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Translated with an Introduction by Hugh Lawson-Tancred
THE METAPHYSICS Book Alpha
Book Alpha the Lesser
Posted October 15, 2010
I begin with two disclaimers: (1) I do not presume to "review" Aristotle, and (2) I do not know Greek.
This is a 1912 translation by a gentleman named John H. McMahon. To discover that fact you have to read the copyright page, which seems rather unfair to Mr. McMahon.
I found this translation extremely difficult to understand, and the "Metaphysics" is famously difficult in any case. That does not necessarily mean it is a bad translation. I suspect (suspect is all I can do) that it is a very literal translation, and thus may be very useful for some purposes. In any case, however, it was not the right translation for me, as a first-time English reader of "Metaphysics". The 1998 translation by High Tancred-Lawson (Penguin Classics) is much better for a first-time English reader, while that of W. D. Ross (1924) is the one that I recommend more than either this one or the Tancred-Lawson.
Michael P. Levine's introductory essay is worth reading, but I would not buy the book just for that.
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Posted November 18, 2010
This is a basic translation of the text of the Metaphysics with a short introduction and few notes. The translation is in a somewhat dated style of formal english, but is clear and as true to the original as any translation can be--and far less expensive than most.
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Posted June 3, 2011
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