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Aristotle in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes) [Paperback]

By Paul Strathern (Author)
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Item description for Aristotle in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes) by Paul Strathern...

These concise and enlightening explorations of the world's greatest thinkers bring their ideas to life in an entertaining and accessible new fashion. Each book includes a sprightly biographical essay, which includes a view of the man and a simplified (but not simplistic) explanation of his basic ideas and arguments, followed by a selection of quotations from the philosopher's works, a brief list of suggestions for further reading, and chronologies that place the philosopher within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

Publishers Description
Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character....I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one s friends to Western civilization. Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe. Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them....I find them hard to stop reading. Richard Bernstein, New York Times. Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise. Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal. These brief and enlightening explorations of our greatest thinkers bring their ideas to life in entertaining and accessible fashion. Philosophical thought is deciphered and made comprehensive and interesting to almost everyone. Far from being a novelty, each book is a highly refined appraisal of the philosopher and his work, authoritative and clearly presented."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Aristotle in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes) by Paul Strathern has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Booklist - 10/15/1996 page 381
  • Library Journal - 11/01/1996 page 70

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Pages   83
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.03" Width: 5.05" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1996
Publisher   Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
ISBN  1566631254  
ISBN13  9781566631259  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul Strathern

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.

Paul Strathern currently resides in London. Paul Strathern was born in 1940.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Philosophers
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Greek & Roman

Reviews - What do customers think about Aristotle in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes)?

Whirlwind tour of the life of a genius  Oct 17, 2006
I enjoyed this 90-minute romp through the world of Aristotle. Starting with a discussion of his obscure birthplace in Macedonia through his involvement with Plato's Symposium and the estiablishment of his own rival Lyceum, the book gave shape to the world Aristotle inhabited. One will hear of personalities, politics and marriage. But one cannot do justice in under 2 hours to the subtlety of Aristotle's thought. Instead, author Paul Strathern focuses on the effect of Artistotle on Arab philossophers like Avicenna and Averroes and on the medieval Christian Church, notably Thomas Aquinas's effort to intergate Aristotle with Church teaching. The major shortcoming of the book is that it slights Aristotle's actual teaching -- you do not hear much Aristotle. This is unfortunate but probably necessary -- it's not possible for the lay reader to understand the subtelty of the arguments without much cogitation and effort.

Strathern does a decent job of describing both Aristotle's contributions (logic, categorization, the focus on the world being real) as well as his errors (the flatness of the Earth, the theory of the humors, etc.) and his biases (democracy bad, tyranny OK). While his book does not succeed in transmitting detailed knowledge of Aristotelian thought, it does succeed in making Aristotle a real person whose inquisitiveness and openness to new ideas, unfortunately, was not always practiced by those who spoke in his name.
Masterful if Not Exactly Perfect Insight  Apr 26, 2005
Strathern has done a marvelous job of summarizing everything men need to know about Aristotle, and placed it in a context that most can understand. However, the great flaw from a woman's perspective is that "the author protests not enough," the railroad of philosphy that humanity has been on to explain everything from soup to nuts in a world that viewed the world as essentially homogenous. Women, and minorities, may have much to say about how how they have been left out of the organization of mankind, and about how timid Aristotle was about upsetting the then acceptable view of male beauty as the only standard of conscience, or how reluctant he was to ignore his own, or the homosexuality of others, to make that standard one the Romans and Catholic Church was forced to cloak and hide by conveniently losing for 300 years or more the writings that justified that reality. He also sheepishly leaves out the fact that most authors who write about Plato and Aristotle presume their close relationship to have been more a marital one without children for those twenty years where Aristotle's jewelled and shaven appearance may have been the discernable facts most men embarassingly leave out. Better not to recognize a society formed for the elevation of male bisexuality and promiscuity than to have to deal with deliberation of its morality. The fact that this might be catching up to us is all the more reason it might have been included as an essential to inclusion rather than ignored as it has been, perhaps the ultimate flaw by Plato and Aristotle, as well as Strathern. It might have saved many a child from becoming the victim of convenient morality, and the acceptance of predatory confusion through which many thousands of years of philosophizing has been unable to tame, but deterred quite effectively. In the finishing paragraph of the selected writings of Aristotle, he has left open the question of whether mankind has chosen to be blind to the fact that lack of representation has worked to man's advantage or his detriment, an equally valid observation that brings mankind to his own personal precipice, and of which women would be well advised to finally enter the fray, given the fact that for centuries upon centuries they have been denied the voice that would exhalt their own rights of free expression to define, interpret, and alter the world - for their own pursuit of happiness - if, indeed, they are yet up to the challenge, and willing to assume the responsibility and privilege.
A few who desire to know everything.  Mar 23, 2005
'All men by their nature desire to know, but a few men desire to know everything". As Strathern says at the outset Aristotle is one the great polymaths of all time, and he investigated every subject that he met. 'The master of all those who know'made the Universe his subject, adding both much to human knowledge and much to human error and misconception.
Strathern tells Aristotle's story , his studying at the Academy under the teacher who gave him the basis of his thought, Plato, his tutoring of the world- conqueror who almost had him done away with , his effort after Plato's passing to become head of the Academy, and his having to settle with establishing his own Lyceum, his two marriages and his apparent decency as a human being. But most importantly of course his work, his being the real founding father of Logic, his metaphysics, his epistemology, his way of seeing purposes in physical nature that led real investigation of it to be held back for centuries, his researches in many areas of botany and biology, his aesthetics, his theory of drama, his Ethics , his much more empirical and realistic political work than that of his mentor Plato.
For Strathern Aristotle is despite the Scholasticism that came out of him one of the great benefactors of Mankind. And the fact that Science went nowhere for close to two thousand years because in part it followed Aristotelian conceptions is not strongly held against him.
Aristotle is not the literary stylist Plato was. And what we have of his work is not any of his completed works, but rather lecture notes of his students. They are not ordinarily easy or pleasant reading. But they are profound reading in ethics, politics, aesthetics metphysics.
Aristotle believed the ideal life was in contemplation. He believed that the selected few reach in this contemplation the truest of all happiness.
At the end of his days exiled from Athens, driven from his own Lyceum, on a bit of land inherited from his father on the Greek Island of Chalcis Eubea , without the beat of drums or the applause of the crowds , in disappointment he took his leave .
Posterity would grant him a degree of honor and attention his own contemporaries could not manage.
A feel of Aristotle still present  Jan 31, 2004
Strathern briefly gives a background of Aristotle's life and teaching. Strathern uses his search for evidence of Aristotle at his birthplace in Stagira, Greece as a vehicle for pointing out the continued poignancy of Aristotle. The inclusion of quotes from Thomas Kuhn and Nietzsche, (whether you agree with their viewpoints or not), highlight that Aristotle is still a relevant topic of discussion. The importance of the rediscovery of Aristotle by Islamic Spain was welcome. I was glad also to see a quote from Aristotle where he didn't get it right: "people who have sharp-ended noses are easily angered, much like dogs".
Misleading customers with selected reviews  Dec 2, 2000
I wrote a review about this book but apparently you only display positive ones. How sad. I have purchased a number of products from this site,often using the reviews as a guide. I will know better next time(if there is a next time).

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