The books translated in this volume are seventh and eighth in the traditional ordering of Aristotle's Metaphysics. They are central to Aristotle's metaphysical system: in them he discusses the nature of perceptible 'substance' or reality. In particular, he compares the claims of matter and of form to be the basic reality of things, and he frequently contrasts his own view of form with the Platonic view. Several other topics are treated which are of
central importance to his metaphysics, e.g. the notions of essence and definition, the status of universals, and the concept of a unity.David Bostock provides an authoritative guide to these difficult and important books, assuming no knowledge of Greek on the part of the reader. He offers a
clear new translation that follows the original closely, and a thorough and careful philosophical commentary.
Bostock reads passages closely, dissects arguments skillfully, and makes astute and informed judgements. As one philosopher reading another, he demands a lot of the text and often finds the argument wanting-and with good reason. But whether one is a defender or a critic of Aristotle, one will find Bostock's commentary enlightening and stimulating...Whatever may be one's preferences in the substance debate, one may profit by consulting this close and relatively
undogmatic reading of Books Z and H./Daniel W.Graham/"Ancient Philosophy".
`There is a great deal to applaud in the volume. The translation is splendidly faithful to the Greek. It reads smoothly without lapsing into paraphrase ... Now Bostock has provided us with something much more straightforward, clearly written, packed iwth learning, and as detailed as we could wish. It is a splendid new resource for Aristotelian scholarship.'
C. J. F. Williams, International Philosophical Quarterly
`There is freshness in Bostock's approach to these books, and novelty in the proposed explanations of what can account for the "unexpected" that enriches the philosophical content of these works ... Bostock offers a very good translation of the text ... He also offers adequate introductions and resumes, which add cohesion, making the exposition "user friendly". The book will prove to be a valuable addition to the Zeta-Eta literature.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`David Bostock has produced a translation that admirably fulfills the Clarendon Aristotle Series' goal of making Aristotle's texts accessible to the Greekless philosophical reader. It is accurate without being overly literal and is probably the best available in English. ... the translation is, on the whole, highly readable and brings out perspicuously the structure of Aristotle's arguments. The commentary offers much to the reader inexperienced in the
details of Aristotle's thought. ... Particularly nice are Bostock's explanations (and defense) of the various Platonic positions Aristotle undertakes. ... Bostock does pay Aristotle the ultimate philosophical compliment of engaging seriously and in detail with his arguments, and the reader who works through
the text in conjunction with the commentary will find that she has learned a good deal from Aristotle after all.'
The Philosophical Review, vol.104, no.4, October 1995