming contradictions in




Aristotle are best resolved not by chronological considerations but "by reading and rereading his works" (p. xvi). McKeon's collection provides ample material for a good start. University ofIllinois, Chicago Circle Theodore Tracy, S.J.

Anton-Hermann Chroust. Aristotle. New light on his life and on some of his lost works. 2 vols. Volume 1: Some novel interpretations of the man and his life. Volume 2: Observations on some of Aristotle's lost works. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1973. Pp. xxvi, 437; xx, 500. $24.00 each; $45.00 the set. These two large and learned volumes are basically a collection of essays, more or less revised, originally published between 1964 and 1970 on problems of Aristotle's biography (Vol. 1) and lost works (Vol. 2). The unifying enterprise, in so far as it exists in the collection, is to render plausible the following hypotheses, formulated in the Preface (I, p. xiii): "(I) The historical Aristotle was essentially a Platonist .. .; (II) after his departure . . . from the Platonic Academy in 348-47 B. C. he abandoned the 'philosophic life' in order to dedicate himself primarily to political and diplomatic activities on behalf of King Philip; and (III) the great systematic works or pragmateia of a later period are mainly the products of Theophrastus' school (the Early Peripatus) " The first proposition draws heavily upon the work of Werner Jaeger; the last follows the direction of Joseph Zurcher. Between them stands Chroust's contribution. It should provoke comparable reaction. The first four chapters of Vol. 1 reconstruct the contents of the lost archetypal vitae of Hermippus of Smyrna and Ptolemy-el-Garib (Ch. 1) and analyze the extant accounts of Dionysius of Halicarnassus (2), Diogenes Laertius (3), and the Syriac and Arabic vitae (4). Relying heavily upon these sources, Chroust then attempts, with impressive learning and fertile historical imagination, to reconstruct the genealogy and family of Aristotle (5) and to describe his relationship with Callisthenes (6), his entrance into the Academy as a fugitive from political assassination in Macedonia (7), his earliest lectures on rhetoric (8), his departure from Athens in 348 (before Plato's death) because of anti-Macedonian feeling (9), and his alleged service as Alexander's chief preceptor in the years that followed (10). In the next three chapters (11-13) Chroust argues one of his central themes (carefully proposed as "possibility," "probability," or "learned conjecture") that after leaving the Academy Aristotle was deeply and actively involved in promoting Macedonian imperialism; that his sojourn at Atarneus and Assos was one of many political missions undertaken for Philip; that in 335, having intervened to save Athens from destruction, he returned there in the van of Alexander's conquering army; that he remained there for thirteen years in the busy and troubled role of Macedonian agent and informer; and that he was expelled again by anti-Macedonian reaction after Alexander's death in 323, leaving Theophrastus and others to establish the Peripatus and develop the treatises that survive under Aristotle's name. The last four chapters (14-17) deal with the myth of Aristotle's suicide, his last will and testament, his religious convictions, and the "self-portrayal" emerging from his works (which here include the treatises). In his second volume Chroust undertakes to date, reconstruct the contents, and discuss various aspects of some of the lost works of Aristotle, particularly the Gryllus (Ch. 3), Eudemus (4, 5), On Justice (6), Protrepticus (7-10), Politicus (11), On Philosophy (12-16), and On Kingship (17). A second major theme emerges from this examination, namely, that Aristotle was, and remained substantially, a Platonist through the years he produced the lost works and perhaps beyond. In this Chroust