WORKS OF ARISTOTLE
We are reckoned to possess only about a third of Aristotle’s works.
This is to be contrasted
with Plato, for whom we possess all works.
Nonetheless, Aristotle’s corpus is large and covers a
wide range of philosophical and scientific topics: logic, physics, astronomy, biology,
metaphysics, ethics, politics, and literary criticism.
Another important difference with Plato is
that Aristotle’s surviving works were not written in a polished form meant for publication but
apparently derive from discussions held in his school, the Lyceum.
Our present edition of
Aristotle, with its separate works divided into books and chapters, descends from an attempt
some two centuries after his death to organize his corpus.
Aristotle’s works therefore are
notoriously difficult, for they are technical treatises and full of textual problems.
Aristotle’s works are cited by an abbreviation of the title, often taken from the Latin
designation of the work, together with the page, column and line number of the first critical
edition of the Greek text by Immanuel Bekker in 1831.
, ed. I. Bekker, Berlin:
Reimer, 1831–70, 5 vols.)
Hence, these citations are called
and function as a
standard reference in a
manner similar to the Stephanus numbers for the works of Plato.
divided the Greek text into two columns, a and b, of 35 lines.
. (1036b15-19) refers
, page 1036, column b, lines 15-19 of the Bekker edition.
All editions and
translations carry the Bekker numbers in the margins.
(traditionally known collectively as the
i.e., instrument of philosophy):
(usually referred to by either its Latin title,
On Sophistical Refutations
On Generation and Corruption
On the Heavens
(usually referred to by the Latin title
On the Progression of Animals
The History of Animals
On the Motion of Animals
On the Parts of Animals
: (i.e., psychological in the sense of having to do with the soul)
On the Soul
(referred to by its Latin name,
Minor Physical Treatises (in Latin
On Sense and the Sensible
On Memory and Reminiscence
On Divinatione in Sleep
On Longevity and Shortness of Life